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‘Coral Reefs, a Challenge for Humanity’ display, France


September 15, 2018 - November 9, 2018


SNCF Paris-Gare de Lyon, Place Louis-Armand, 75571 Paris, France

In celebration of the International Year of the Reef photographer Alexis Rosenfeld and journalist Alexie Valois worked together to create ‘Coral Reefs, a Challenge for Humanity’.

‘Coral Reefs, a Challenge for Humanity’ retraces over 400 hours of open water diving by photojournalist Alexis Rosenfeld over the course of two years in the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, the Red Sea and the Caribbean regions. Alexis worked with journalist, Alexie Valois to shed light on these unique seascapes, and showcase a panoramic view of the reefs with their gigantic proportions and the myriad of majestic marine species. The exhibit raises awareness about the dramatic changes that are currently occurring underwater, and the need for each and every one of us to get to know and protect all life forms, including those hidden under the oceans’ surface.

Grandiose yet fragile, coral reefs are among the most threatened ecosystems. Experts argue that over half of them are severally threatened. Corals are indeed highly sensitive to any modification to their natural environment. They have difficulty coping with temperature rises, ocean acidification and pollution derived from a variety of human activities. And when coral dies, associated fauna and flora which reef communities are made of are directly threatened too. Yet, the livelihood of half a billion people directly depends on these ecosystems, which shelter them from storm surges. The economy of coastal dwellers in tropical regions largely depends on the physical protection barrier reefs provide. These huge nurseries are essential fish habitats and a major source of protein for many reef-dependant communities. Reef species represent over a third of all marine biodiversity. And there is still a lot to discover. Destroying them is tantamount to threatening the entire marine food chain, and endangering the lives of current and future populations. For the sake of mankind, it is therefore urgent to take effective measures to sustainably manage coastal zones and preserve coral reefs from damage. If we manage to reduce all human pressures on these precious ecosystems, we will give them time to adapt to global changes.

Concerned by this “challenge for humanity”, SNCF Gares & Connexions has decided to support this photographic exhibition and offers passengers and passers-by at Paris’ Gare de Lyon the opportunity to witness these photographs, depicting the fragile beauty of the world.