MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (May 10, 2022) –– Today, the National Geographic Society announced a collaboration with The Climate Pledge to support climate storytelling as part of the Society’s Global Storytellers Fund, which is dedicated to recruiting and funding a global community of photographers, writers, filmmakers, cartographers and multimedia artists. The Climate Pledge is a commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. The announcement was made at Aspen Ideas: Climate in Miami Beach, Florida.
“Storytelling has long been a fundamental part of fulfilling the National Geographic Society’s mission to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world,” said Kaitlin Yarnall, the Society’s Chief Storytelling Officer. “With support from The Climate Pledge, we will amplify and accelerate our efforts to empower National Geographic Explorers whose stories can raise awareness of critical issues, encourage empathy and understanding, and move people to act.”
The National Geographic Society is collaborating with The Climate Pledge to fund 15 National Geographic Explorers over three years to document the global climate crisis through authentic storytelling and illuminate the most pressing challenges, the solutions that can protect the wonder of our planet, and the communities on the frontlines. The collaboration with The Climate Pledge will advance early-career and established storytellers with the funding, training, and exposure necessary to bring their stories about the global climate crisis to the forefront.
“National Geographic’s storytelling has in many ways shaped my work in climate, and I’m proud today to help enable diverse, talented storytellers with the resources they need to tell inspiring stories about their communities and the effects of climate change,” said Kara Hurst, Amazon Vice President of Worldwide Sustainability. “We co-founded The Climate Pledge to drive transformative and collaborative action, and visual storytelling can help inspire global audiences to act urgently – we look forward to seeing the work of these Explorers come to life.”
The first five Explorers to be supported through this collaboration include:
- Slovenian documentary photographer and filmmaker Ciril Jazbec, who will document inspiring attempts to fight climate change among mountain communities in a three-chapter multimedia project.
- Argentinian visual storyteller Luján Agusti, who will use positive imagery to show the world how peatlands––which have historically been overlooked or seen as wastelands––play an important role in the fight against climate change.
- Malagasy documentary photographer Miora Rajaonary, who will highlight the work of people and organizations that are striving to implement innovative agricultural solutions that withstand drought and increase soil fertility, and the challenges that they are facing in light of climate change, in order to disseminate solutions to Southern Madagascar’s “Kéré,” or period of hunger.
- Nanai/Hèzhé (East Asian Indigenous) and Chinese American photographer Kiliii Yüyan, who will explore traditional Indigenous methods of conservation land-management and climate change mitigation through photography and storytelling, including among communities in Russia’s Bikin National Park and communities in Palau.
- African American documentary photographer and filmmaker Asha Stuart, who will produce a documentary that portrays climate-related environmental justice themes: Black and Brown neighborhoods being at higher risk to climate change flooding and how extreme heat weather is disproportionately affecting people of color.
Ten additional Explorers will be chosen to receive grants over the next two years. This collaboration will also support up to 45 mentees as part of the Society’s Second Assistant Program, which empowers early-career women and storytellers of color by training them and placing them in the field alongside National Geographic Explorers.
ABOUT THE CLIMATE PLEDGE
In 2019, Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. Now, more than 300 organizations have signed The Climate Pledge, sending an important signal that there will be rapid growth in demand for products and services that help reduce carbon emissions. For more information, visit www.theclimatepledge.com.