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Protecting Canada's Forests

Paul Zizka Q&A

Paul Zizka

Canadian National Parks Photographer

Mediaplanet spoke with Canadian landscape and adventure photographer Paul Zizka on his passion for photography and the importance of protecting Canada’s natural beauty and forests.

How has your experience as a Canadian nature photographer shaped your appreciation for the importance of protecting Canada’s forests?

I believe seeing the world through the lens enables me to be a more acute observer of the wilderness. Venturing into wooded areas with the camera helps me take in the true beauty and complexity of forest environments, from the tiny details to the big scenes.

In your view, what role do Canada’s forests play in maintaining the country’s unique landscapes, biodiversity, and ecological balance?

As an artist, I feel our forests play a crucial role from a purely aesthetic standpoint. I would argue that forests are in large part responsible for Canada’s iconic beauty. They are also environments that support an incredible web of life and offer a unique array of recreational opportunities to our own species. People are more likely to care for and protect our forested spaces when they spend time in them. 

Could you share a memorable moment from your photography journey that underscores the significance of preserving Canada’s forests?

Any time spent above treeline, in the harsh, comparatively lifeless world of snow and ice of the Canadian Rockies allows me to glance down at the seemingly endless cloaks of green below and appreciate all of the life and magic that is harboured in the forests.

How have this year’s wildfires impacted your perspective as a Canadian nature photographer and your commitment to advocating for the protection of Canada’s forests in your work?

This year’s events have been an impactful reminder of how precious and unique our forests are and of the urgency of documenting those environments and showcasing their beauty. Fire is a natural part of the lifecycle of our forests, but these unprecedented and widespread wildfires have offered a sobering reminder of what’s at stake with our changing climate.

As an advocate for nature through your photography, what message do you hope to convey to the public about the urgent need to conserve and sustain Canada’s precious forest ecosystems?

I hope that fellow Canadians can take time to immerse themselves in forested environments, to put some effort into connecting with these special places and get a feel for how interconnected all of the forest-dependent organisms are, including ourselves. From city to national parks, there are many opportunities in Canada to get amongst the trees.

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