Yann Arthus-Bertrand was a spritely 30 year-old when, in 1976, he decamped to Kenya to photograph the Masai Mara National Reserve from hot balloons. So ensconced was he in the beauty of the landscape he captured, that he became determined spend the rest of his life preserving it. On returning to France in 1981 he published a photography book Lions, and subsequently became an international journalist, reporter and photographer, specialising in sports, wildlife and aerial photography.
It was in 1993 that that he was invited by UNESCO to embark on an in-depth study of the earth. Having witnessed first hand the damage the human population was doing the environment, he produced a book of the most beautiful, but most endangered landscapes. The book from this project la Terre vue du ciel (Earth from Above) has sold over 3 million copies and has been translated into 24 languages.
In 2005 he founded the environmental organisation GoodPlanet, based around the idea that everyone can do something for the planet. The programme now operates the world over, funding renewable energies, energy efficiency, reforestation and local educating through small initiatives that are funded by larger corporations and businesses.
Today, much of Yann's work now focuses on the preservation and conservation of oceans and shorelines; in order to fund the programme GoodPlanet has launched a new initiative 'Time for the Planet' with horological heavyweight Omega. OMEGA has an on-going relationship with GoodPlanet; in 2012 OMEGA produced Arthus-Bertrand's film 'Planet Ocean', which was eventually shown at events across the globe including a special screening at the United Nations, New York City. But the 'Planter Ocean' campaign meant the horologists could become involved on a deeper level. This was paramount for Yann, 'when OMEGA asked me how it could be involved in GoodPlanet, I was overjoyed because it meant our project would go ahead' Yann says of OMEGA's involvement in 'Time for the Planet'.
OMEGA then commissioned the creation of its Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GoodPlanet GMT watch. A tribute to the foundation and with positive work it does for the environment and underwater ecosystems. A large portion of the proceeds from the watch will go towards the funding of local education projects and the conservation of mangroves and seagrasses in Bahoi and Tanakeke Island in Indonesia. President of OMEGA Stephen Urquhart described the importance of the project, saying, "We are proud to be a part of these remarkable projects and to have supported a film that shows how we can all help contribute to the health of the oceans, the source of all life on Earth."
Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand share the details of our involvement in Indonesia and our work with GoodPlanet.
With the unfaultering support and respect from a brand such as OMEGA, Yann and 'Time for the Planet' continues their fiercely ambitious and driven campaign for awareness.
If you want to find out more about the project, OMEGA or the Seamaster watch, go to http://www.omegawatches.com/planet-omega/social/planet-ocean