I cringed when I heard I was going to have to blog about the World Parks Congress (WPC) and their use of multi-medias. I’m not very adverse with anything technological and social media is no exception. I’m thoroughly convinced my phone hates me, my computer thinks I’m stupid and my GPS messes with me by making me travel 7 miles in the opposite direction before re-routing me. So how am I to follow the various ways on how the WPC disseminates there information to inspire and educate to the rest of us who can’t be in Australia?
Well, after navigating through their website and looking over their facebook page, I noticed a trend in the things that were captivating my attention. It was through their imagery. Photos of nature, various types of species, and people immersed in the environment that seemed untouched by human influences. It got me thinking, even though I love the stories of conservation, hearing about experiences of innovative conservation engagement and practices and how the interactions of scientists, government leaders, and community members and groups of all ages do come together to protect the worlds special areas, it was the images about what we all love that I looked at and studied first. Imagery can be so powerful. They used it during the opening ceremonies and it was a common theme in the the promotional youtube videos. It all started with an image, followed by another image with heartfelt music. These images allowed anybody watching to make a personal connection, whether it is from the colors themselves, the animals pictured or the places they were taken. Every picture made me either remember an experience of my own or made me feel emotion. That connection is what I held onto; it made me want to see and learn more. I suppose that is how it is for others out there too? Noticing that the WPC website is only translatable in three languages (English, Spanish and French), it’s possible that the images shown will allow other website visitors to understand and make connections of their own through the photographs. The values I associate with one picture may resonate completely different with someone else, but the idea that it could have equally as much impact to make us go out and be better stewards within our environment makes that image invaluable.
WPC even held a photo contest so that any individual from around the world could express how they view nature and share their appreciation and love of it with others. That inclusiveness allows people like me who can’t be directly involved be a part of something special to be heard. It reinforces that this is an open event to anyone who wants to participate in protecting what is in our world, from the smallest little snail to the health of a large urban area.
So how do I stay captured in wanting to delve deeper into the “nitty-gritty” of the World Parks Congress and not get lost in so many conservation topics? It all started with images. Those images became imprinted. They make me observe, wonder and push me beyond where I may not have gone before.