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Launched by The WILD Foundation in 1977, the World Wilderness Congress (WWC) is now the longest-running, public, international environmental forum. With over 30 years of conservation achievements, the WWC has become a high-profile platform for acting on complex wilderness and wildlands issues.

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Heading by Patricio Robles Gil the The 9th World Wilderness Congress took place in Merida, Mexico from the 6th to 13th of November in 2009.

Opened by President Felipe Calderon, with: 1800 delegates from 50 countries and 10,000 on-line participants from 100 countries; an extra-ordinary atmosphere of hope and enthusiasm; a diverse range of working session, and a plenary program featuring 50 world leaders such as Dr. Jane Goodall; Dr. Sylvia Earle; Dr Pavan Sukhdev; Chief Tashka Yawanawa; Grand Chief Samuel Gargan; numerous Ministers; the heads of land management agencies from North America and other regions; Heinz Center Director Dr. Thomas Lovejoy; Nobel laureate Mario Molina; Dr. Amory Lovins; Dr Exequiel Ezcurra; and others .

Wildlife & Nature Photographic Exhibitions
One of the main themes of Wild9 was the importance of communications as a strategic tool to achieve conservation outcomes. With this in mind, four photography exhibitions were presented during the congress.

"Mesoamerican Biological Corridor"
An extraordinary visual journey through the wild lands that spread from the jungles of Panama to the lowland forests of southern Mexico.

The images shown here attempt to do justice to the amazing biological diversity that enriches this region and to invite reflection on the importance of connecting the last remaining wild landscapes that still exist through biological corridors.

"National Geographic Exhibit"
This exhibit was possible thanks to the support of National Geographic, Fujifilm México and iLCP.

The iLCP has as its members some of the best photographers in the world. Among them are some of the top nature photojournalists working with the prestigious National Geographic Magazine. In the four years since the iLCP was created as a platform to recognize photographers who use their skills to help advance conservation agendas, the yellow magazine has published over 54 stories photographed by these talented artists. The exhibit was a sampler of the amazing work they have produced in that short period of time.

"Wild Wonders of Europe"
This exhibit was possible thanks to the support of Wild Wonders of Europe, Fujifilm México and the iLCP.

Wild Wonders of Europe is the largest photographic initiative to ever take place in Europe and perhaps even the world. Using 58 photographers as ambassadors from one European country to another, the Wild Wonders missions traveled to every country in Europe capturing the last remnants of wild nature as well as success stories of conservation and survival all over the continent. The result is an amazing collection of images meant to inform and inspire the 700 million Europeans, and perhaps the whole world.

"LOOK 3 - YourSpace"
YourSpace is an idea that was born at the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, when this was nothing more than a backyard gathering of friends at the home of National Geographic photographer Nick Nichols. Anyone who showed up to the party was encouraged to show their own work. That spirit of sharing and encouragement continues at the YourSpace exhibit.

At YourSpace, WILD9 delegates took part in a photographic exhibit. Thanks to the help of Fujifilm Mexico, delegates were able to print one of their own nature photographs, display it and partake in this amazing project.

LIFE: A Journey Through Time

LIFE a multimedia orchestral performance with nature images by Frans Lanting and the music of Philip Glass, performed by the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra, was presented at the Country Club's Grate Hall in Merida as part of the evening cultural program of the congress.

This piece is composed in seven parts, synchronized with projected images that illustrate the history of life on Earth from its earliest beginnings to its present diversity. The visual choreography is a creation of Alexander V. Nichols.
Exhibition "Celebration of the Jaguar"
In order to involve the local community of Merida during the congress and foster the community's interest in the preservation of the wild lands and animals that live in them, as in this case the Mexican jaguar, 20 life-size jaguar sculptures decorated the "Paseo Montejo" avenue and the Merida's Contemporary Art Museum "Macay".

Made by the sculptor Sergio de la Rosa in fiberglass the jaguars were sponsored by different companies and institutions; and painted by local artists and children from institutions such as Learn Together, Patronato Peninsular of Mentally Handicapped Children, Alborada, St. Vincent of Paul, Sun and Moon, Shoeshine's and children's workshop Macay.

