The birth of an idea
Why do bears and the Apennines go together so well?
What is the link between these animals and their mountains?
What adaptations and behaviours make the Apennine bear so unique and threatened?
The “L’Orso e la Formica” (The Bear and the Ant) Project was born precisely to answer this and many other questions. Starting from its name, the project sets out to highlight the countless often unknown links between bears and the other species they feed on, or which share their world.
Thanks to its biological requirements, bears are rightful included on the list of so-called “umbrella species”, in other words, species whose protection also ensures the survival of many other species, important ecological processes and diverse ecosystem functions. This is also reflected in the media. Bears catalyse attention and can therefore stimulate the general public and administrations to become more involved in conservation activities and the debate on environmental issues.
As part of the Project, we will be creating a series of communication products developed on the basis of in-depth scientific information and the direct experiences of the authors, researchers, management and conservation experts and many others who share their lives with bears every day. All conveyed by exciting and evocative images.
Why the project
Today, communicating environmental issues is often the exclusive prerogative of the general media and growing number of social networks, especially in the case of a charismatic animal species like the bear, capable of arousing strong emotions, but also real or perceived controversies. In many such cases, there is little control over content and information. Furthermore, research on the ecology of bears in the Apennines is hardly ever covered by the media and when it does make the news, the emphasis is predominantly on those aspects resulting in conflict and sensationalism. Conversely, providing the public with ever more reliable information tools is necessary and fundamental to make bears and their context more widely and correctly known.
We are well aware that increasing knowledge is not immediately associated with a positive change in attitude, but we believe that correct and scientifically based communications can certainly reduce the influence of uninformative and inflammatory campaigns, especially among those living in areas where bears are present. It can also reinforce awareness among those who have already developed a positive attitude and encourage a greater flow of knowledge among less informed groups, such as young people. It is therefore essential to choose creative communication strategies that effectively employ the symbols and values of the collective imagination.
To increase people’s awareness of the critical conservation status of Apennine bears
To make people understand what makes the Apennine bear “special” by communicating the distinctive aspects of its biology and conservation status and describing its habitat in an engaging and creative way
To stimulate interest in management, research and conservation of bears in order to understand their needs and problems
To (re)awaken a sense of wonder, respect and belonging to the ecological context of the bear
To encourage the public to reflect on the small daily choices each of us can make to contribute to the conservation of bears and the environment
We believe that humans and bears can live together, but this should not be based solely on conflict resolution. It must above all be born from our tolerance and a renewed relationship with the natural world, because the future of the bear and its environment depends on the choices we make today.
We also believe that the encounter between scientific soundness and the sincerity of the emotions can represent the “connective tissue” able to bridge the distance between man and nature, to increase people’s awareness and involvement towards the protection of bears and their environment.
A world where what’s good for bears is also good for us
Scientific and correct information, communicated through the aesthetics of images and the sincerity of the emotions.
We believe that:
Nature conservation must also have a sound scientific basis.
Images taken ethically with regard to both the subjects and the public represent a formidable tool to communicate the natural environment and make it known.
Our wish is to be an inspiration for the global community in order to:
Contribute to protecting the threatened population of Apennine brown bears
Contribute to protecting biodiversity and ecological processes in the Apennine mountain environments
Increase awareness and passion for scientific and nature conservation issues