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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

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Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
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court2003



Registered: November 2020
City/Town/Province: Abbotsford
Posts: 1
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When I was younger, Free Willy and its sequels were my favourite movies. The franchise features young teenagers actively protecting and caring about the wildlife around them, specifically the whales in their community that are constantly being mistreated by power-hungry men. The films were empowering to watch as a young child and they demonstrated something I fully believed in but hadn't yet found the words to describe: conservation.


Conservation is described as being composed of several major pieces: protecting species from extinction, maintaining and restoring habitats, enhancing ecosystem services and protecting biological diversity. It's a wordy definition that stumbles awkwardly off your tongue but it comes to a very simple, major theme, being: the wildlife around us is important and we need to do our best to protect it. That displayal of care is demonstrated in a varying amount of ways depending on the person. Some create positive, physical contributions to their community by planting trees or picking up garbage. Others choose to remove graffiti and build sustainable gardens. Each and every option is equally valid and important. For this project, I took the more informative route and decided to use the social platform Instagram as a way of informing others about conservation and wildlife issues.



This summer, I created a shared Instagram account with my friend as a way of advocating for change and speaking up about things we are passionate about. Before I began brainstorming for this project, one of the Instagram posts I'd made had recently been reposted by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi as it featured his work on anti-racism, and his repost received 28,860 likes. It was a surreal accomplishment and our Instagram account's follower count soared. I knew that our posts had gathered a significantly larger audience and I wanted to be able to use my (albeit limited) influence to direct their attention to several conservation issues I found daunting, but important.


I began with doing research. And more research. And a bit more. I compiled every scrap of information I could find on conservation issues and efforts into a disorganized Google Doc. I then took my research and gathered it into a presentable collection of informational graphics educating the reader on several key issues from several subcategories. I chose to highlight in particular endangered species and threatened ecosystems, and listed concrete ways anyone could help out.


Once satisfied and having considered it completed, I added a caption, tagged those where credit was due, and pressed "Post". It's a bizarre feeling to know that the work you have been channeling your mind and energy into is now public for those across the globe to consider and react to. It was intimidating but I felt a surge of delight knowing that I had done what I felt necessary within my power to share, in my small sphere of influence, what I was passionate about.



I've recently gone vegetarian (and hope to make more drastic dietary changes like going vegan when I move out and am not dependent on my family's grocery bill), and this new awareness of the products I consume has allowed me to care more deeply about the animals I am choosing not to eat. This route is not for everyone, understandably, but for me it felt like a great boost in my awareness of conservation. The values I practice being a vegetarian have gone hand in hand with the values I hope to represent through my other conservation efforts.


No one thing is too small or insignificant. Even the simplest desire to conserve more, protect more and care more is a strong enough start in the right direction. Our planet is a beautiful, wondrous place that we are all privileged to share with incredible wildlife. It is our duty to insure, in whatever way we can, that the scale of life is balanced between our own innate needs and that of others.
Date: November 30, 2020 Views: 800 File size: 13.4kb, 81.6kb : 1445 x 2048
Hours Volunteered: 5
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17
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