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Yann Bigant

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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About Yann
Yann Bigant is an independent photographer, photojournalist and drone operator focusing on conservation and environmental issues in Southeast Asia.

He is committed to stories highlighting the impacts of human activities on wildlife along with more hopeful tales showcasing the dedicated work of conservationists attempting to stem the tide of extinction. His recent work on the large-scale trade of animals for Buddhist's 'life release' practice was featured on the cover of South China Morning Post magazine.

He studied engineering in France and architecture in China, where he lived and worked before moving to Cambodia. He has been involved in environmental work for more than 10 years, co-organizing a scientific expedition to Greenland, developing conservation projects in Indonesia and communicating on environmental issues for the NGO Naturevolution.

His personal fine art practice explores in sensitive photographs the relationships we develop with remote and overlooked landscapes, and has been exhibited in festivals and galleries.

Yann is fluent in English, French and Mandarin Chinese.

For a detailed bio and more of his work, visit www.yannbigant.com
English French Chinese (Mandarin)
Feature Stories Investigative Journalism Photography
Science & Environment Investigative Reporting Research









Further and Further Away

18 Mar 2024  |  mekongreview.com
The Lower Sesan 2, Cambodia's largest hydropower dam, has been described as a development disaster, akin to climate disasters in its unnaturalness and avoidable consequences. Impact assessments predicted the displacement of Indigenous villagers, disruption of fish migration, and a significant reduction in the Mekong basin's fish biomass, affecting the diets and livelihoods of thousands.

How animals suffer for Buddhists to earn spiritual points

24 Jan 2024  |  www.scmp.com
In Cambodia, the Buddhist practice of life release, intended to earn spiritual merit by freeing animals, results in suffering and death for millions of birds and other wildlife annually. Despite the ritual's compassionate intent, the commercial trapping and selling of animals for release has led to high mortality rates, environmental disturbance, and the decline of several bird species. Conservationists and some Buddhist communities are advocating for sustainable alternatives, such as donations to wildlife organizations, to protect Cambodia's wildlife while maintaining the practice's spiritual goals.

What future for the lemurs of Madagascar?

21 Dec 2022  |  www.naturevolution.org
Lemurs, unique primates found only in Madagascar, are the most endangered mammals in the world. The 2020 update of the IUCN Red List highlighted their critical status, with nearly all lemur species facing extinction. Deforestation, climate change, and poaching are the main threats to their survival. Madagascar has lost 40% of its forest cover between 1950 and 2000, and the situation is worsening. Protected areas have had some positive impact on forest cover but are only partially successful in halting biodiversity decline and often lack funding. The Makay region, with its diverse habitats and microclimatic gradients, could be a crucial refuge for lemurs, offering a north-south corridor for species migration and adaptation to climate change.

In Quest of Stars in Sulawesi

10 Aug 2021  |  www.naturevolution.org
During initial dives in Matarape Bay, Sulawesi, the presence of the Crown-of-Thorns starfish, a significant threat to Indo-Pacific coral ecosystems, was noted. Despite their natural role in coral predation, population explosions of these starfish have led to extensive coral mortality. Human factors such as nutrient enrichment from waste and fertilizers, climate change, and overfishing of predators are implicated in these outbreaks. Local and regional communities heavily reliant on coral reefs for sustenance and employment stand to lose greatly from reef degradation. Collaborative efforts, including a local reef monitoring network and participatory science, are being implemented to manage and mitigate the impact of these starfish, with initiatives like OREANET playing a crucial role. The article also discusses the broader implications for the Coral Triangle and the importance of maintaining healthy reefs for marine biodiversity and human societies.

Safeguarding Sulawesi's Giant Clams

19 Apr 2021  |  www.naturevolution.org
Habib, founder of Toli Toli Giant Clam Conservation in Sulawesi, has dedicated the past decade to protecting giant clams, which are crucial for the health of Pacific coral reefs. The organization has relocated 8,000 clams of 8 different species to no-take zones, with local fishermen's agreement, to safeguard them from illegal fishing. Giant clams contribute to reef biodiversity and act as natural water filters. Despite their protected status in Indonesia and CITES regulations, they face threats from overfishing, the aquarium trade, and environmental impacts from mining and agriculture. Naturevolution has partnered with Toli Toli to further conservation efforts, including creating a new shelter for giant clams within the Teluk Lasolo protected area.

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