The act of creating an image with photography or sketching rewires us to be truly present and see details and beauty on a deeper level of appreciation.
Photography Inspiring Children in Conservation (PICC) is a project based upon this concept of truly seeing and engaging with the natural world. In working in collaboration with local communities to celebrate their relationship with, and to learn about, their local ecosystem and endangered wildlife, we provide a platform to share traditional ecological knowledge, empowering future generations in conservation issues and solutions, and giving them the skills to be effective in conservation and communication.
Our goal is to inspire students to become conservation leaders within their communities by providing them with skills and knowledge regarding primate ecology and conservation issues and solutions through the arts of photography, illustration, and storytelling.
Greater than 60% of the more than 500 known primate species are threatened with extinction, and more than 94% of Madagascar’s lemur species are endangered — a situation that is known as the “primate extinction crisis”.
Around the world, primate habitats are threatened by the wholesale destruction of forests for grazing, agriculture, palm oil plantations, oil drilling and mining. In Madagascar, there is intense pressure from the growing human population to cut and burn lemur habitat forests for growing rice, grazing zebu cattle, and making charcoal, their main source of cooking fuel. However, there are also many hopeful programs in Madagascar and around the world working in reforestation, alternative fuel and foods, and environmental education.
We hope that this project, through engaging and empowering the children and communities to understand the benefits of conservation, will work to contribute to the protection of their forests, lemurs and other forest animals.
This short film describes PICC using footage and photos from the PICC pilot project in Suriname and travels in Madagascar. Photography and wildlife footage by Kathy West and film production by Jaclyn Aliperti.
Thank you to the following for their generous support of the PICC pilot project in Lelydorp, Suriname: Dr. Marilyn Norconk, Chantal Landburg, and Ariocené Vreedzaam for their support and participation, and US Fulbright funding (Suriname Forest Fragment Project) for making it possible. Thanks, too, to the teachers, students and parents of Lelydorp for their enthusiastic participation and excellence in learning!
Special thanks to the American Society of Primatologists Conservation Committee.
We have gathered an exciting team of multilingual experts in: lemur biology, photography, illustration, storytelling, conservation issues, and the Malagasy culture to help engage the students, teachers and community and collaborate on conservation solutions through the PICC experience.
Help Support Us
PICC is partially supported by a generous grant from the American Society of Primatologists Conservation Committee, 2018. All of our project team members are donating their time, skills and personal funds to advance lemur conservation through this project.
Additional funds are still needed for printing, student materials, and logistics in order to successfully accomplish all components of this program. In-kind services and contributions are welcome!
Nonprofit status is pending the IRS determination letter for 501c3 nonprofit public benefit corporation (February 2020).