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The Human Impact on the Environment

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Everything we humans need to survive and thrive comes from nature’s life-giving ecosystems – the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. A healthy environment means healthy humans, animals, and ecosystems. 

World Environment Day 

Started by the United Nations, World Environment Day has been celebrated annually on 5 June since 1974. It is a day for governments, businesses, and the general population to reflect and educate themselves on urgent environmental issues. 

World Environment Day 2020’s theme is biodiversity. Biodiversity is the assortment of plant and animal life in a particular habitat. Sadly, the world is in the throes of the sixth mass extinction with plants, animals, and invaluable ecosystems under threat. 

Whale linocut entry into Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020
Noah Warnes

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is working to protect some of the world’s most threatened wildlife across Africa and Asia. If we lose these species to extinction, the knock-on effect on the ecosystems they inhabit could be devastating.  

Our impact on the environment has been underscored in recent events, with bushfires choking Australia, Brazil and Thailand, insect infestations swarming across East Africa, and the current pandemic that has the world assiduously washing our hands in disgrace (and antibacterial soap).

Humans are dependent on our environment; if our world goes out of balance the consequences will be dire and those affected most are today’s youth? 

The Human Impact Category in Wildlife Artist of the Year 

In these exceptional times, DSWF has been encouraging young artists aged between 17 and 22 to enter the relatively new Human Impact category in our international art competition Wildlife Artist of the Year

The Human Impact category uses art to start uncomfortable conversations about the degradation humans are having on our environment.

Mouse pen and watercolour entry into Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020
Simran Kotecha
Human impact winner 2019 Wildlife artist of the year
Sofiya Shukhova

Snake pen entry into Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020
Simran Kotecha

The insightful artworks entered in this category are conversation starters, not wallflowers, and possess a strong environmental message, whether it is plastic pollution in the ocean, the abuse of animals in the beauty industry or suffocating air pollution. 

Watch this educational video as the Human Impact judges discuss the role art can play in creating awareness for the environment. 

Smoke pen and ink entry into Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020
Scarlett Henderson

Human Impact Category Winner 

This year’s Human Impact category winner was Bath’s Scarlett Henderson. She won for her  artwork ‘There’s No Smoke Without Fire.’ 

The judges particularly loved Scarlett’s use of dots as a representation of pollution particles in the smoke cloud.

By purchasing artworks from Wildlife Artist of the Year you are helping DSWF turn the tide on extinction. You are also amplifying the environmental messages these young artists are conveying through their powerful artworks.

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