Award-winning wildlife photographer and Canon brand ambassador Jonathan Scott is calling for the use of photography in disseminating wildlife conservation messages to send a strong warning to perpetrators of illegal wildlife trade.
Addressing journalists at the Ivory Burning picnic site in Nairobi National Park on Monday, the English-born photographer said Kenya should not risk losing its grip on wildlife conservation and management to anti-conservationists.
Scott, who made a two-hour morning game drive in the park with local photojournalists, bloggers and wildlife photographers, narrated his eventful journey in wildlife photography and how the current generation can use pictures to send a strong conservation message to the world.
The conservationist is the brain behind the acclaimed BBC series Big Cat Diary in 2009. He has fond memories of the burning of ivory both in 1989 and 2016 during presidents Daniel Moi and Uhuru Kenyatta respectively, which sent a stern message to the world that Kenya values its wildlife heritage.
"We were all gathered at the ivory burning site with our cameras rolling around the ivory stockpile where the burning took place, the whole world was astonished; why is Kenya burning billions of money? That was the question being asked by the media across the globe at that time," narrated Scott.
The renowned wildlife photographer underlined the power of social media through photography, in relaying real time information of wildlife conservation and management across the globe.
Jonathan and Angela Scott will this evening facilitate a complimentary Canon Academy Wildlife Photography Master class through numerous learning sessions at the Nairobi National Museum to mark the start of Kenya's second edition of the Canon Discovery Week. The training brings together professional and non-professional photography enthusiasts across the country, in an effort to share features of latest Canon technological equipment.
The presentation will also feature the couple's work to date and provide technical approach on handling photography with modern equipment. They have so far documented several books including 'The Marsh Lions'-1982, 'Antarctica: Exploring the Fragile Eden, among others.
Jonathan and his wife Angela Scott are the only couple to individually win the prestigious Wildlife Photographer award.
Various seminars delivered by the Scotts across Africa, India and Europe have majored on encouraging good practices in the tourism industry, with regards to predators and creating awareness about leopards.
Speaking at the event, Ag. KWS Director Parks and Reserves, Dr. Charles Musyoki stressed the need for embracing current technology in profiling national parks and reserves across the country as a way to market tourism destinations.