A weekend at the GoodPlanet Foundation
The "Living together" exhibition of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's Environmental Photography Prize, which has been on show at the GoodPlanet Foundation in Paris since April and runs until mid-December, was the starting point for a weekend of mediation devoted to the (re)discovery of living things, on 1er and 2 July 2023.
A unique programme has been put together by teams from the two institutions to highlight the Human - Wildlife Initiative.
Three members of the Initiative were able to attend the weekend: Dr Véronique Luddeni (National Council for the Protection of Nature), Myriam Aarras and Philippe Mondielli (Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation).
On Saturday 1er July, the first meeting was hosted by Philippe Mondielli, Scientific Director of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and focused on the extraordinary stories of animals that almost became extinct. Bluefin tuna, monk seals, bearded vultures and wolves all have one thing in common: they have been extremely threatened or even close to extinction. But they also share the determination of key players and the collective mobilisation that enabled them to be protected and saved. These wonderful stories of life, offering examples of victories and a lesson in hope, were an opportunity to raise awareness of the Monegasque Foundation's actions among the Parisian public.
The public was treated to a screening of Jean-Michel Bertrand's film "Marche avec les loups" (Walking with Wolves), which explores the mystery of how wolves disperse. Following the film, a round-table discussion brought together the director and a speaker familiar with wolves, Dr Véronique Luddeni, a veterinary surgeon based in the Mercantour and a member of the National Council for the Protection of Nature. The discussion, led by Myriam Aarras, coordinator of the Human – Wildlife Initiative,addressed the major issues surrounding the reappearance of the wolf in France in 1992. Each of the two specialists gave an account of their encounters with this emblematic and controversial animal, and of their experiences in the field with people who come into contact with the species (breeders, shepherds, national parks, associations, nature sports enthusiasts, etc.). Jean-Michel Bertrand, who spent over two years investigating the complex and erratic behaviour of young wolves, spoke, like the philosopher Baptiste Morizot, of the wolf's ability to make us question our own humanity. Dr Véronique Luddeni reported on the current debates surrounding the wolf and the actions being taken to try and resolve conflicts of cohabitation and change mentalities.
On Sunday 2 July, Emmanuel Rondeau's film "Le temps des vautours" was screened. The first wildlife documentary entirely dedicated to France's largest birds, and an award-winner at the 2023 Festival de l'Oiseau et de la Nature, the film challenges preconceived ideas about this animal, which is far from being the sinister bird we sometimes imagine. The director followed the lives of four pairs of vultures and their offspring for a year in the magnificent natural cathedral of the Grands Causses. Photographer Emmanuel Rondeau is also present at the heart of the "Living together" exhibition through his image "Le Cerf de la Lande", which won the "Reasons for Hope" category of the 2021 Environmental Photography Prize.
The day continued with a session on animal welfare with Dr Véronique Luddeni. With as much passion as pedagogy, the veterinary surgeon shared the day-to-day aspects of her work, both in the practice and in the mountains, the problems encountered in the field and her participation, as an elected member of the National Council for the Protection of Nature, in the Human-Wildlife Initiative run by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. She also gave useful advice for animal owners and reminded them of the rules of conduct to be observed in the presence of wildlife.
The weekend's programme was also aimed at children, with the treasure hunt developed for the "Living together" exhibition and the children's workshops regularly offered by the GoodPlanet Foundation (a nature walk to discover biodiversity, a visit to the vegetable garden, an escape game and an introduction to nature photography).
Two convivial days that ended to the sound of Bossa Nova revisited by the group "Dans la lune".
The GoodPlanet Foundation is open every weekend, free of charge, and offers a wide range of activities. Its superb temporary exhibition "Discovering the living", at the Château de Longchamp, is on show until 17 December 2023. Combining art and education, the exhibition invites us to take a closer look at the biodiversity that surrounds us and its riches. Through never-before-seen videos, the work of committed artists and an immersive tour designed for young and old alike, this invitation to travel takes us on a journey through the oceans, forests and marshes of our regions, to understand, learn and marvel even more...
The GoodPlanet Foundation
The GoodPlanet Foundation, recognised as a public utility, was created in 2005 by Yann Arthus-Bertrand as an extension of his artistic work and commitment. Its mission is to make as many people as possible aware of the ecological and solidarity issues at stake, and to take concrete action for a more sustainable world in the field, in companies and within communities.
In 2017, it opened the first venue dedicated to ecology and solidarity in Paris, in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne: 3.5 hectares of nature that welcome nearly 60,000 people free of charge every year to experience a positive and caring ecology, through a committed artistic and cultural programme.