Skip to main content

Wildspeak Symposium: Key Conservation Topics of our Time

By October 25, 2017No Comments

Story from the International League of Conservation Photographers


With the many emerging news stories on environmental issues of our day, now is a crucial time to come together and encourage one another towards a sustainable future. In just a couple of weeks some of the world’s leading nature and wildlife photographers, filmmakers, scientists, and conservation organizations will gather together in our nation’s capital at an event called WildSpeak. This environmental communications symposium, hosted by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), will create a space for all nature enthusiasts to explore how visual media can best contribute to influential science communications and positive conservation outcomes all around the globe. The event is open to all who desire to be informed about conservation topics and to learn how to get involved to make a difference. If this is you, you can register today at


Peter Chadwick presenting “Protecting the Protectors: Supporting Africa’s Conservation Ranger Force” © Peter Chadwick


The WildSpeak presenters are mostly iLCP Fellows, conservation photographers based around the world specializing in specific conservation efforts and bringing them to public light with their compelling images and short films. This year, keynote presenter, Daniel Beltrá, will address the gravity of global warming while visualizing solutions from a high vantage point in his talk “Seeing Above Climate Change.” Jürgen Freund, another keynote, will highlight the paramount issue of ocean conservation through underwater stills that capture the essence of our marine ecosystems, their beauty and irreplaceable importance to life.



Eladio Fernandez image: Eladio Fernandez presenting “New species of Aristolochia in Hispaniola.” © Eladio Fernandez


Program highlights include panel discussions titled “Empathy with Nature” and “Public Lands.” The “Empathy with Nature” panel will explore the power of photography to inspire compassion in conservation. The “Public Lands” panel will address how we can continue to support the protection of our natural heritage, an increasingly important topic at a time when the progression and victories in environmental public policy are under review. Russian photographer Igor Shpilenok will be presenting on his four­-year survey of Russia’s national parks, which are celebrating their centennial this year.


Igor Shpilenok presenting “Nature Reserves and National Parks of Russia.” © Igor Shpilenok


Now is a time of major shifts, in policy and in the environmental landscape, when foundations of historical, hard-fought wins in conservation feel like they are shaking and cracking causing opinions to rage and range. Many of us have experienced discouragement. The issues we care so deeply for seem to be pushed aside. It’s time to get informed together and collaborate with brilliance. Sometimes all it takes is the simple, sharp clarity of a photograph or placing ourselves within the drama of an environmental film to make our steps forward clear.

Join us at WildSpeak, November 14 and 15, at the Carnegie Institution for Science. The complete program and tickets are available at


Dave Showalter presenting “Sage Spirit: The American West at a Crossroads.” © Dave Showalter