Guyana, Mayotte, New Caledonia and Polynesia in the 1 Ocean exhibition at the Visa pour l’image festival in Perpignan

The annual Visa pour l’image event, created in 1989, is an international photojournalism festival that takes place in Perpignan in the south-west of France. Renowned as one of the most prestigious of its kind, it welcomes the best photographers from all over the world. This year, the French photographer-explorer Alexis Rosenfeld, in collaboration with Unesco, comes to present his work, produced as part of the 1 Ocean project, including images of the overseas seabed.

Huge coral reef discovered by the 1 Ocean expedition off Tahiti in February 2022. The latter seems to be in perfect health. Good news when you know that 20% of the world’s coral reefs are already dead and that 25% are seriously threatened ©Alexis Rosenfeld

The objectives of 1 Ocean are to raise awareness of the tremendous natural wealth of the ocean, to raise awareness among as many people as possible of the threats that weigh on it, and to provide solutions in order to protect this vital common good for the planet. This initiative is part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and is based on three axes: explore, document and transmit. ” Knowledge is a first step towards protection. In view of the environmental concerns and the dangers hanging over the ocean, we have a duty to testify. Our ambition: to transform the consciences of today, but above all to build those of tomorrow “, explains the team of 1 Ocean.

The underwater mangrove of Mayotte is a real forest under the sea. You can come across fish between the branches and crabs in the roots. This ecosystem is very rich and provides many services to the environment and to man. In particular, it dampens the waves to protect the coast and serves as a filter between the land and the sea. However, the mangroves of Mayotte are currently in decline and very threatened. Several programs are underway to protect and restore it ©Alexis Rosenfeld

In Perpignan, the 1 Ocean exhibition will cover, among other images, overseas themes. Coral reefs across the Valley of a Thousand Roses from Tahiti ; the marine natural park of Mayotte ; the Entrecasteaux reefs to the north of the New Caledonia, the richest and most pristine area in the world listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; as well as the deep reef of Guyana, a unique ecosystem hosting diverse species never seen in the region before. ” The notion of contemplation is essential in our discussion. We are not going to hide what is anxiety-provoking but our bias is to tell the beautiful things… these beautiful things tormented by human activity “, emphasizes Alexis Rosenfeld.

Coral Sea Natural Park in New Caledonia. It is the richest marine area in terms of biomass. The first traces of crinoids date from around 500 million years ago. Thanks to their long flexible arms, these animals of the starfish family capture the plankton on which they feed ©Alexis Rosenfeld

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