ADAM OSWELL is an Australian photographer and producer of media products focusing mainly on conservation issues within the Asian region. He has worked for Bloomberg News, The South China Morning Post, TIME Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, Asian Geographic, The World Conservation Union (IUCN), The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), WildAid, WWF International and the United Nations Development Programme.
Based in Thailand since 1986 and travelling extensively in the region for over 20 years, he has witnessed first-hand the rapid destruction of the regions biodiversity as a result of massive economic growth and development. For the past 10 years he has focused on wildlife conservation and the battle against the trade in endangered species.
Following the release in 2005 of ‘Black Market: Inside the Endangered Species Trade in Asia’, Palace Press, a project Adam initiated and produced with author Ben Davies, an online resource and reporting mechanism on the issue was launched in June 2007: Wildlife 1.
Wildlife 1 is a dedicated resource and reporting mechanism for monitoring wildlife trade and conservation issues in Asia. Education and transparency are keys to changing attitudes. A sustainable wildlife resource base is vital to ensure biodiversity, human health and food security. The global trade in wildlife is massive, it is now one of the biggest threats facing wildlife on our planet, worth over US$10 Billion per year and second only to the trade in drugs and arms. Wildlife trade, driven by burgeoning human economies, and the unsustainable demand of consumer tastes, has driven countless species to the verge of extinction, and has led to the collapse of animal food chains across the region. Wildlife 1 clearly illustrates how rapidly wild species are becoming critically endangered, and why the issue must be urgently and effectively addressed before it is too late.
The project highlights the acts of abuse perpetrated against animals conveyed through powerful photography and factual account, but also of the cultural and institutionalised traditions that drive a large part of the market coupled with the crippling poverty and corruption that seeks to exploit the lucrative and fragile resource of exotic and endangered species. It offers hope for our plundered ecosystems in the form of education, awareness and public interaction. Education being the key to changing attitudes of present, and most importantly, future generations – of understanding that livelihoods can be earned other than through destruction of nature and that our anthropocentric vision can be broadened to appreciate and respect a diversity and richness beyond our own lives and needs.
Log in to wildlife1.org and see what you can do to help save our precious wildlife before it is too late.