In addition to the main narrative VIVA LATINA! and a parade of fantastic photographers –  Emmanuel Honorato Vázquez, Sebastião Salgado, Marcos López, Luisa Dörr, Cássio Vasconcellos, Carolina Arantes, Pablo Corral Vega, Tomás Munita, Carl de Souza, Pedro Pardo, Martin Bernetti, Greg Lecoeur, Nadia Shira Cohen, Emmanuel Berthier, David Bart, Coline Jourdan, Sébastien Leban, Ulla Lohmann, Catalina Martin-Chico, Pascal Maitre, Éric Valli and Lois Lammerhuber – the festival in Baden will celebrate the year of biodiversity. 

„The World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) should have taken place in Marseille in mid-June 2020, followed by COP15 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, in October. However, with the ongoing pandemic, the calendar is now disrupted and these two landmark events for the protection of our ecosystems have been postponed to 2021. We have therefore adapted to these circumstances and in 2021 we will be showing exhibitions that illustrate the importance of our planet’s biodiversity and aim to reconnect people with our nature,“ says Lois Lammerhuber.

BUT – reporting about something is one thing, doing something is another. Silvia and Lois Lammerhuber are, after all, known for their actions and have decided to have the CO2-footprint of the festival’s organization compensated. To make it happen, they asked friends to help financially. And the response was brilliant. „A big thank you goes to our 66(!) friends, who obviously like not only us but also the festival very much,“ says Silvia Lammerhuber. See also: „Honorable Mention“

Advised by Claudia Rosmanith from EEC Energy and Environmental Consulting GmbH in Gaaden located in the Vienna Woods, the organization of the Festival was screened and finally evaluated. Since the exhibitions of the 2021 festival are dedicated to Latin America, the Lammerhubers decided to purchase certificates to offset their festival CO2 footprint in the Lacandón jungle in Guatamala.

The Sierra del Lacandón National Park is located in the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) Selva Maya Corridor, which contains the second largest contiguous area of tropical rainforest in the Americas after the Amazon. However, due to encroaching settlements, forest fires, poor natural resource management, illegal logging and agricultural activities, the rate of deforestation is high.

The Lacandón Forests for Life project reduces deforestation by controlling illegal logging and ensuring the legality of land use through sustainable forest management. Capacity building is a key aspect of this project and women in particular benefit from the development of a value chain for non-timber forest products. Sustainable forestry activities such as conservation management, agroforestry and reforestation provide a source of income for local communities while conserving natural resources. The project promotes health, family planning and environmental awareness through educational programs.

Lois Lammerhuber: „I am very happy with our decision. The festival has been trying to set humanistic signs since the very beginning –  of course first with the power of world-class photography and the many accompanying events – but this step now goes beyond the communication possibilities of a festival for the first time. Together with our friends, we are doing something with a lasting effect.“ As part of the festival in Baden, there are five exhibitions that explicitly deal with the topic of biodiversity: GREG LECOEUR: Journey to the Centre of the Sea, NADIA SHIRA COHEN: God’s Honey, EMMANUEL BERTHIER: The Morbihan Sanctuaries, PASCAL MAITRE: The Incredible Odyssey of the Monarch Butterfly, ULLA LOHMANN: The Guardians of Biodiversity – and CATALINA MARTIN-CHICO: Ecuador, the Living Forest.

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