Photographer Nick Hawkins and Community Forests International captivate crowd on global forest and wildlife conservation

Nearly a hundred people attended the Conservation Council’s Visual Forest Feast as part of the 5 Days for the Forest on September 21 at UNB’s Forestry & Geology Building. The event attracted a great diversity of people, including university students, distinguished naturalists and academics.

Nick Hawkins, an acclaimed conservation photographer who has had his work featured in the BBC Wildlife Magazine and Canadian Geographic, showed the crowd a number of his photographs taken in Costa Rica, while working with the newly formed conservation organisation, Nai Conservation. The focus of the organization is to protect one the species of tapir, the Baird’s tapir.

The animal, as indicated by Nick, is listed as endangered and only inhabits large areas of primary forest, yet to be harvested. Nai Conservation works tirelessly to track the animal’s movements and better understand the role they play in the fight against climate change, as they are known to spread seeds through the consumption of fruits, a staple of their diet.

You can follow Nick’s work on social media.

A number of his large photographs of old forest in New Brunswick are currently being showcased at Conserver House, the office of the Conservation Council, during the month of September and October. Nick is selling the prints so come by, and check out and support his work.

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A large crowd filled a classroom in the Forestry and Geology Building at the University of New Brunswick to hear photographer Nick Hawkins and Community Forests International’s Zach Melanson speak.

Following Nick’s presentation, Community Forests International’s (CFI) Communications Director, Zachary Melanson, screened the organization’s recent documentary, Kokota: The Islet of Hope. The film told the story of how the community of Pemba, Tanzania had learned of the misfortunes of the small island, Kokota, with respect to how their trees had been cleared and water resources diminished.

The documentary stars Mbarouk Mussa Omar, the Executive Director of Community Forest Pemba and Jeff Schnurr, the Executive Director of CFI and highlights how Pembans banded together to plant trees and crops, in order to achieve both conservative and economic goals. This knowledge was then passed onto Kokotans who also built infrastructure to service common needs such as clean water and electricity.

Both presenters had the overall message that forestry conservation efforts abroad have important implications at home. Victories made in other countries can signal to Canadians that forests are important on a global scale, and that better efforts should be made at home to conserve our own forests.

The Conservation Council thanks Milda’s Pizza for providing pizza to the event as well as the Atlantic Council for International Co-operation and Global Affairs Canada for supporting this 5 Days for the Forest event.

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