Artists who participated in the worshops: Efrén Maldonado, Silvia Madrid, Roy Sobrino, Humberto Hau, Malena Jorge, Teresa Loret, Juan Pablo Mier y Terán, Sandra Nikolai, Katrin Schikora, Lorenzo Engell, Tania Cámara, Stephanie Schikora, Ariel Guzmán, Juan Pablo Bavio, Pablo Castillo, Abel Velázquez, Melva Medina.

After the congress sixteen jaguars were exhibited in the "Papalote Museo del niño" in Mexico City and then auctioned between the congress sponsors.

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Painted Bodies, "Origins, Art & Nature"
The event took place the 12 of November 2009 in the "Hacienda Tekit de Regil" in Merida. Where the narrow relationship of the natural world with its artistic representations was celebrated and the ancient craft of decorating the human body was presented in different artistic visions.

This ancestral practice is loaded with history and meanings around the world. Decorated skin exhibits man's relationship with society in its many manifestations and times, and defines specific cultures. We find examples of it in customs, rites or ceremonies that we celebrate from birth to death. There are body ornaments that express many purposes: to woo and bind couples, for symbolic dances, for harvest and fertilization of mother earth and mother women, for war and peace, up until current and technological artistic expressions.

Therefore, prominent and enthusiastic plastic artists, photographers and models gathered to create works of art that claim for the conservation of wild life and lands, with creativity and energy. The images of these ephemeral pieces were caught in time through the lens of the participating photographers and signed by the authors involved to be auctioned that same night. Funds raised were for supporting the cause of wildlife conservation.

Plastic artists: Álvaro Castillo, Eustaquio Cortina, Sofía Creel, Alfredo Gavaldón Arbide, Fernando González Gortázar, Emma Hack, Melva Medina, Beatriz Padilla, Carmen Parra, Yolanda Paulsen, Georgina Quintana, María Sada, Beatriz Simon Havaux, Roberto Turnbull, Abel Vázquez, Patricio Robles Gil.
Photographers: Jack Dykinga, Thomas D Mangelsen, Nick Nichols, Steve Maka, Patricio Robles Gil, Xi Zhinong, Ignacio Urquiza.
Alonso Aguilar, Ivan Alvarez, Idalia Arvizu , Albertina Contreras, Monserrat De Leon, Patricia Garfias, Jimena Garcia Turriza, Graciela Garcia Turriza, Mirel García, Edgar Israel Gonzalez Sulu, Reyna Guadalupe Duarte Valencia,Martha Itzel Espinosa Trejo, Elias Falla, Izela Zeron Neyra.
Mónica del Villar K and Mitsy Ferrant.

Multimedia: Patricio Robles Gil and Tania Escobar

In celebration of it's 4th anniversary, the ILCP organized the conservation communications symposium "WILD SPEAK" during the Wild9 Congress, to discuss ways in which photography, journalism and film-making are having an impact in achieving conservation success.

The League Award -
Outstanding Achievement in Conservation Photography
The iLCP was proud to announce James Balog as the 2009 winner of the League Award. The award seeks to recognize outstanding achievements in conservation photography and this year Jim's work on the Extreme ice Survey, which is a massive effort to reveal the effects of climate change of glaciers around the world was recognized with this award.

The beautiful bronze statue, which was created by iLCP Fellow Patricio Robles Gil, who in addition to being a great photographer is also an accomplished sculputor, was presented to Jim by iLCP Board Members Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Russell Mittermeier, and Vance Martin at a ceremony and VIP dinner that took place on November 8, 2009 in Merida, Mexico.


