When taking a drink is as easy as turning a tap, it is easy to forget that our water supply is fragile and that hundreds of millions of people do not have clean drinking water or proper sanitation. The human impact on our land, the oceans and the climate is endangering our future. In a world accustomed to instant gratification and immediate consumption, we need more than ever long-term thinking and action to safeguard our natural resources.Award-winning French photographer and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand reminds us that water is precious and that we need a new approach to protect the planet's vital elements.This is the first essay in the Big Ideas series created by the European Investment Bank. The EIB has invited international thought leaders to write about the most important issues of the day. These essays are a reminder that we need new thinking to protect the environment, promote equality and improve people's lives around the globe.
About the Author
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, born in 1946, has always had a passion for the animal world and nature.To mark the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Yann decided to launch a vast photographic project about the world and its people: Earth from the Air. The book has sold more than 3 million copies. The accompanying open-air photo exhibition, presented in around 100 countries, has been viewed by some 200 million people.Continuing his commitment to the environment, Yann established the GoodPlanet Foundation. Since 2005, this non-governmental organisation has sought to educate people about the environment and climate change.In recognition of his dedication, Yann Arthus-Bertrand was designated Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme in 2009. That year he made his first full-length feature film, HOME, which deals with the state of our planet and has been watched by some 600 million people.In 2011, with Michael Pitiot, he co-directed the film PLANET OCEAN, which was previewed in June 2012 at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.In 2015, his film HUMAN was previewed simultaneously at the Venice Film Festival and at the United Nations General Assembly in the presence of Ban Ki-Moon. Through his many stories recounting love and happiness, but also hatred and violence, HUMAN challenges us and makes us think about how we live.That same year, at Cop21, Yann presented another film, TERRA, illustrating the magnificence of life.Yann Arthus-Bertrand has now embarked on a new challenge, a film called WOMAN.