Menorca pReserve is a CBS project for sustainability and interpersonal growth.
It focuses on the preservation of the Menorca Biosphere reserve (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain).
The project uses art to draw attention on nature. The aim is to increase environmental awareness and encourage humans to approach nature with respect and develop pro-environmental behavior.
Reflection and aims
At Creatief Bureau Sassi, we believe that the common perception of a domesticated nature must change because it has reached its limit. Martin, Maris and Simberloff stated in 2016 in their article on society and conservation science, that human societies depend much more on nature than has usually been admitted, and that the exploitative attitude humans have toward nature is no longer durable. According to them, the current disruptive state of the whole biosphere (think of water/air pollution, eutrophication, acid rain, forest denudation, species extinction) is clearly a symptom of our exploitative attitude and points to a disturbed human-nature relationship.
So it is high time to rebalance and redefine our relationship with nature. Like Martin, Maris and Simberloff (2016) we believenature and natural entities, having their own dynamics and properties independent of our human goals, deserve moral respect. Therefore, it is important to reconsider the values we attribute to nature and natural entitiesand recognize our dependence on them (Martin, Maris, & Simberloff, 2016). This notion of respect will serve to shape a new human-nature relationship, sustainable for both humans and non-humans, and hopefully restore the biosphere.
It is known that pro-environmental conscious humans are more likely to express low-cost pro-environmental behavior (like recycling) and seem more willing to accept political changes that promote environmentally friendly behavior (e.g. higher fuel taxes or stricter building regulations) (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002; Diekmann & Franzen, 1996; Lehmann, 1999). Also, it is expected that human respect for nature and natural entitiesgrows whenthere is more environmental awareness (Martin, Maris, & Simberloff, 2016). Therefore, to contribute to the development of a balanced human–nature relation, the Menorca pReserve project focuses on creating more awareness on the different entities in conservation biology: populations, species, ecosystems, or landscapes. As nature and natural entitiescannot speak for themselves, the project is there to give them a voice(Martin, Maris, & Simberloff, 2016).
Figure 1. The CBS artist created a print from a natural entity emphasizing on its beauty and uniqueness and added a play on words to reinforce the appeal of the image.
According to Kollmuss & Agyeman (2002) environmental awareness has both an affective, perception-based component and a cognitive, knowledge-based component. Accordingly, the Guerrilla Art for Conservation Biology project responds to both components. The affective component of the project is the use of art and language to emphasize the beauty and uniqueness of each natural entity. And the cognitive component relies in briefly informing humans about how each natural entitylives, flourishes, and reproduces. From this, a collection of images (prints) from landscapes, soils and living organisms each with their matching word game have been created (Figure 1). And each image in the collection is accompanied by a small informative text about the represented entity (Figure 2). Those images are free to use by any NGO (after consultation) to help them raise money or illustrate a project/campaign.
Figure 2. CBS’s Biologist explains in a short text how eachrepresented natural entity lives, flourishes, and reproduces and gives some handy tips & tricks for their conservation. In this example, it’s Soccarrell bord.
Thereby, at Creatief Bureau Sassi, we expect that the Menorca pReserve project will enhance low-cost pro-environmental behavior as it promotes environmental awareness and respect. And, with that, we hope to contribute to the development of a balanced human–nature relation.
Diekmann, A. & Franzen, A. (1996). Einsicht in o ̈kologische Zusammenha ̈nge un d Umweltver- halten, in: R. Kaufmann- Hayoz & A. Di Giulio (Eds)Umweltproblem Mensch: Humanwis- senschaftliche Zusammenhange zu umweltverantwortlichem Handeln (Bern, Verlag Paul Haupt).
Kollmuss, A., & Agyeman, J. (2002). Mind the Gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior?, Environmental Education Research, 8:3, 239-260, DOI: 10.1080/13504620220145401
Lehmann , J. (1999). Befunde empirischer Forschung zu Umweltbildung und Umweltbewusstsein (Opladen, Leske un d Budrich).
Martin, J.-L. , Maris, V., & Simberloff, D. S. (2016). The need to respect nature and its limits challenges society and conservation science PNAS, 113 (22) 6105-6112
Montmollin, B. de, Strahm, W. (2007). La lista “Top 50” de especies vegetales amenazadas de las islas del Mediterráneo : 50 especies silvestres al borde de la extinción, y las acciones para salvarlas.
Pasta, S., Perez-Graber, A., Fazan, L. and Montmollin, B. de. (2017). Femeniasia balearica. Retrieved from https://top50.iucn-mpsg.org/species/30