Jaime Rojo at World Press Photo
Spanish photographer Jaime Rojo speaks at the World Press Photo Exhibition to discuss the story behind his awarded image “Monarchs in the snow,” a powerful representation of the effects of climate change.
For over a decade, photographer Jaime Rojo has documented the winter sanctuaries of the Monarch Butterflies in Mexico. On March 2016 a historic snowstorm hit the mountains of Central Mexico creating a havoc in the colonies just when they were starting their migration back to U.S.A. and Canada. Rojo’s image Monarchs in the snow, which shows thousands of Monarch butterflies lying in the snow after the storm, was among the winners of the 2017 edition of World Press Photo Awards.
The winter gathering of monarch butterflies in the forests of Central Mexico is an iconic wildlife spectacle of North America, but the population of these insects has suffered a 90% decline in the last two decades due to the expansion of industrial agriculture and use of broad-spectrum herbicides in the U.S. and Canada, and to the deforestation of their roosting sites in Mexico. This dramatic decline can impact their ability to resist threats severe weather events, which are expected to increase in an era of climate change. Monarch butterflies are long-distant migrants, environmental indicators, and a flagship species among the pollinators family, and any conservation actions oriented to protect their habitat will benefit many other species.
About Jaime Rojo
Jaime Rojo combines his passion for wild nature, his storytelling skills and his training in environmental sciences to elaborate visual projects that help reconnect the public with the natural world. He was born and raised in Spain and in 2004 he moved to Mexico to work with different environmental organizations. Since then he has coordinated conservation initiatives such as the San Pedro Mezquital campaign to protect the last free-flowing river in the Western Sierra Madre or The Natural Numbers, an online series that questions our use of the natural capital of our planet. He is a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a Trustee of The WILD Foundation and a recipient of the Philipp Hyde Award by the North American Nature Photography Association.
The World Press Photo Exhibition will be on show at Dupont Underground from November 3 to November 26.