January 20, 2020

Durrell’s ‘Birdman’ is hero of new short film about climate change

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Durrell is delighted to announce the release of ‘The Birdman’, a short film that tells the inspiring story of Durrell’s Chief Scientist.

Professor Carl Jones MBE, who has worked with Durrell for 40 years, has probably saved more species from extinction than any other conservationist, as well as inspired many people around the world to take up the conservation cause.

Jones, ‘The Birdman’ in the film, has helped to save five bird species from extinction, as well as three reptiles, a fruit bat and several plants. He is best known for his work in conserving the Mauritius kestrel, which at one point had just four individuals left in the world. In 2016 Jones won the Indianapolis Prize, widely regarded as the Nobel Prize for conservation.

Set in Wales and on the beautiful island of Mauritius, the film confronts the damage humans have done to the planet, and highlights Jones’ achievements and pioneering approach to conservation and how he wants to “make the world a more magical, complex and beautiful place.”

The film was made in partnership with Volvo Car UK as part of its ‘Defiant Pioneers’ series and will be screened by Sky Atlantic on Monday 20 January.

Through this partnership, Volvo is kindly supporting three Durrell projects. Volvo’s donation will go towards the reintroduction of European wildcats and white storks to the UK. In addition, Volvo is supporting Durrell’s ‘Recover the Atlantic Forest’ initiative, which aims to plant 17,000 trees in this lush rainforest that extends along the Atlantic coast and inland in southern Brazil, neutralising approximately 2,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Planting these trees will create a wildlife corridor to connect isolated forest fragments and give threatened wildlife a chance to thrive again. This is vital to tackling climate change as forests that are rich in wildlife are more efficient at capturing carbon.

Durrell’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lesley Dickie, said: “The crisis facing our beautiful planet is at tipping point and we need people to step up and take action. I hope that Volvo’s laudable commitment to bring about change by reviewing and adapting its own environmental impact, as well as supporting Durrell’s conservation projects, will inspire both individuals and businesses that they too can do something to have a positive impact on our environment. We have been delighted to work with Volvo and Sky Atlantic on this short film that tells the compelling story of our Chief Scientist, Professor Carl Jones, a man who has probably saved more species from extinction than any other conservationist and despite the odds being against him, has never given up.”

Volvo has ambitious plans to de-carbonise both its products and its global operations and ultimately become a climate-neutral business by 2040. The firm has already announced that by 2025 it aims to reduce the lifecycle carbon footprint per car by 40%, reduce carbon emissions from both supply chain and global manufacturing and logistics operations by 25%, and for half the cars it sells globally to be fully electric.

Georgina Williams, Head of Marketing at Volvo Car UK, said: “Volvo Cars has one of the most ambitious climate strategies of any carmaker, based on tangible, short-term actions. Our latest sponsorship campaign with Sky Atlantic is a powerful depiction of someone who has made it his life’s work to protect and conserve our natural environment. It has been a privilege to work with Professor Carl Jones and Durrell, whose work has inspired us in our mission.”

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