Sir David Attenborough, Liz Bonnin and Chris Packham are among the guest speakers taking part in the free event, which shines a light on environmental solutions
Given the crises facing nature, it is easy to give up hope. But as regular Positive News readers will know, around the world there are many examples of people winning the fight to protect the planet.
Celebrating those underreported conservation success stories is Earth Optimism, a free, open-to-all event that kicks off today. The virtual meeting of minds will feature talks by trailblazing conservationists and celebrity speakers such as Sir David Attenborough, Liz Bonnin and Chris Packham (main image, above).
On the importance of celebrating solutions, Sir David Attenborough said: “We all know that there are great problems, but we don’t hear enough of some of the successes. Successes which can give us the courage, information and the inspiration which we need to continue.”
Earth Optimism comes at a pivotal moment for the planet. 2021 will see an unprecedented series of meetings of world leaders setting out the conservation agenda for the next decade. Celebrating conservation wins, as well as highlighting what individuals can do for the planet, is critical in setting the stage for these discussions, say organisers.
“We are shining a light on stories that teach us valuable lessons that can be scaled-up,” said Dr Rosie Trevelyan, director of the Tropical Biology Association and one of the event’s organisers. “Earth Optimism offers an invitation to focus on the positive and the potential of nature to recover, while reminding us of our responsibility to do what we can, wherever we are, rather than resigning ourselves to apathy over nature’s fate.”
During the 10-day event, dozens of passionate speakers will present compelling accounts of conservation success, from the restoration of Wicken Fen in England to a group of women who are saving the golden eagle in Mexico. The event will also host a Film Festival with documentaries screened from all over the world.
Also on the bill is award-winning author Helen MacDonald; conservationist Carl Jones, who has saved more species from extinction than almost anyone else alive; and Tom Rivett-Carnac, one of the key instigators in the Paris agreement.
Earth Optimism is led by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and takes place in conjunction with the Cambridge Festival. Running alongside the event is a ‘solutions fair’, where attendees can find out how they can reduce their carbon footprints, support biodiversity and live more sustainably.
The entire event is free for the public, but booking is required for the talks. More information can be found here.
Main image: Anna Deacon