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The Message from Merida (El Mensaje de Merida): An international call to action with specific policy guidelines to integrate wilderness and biodiversity conservation into global climate change strategy. Delivered to Copenhagen with 75 organizational co-signers and still growing.
The first international agreement on wilderness conservation, initiated by WILD and signed by the governments of Mexico, Canada and the US.
The first-ever Corporate Commitment to Wilderness, a results-oriented initiative for wilderness, signed initially by 15 corporations, with others to follow.
New protected areas in Mexico and elsewhere, including: a new private sector commitment of 50,000 hectares in the Carpathian mountains (Romania); the intention to create the first marine wilderness areas in the US and territories; a new coastal, Mangrove protected area in Mexico; and the commitment to significantly increase protected area coverage in the Yucatan.
Engaging young professionals on substantive issues of wilderness, biodiversity and climate change.
Creation of six new Intergovernmental Working Groups involving US, Canadian, Mexican, and other government agencies to stimulate ongoing collaboration on conservation matters concerning Payments for Ecosystem Services, Marine Wilderness, Recreation & Visitor Experience, Fire Management, Wildlife & Biodiversity, and Public-Private Partnerships.
Extensive Government agency collaboration NGO and indigenous partners to strengthen peer-to-peer networks and produce numerous targeted trainings, including:
     o The 2nd Global Wilderness Forum for Government Agencies,
     o Wilderness Management training (for 25 professionals from 15 countries and 4 tribal communities), plus the first accredited Wilderness Conservation
      training in Mexico (30 days, 25 NGO and government professionals)
     o Four-part Payments for Ecosystem Services workshop,
     o Climate Change Training for Protected Area Managers,
     o Wilderness Policy for Latin American Attorneys,
     o Four-part Global Wildlands Connectivity workshop,
     o The 2nd meeting of the Native Lands and Wilderness Council,
     o Four, two day training sessions on Wildlands and Water
     o Science and Stewardship sessions involving 200 professionals; and more.

• Communications and Conservation – Integrating media, culture, public opinion, science and policy, through:
  o Launching the new concept of wilderness as tierras silvestres (wilderness) in Latin American public awareness, professional endeavor and culture.
o The International League of Conservation Photographers (established at the 8th WWC in 2005), convened the largest, ever-assembled gathering of conservation photographers and their work; coordinated a four day symposium; managed four large galleries; and implemented the Yucatan RAVE, in which 32 international photographers documented the Yucatan ecosystem for seven weeks prior to WILD9. For the first time at an international Congress, the result of their work was then presented at the opening, illustrating the unique features of this ecologically classic and biologically/culturally important area.
o Extensive use of new, web-based communications tools to reach a large and diverse group of international participants beyond the delegates at WILD9.
o The world’s first series of postage stamps dedicated to international wilderness (featuring Russia, South Africa, Mexico and the US) produced by Unidos para la Conservación/WILD and the Mexican Postal Service, initiated at WILD9 by Mexico President Felipe Calderon.
o Establishment of the International League of Conservation Writers
o Extraordinarily wide media coverage in national newspapers and main-stream magazines (such as Este Pais, Elle, National Geographic, in-flight magazines).
o The launch of 3 books published in Spanish and English on wilderness and protected areas;
o Daily participation in the WILD9 Expo by thousands of Merida residents, including local school groups of all ages.
o Other outreach and cultural firsts such as: a project with local charities to create 20 life-size jaguar sculptures which now decorated the city of Merida; and “Body Painting - Applying the Ancient Art to Endangered Species and Spaces,” a stunning evening exhibition by 20 artists and models documented by five of the world’s top conservation photographers.
o WildScreen Film Festival (from WildScreen UK), free of charge, that showed to 1000 local residents.

• Marine
  o The formal launch of the Marine Wilderness Collaborative (MWC) to engage stakeholders in a consensus-driven process to define the term “marine wilderness” and set common objectives for the management of marine wilderness protected areas;
o Launch of a “New Vision for Protecting the Marine Wilderness of the Gulf of California”.

• Wilderness and Water – Announcements by the Government of Mexico including:
  o A new and important national standard starting in 2010, that sets minimum standards of adequate water flow in rivers to support wild lands and natural systems.
o A national inventory of wetlands to determine the current state of these ecosystems, learn about the goods and services it provides and consider measures for conservation and sustainable management.

National Geographic
Detrás de las Cámaras
Tierras Silvestres:
la esencia de México
Congreso WILD9
Hacia un paisaje de la esperanza
México Desconocido
"Naturaleza Silvestre"
Última frontera de la conservación
(Dowload PDF) (Dowload PDF) (Dowload PDF) (Dowload PDF)
Las Tierras Silvestres
y El Futuro Del Hombre
iBERIA Magazine
Tierras Silvestres
The Herald
Wilderness concept put forward as way to mitigate climate change
El Excelsior
Congreso Mundial
de Tierras Silvestres
(Dowload PDF) (Dowload PDF) (Dowload PDF) (Dowload PDF)

© 2011 Patricio Robles Gil. All rights reserved.
Every photograph on this site is available signed and numbered.
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