|© WWF-Canon / Marco Tedesco
A significant element of the partnership is supporting WWF’s conservation work in the Arctic. The first programme Canon Europe is supporting in 2012 is ‘Sailing to Siku – Voyage to the Last Ice Area’, an Arctic expedition designed to collect new information and examine future management options for the area where summer sea ice is expected to last the longest in the midst of a rapidly-changing Arctic landscape.
Canon Europe has been a conservation partner of WWF International since 1998. The continued partnership demonstrates Canon Europe’s dedication to a sustainable future in which humans live in harmony with the natural world. Following the recent WWF-Canon Polar Bear Tracker¹ project, the new sponsorship includes support for a range of initiatives beyond the Last Ice Area expedition, including continued sponsorship of the WWF-Canon Global Photo Network² and photography training for WWF staff.
The first leg of the Sailing to Siku – Voyage to the Last Ice Area expedition gets underway today. The sailboat, called Arctic Tern, will set off from Upernaviq in Greenland and is expected to arrive at its final destination, Pond Inlet in Canada, on 1 September 2012. The expedition will see WWF experts, scientists, crew and a Canon Europe professional photographer Ambassador travelling through Canada’s High Arctic to the Last Ice Area, to research this little-known area and meeting local people along the way. The public can follow the progress of the expedition online at www.lasticearea.org. Expedition information and images will be published following the conclusion of the expedition in Autumn 2012.
Canon is also providing professional imaging equipment to support the team documenting the trip with images and video, including a Canon LEGRIA HF M52 Wi-Fi enabled Full HD video camcorder, a Canon XA10 handheld professional HD video camcorder and a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera.
“Canon Europe is focused on raising awareness of conservation issues and our partnership with WWF International is a key component of our overall commitment to sustainability,” commented Cyp da Costa, Brand and Sponsorship Director, Canon Europe. “We are proud to continue our work as WWF International’s Conservation Imaging Partner by supporting an expedition that aims to extend our knowledge of the Last Ice Area, one of the least-explored regions of the world.”
Clive Tesar, Head of Communications and External Relations WWF-Global Arctic Programme commented, “WWF and Canon Europe share the common goal of a better future. We’re pleased that our long-standing relationship will continue, and that Canon Europe professional photographer Ambassador Thorsten Milse will join us on the expedition to the Last Ice Area. The region we will be travelling through is critical for an entire ice-dependent ecosystem, and this is an important opportunity for us to deepen our understanding of the Arctic and its people so we can work together to plan a sustainable future – for people and for wildlife – in this vitally important region.”
The Last Ice Area expedition will take place in three stages: from Upernavik to Qaanaq, Greenland (24 July – 8 August); Qaanaq, Greenland to Grise Fiord, Canada (8 – 18 August); and Grise Fiord to Pond Inlet, Canada (18 August – 1 September).
¹ The WWF-Canon Polar Bear Tracker follows selected polar bears "live" by tracking them as they move throughout the Arctic region. Their positions are beamed from collars on the bears’ necks, via satellite to scientists, and onto the dedicated website. It allows WWF to get regular updates about how the polar bears behave in their arctic environment and how they may be affected by climate change.
² The WWF-Canon Global Photo Network is an online database storing tens of thousands of digitised WWF images, available for general download across the WWF network.