Photo Exhibit ‘National Parks: Taking Care of Nature’ Opens in Ljubljana – 18 Images

Visitors at National Geographic Anniversary exhibit in Tivoli Park Ljubljana

“National Parks: Taking Care of Nature”, a photo exhibition celebrating the national parks of the US and Slovenia through images taken by National Geographic photographers, opened yesterday in the Slovenian capital. Here are 18 images from the opening and the exhibit, enough to give you an idea without me pushing the bounds of copyright.

Nearly 100 images –half depicting scenes from national parks in the U.S. and half taken in Slovenia’s Triglav National Park– line the

Cross-posted from my blog, Piran Cafe.

Jakopič Promenade in Ljubljana’s sprawling central Tivoli park, a fitting setting for the theme. It’s definitely my favorite exhibit space in Ljubljana.

The exhibit, sponsored jointly by National Geographic, the City of Ljubljana and the U.S. Embassy, coincides with the U.S. National Park Services centenary, which is being celebrated this year, and the 10th anniversary of the Slovenian edition of National Geographic Magazine. The southern side of the promenade features images from U.S. Parks and the northern side from Slovenia. Each portion features works by 26 photographers.

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Five Central and Southern European Mayors Meet in Ljubljana for Sustainability Round Table: Notebook and Images

Zoran Jankovic and Kadir Topbas

Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic with Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul


Mayors of five central and Southern European cities met for an informal round table meeting in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on Thursday (March 10) to discuss ongoing efforts in their respective municipalities towards achieving urban sustainability. (See below for photo availability.)

Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Jankovic hosted the event which was also attended by Mayor of Sofia, Bulgaria, Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Budapest Istvan Tarlos, Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas, and Sinisa Mali, the Mayor of Belgrade. Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, from Slovenia, and Erion Veliaj, the mayor of Tirana, Albania, also addressed the attendees.

Some scattered notes:

Topbas on the refugee and migrant crisis: “You must keep your doors open”

In one of the more interesting exchanges, Topbas, who has served as Istanbul’s mayor since 2004, strayed briefly from the main theme to address in broader terms Europe’s most recent response to the ongoing refugee crisis which has effectively sealed entry into the EU at the Greek-Macedonian border.

“You must keep your doors open,” Topbas said, speaking through an interpreter. “Refugees and migrants will always find a way. If one is closed, another will be opened. We have to solve this problem. If not, the planet will be facing even bigger problems.”

“It is the cities where most (migrant-related) problems arise,” he said, adding that Istanbul is hosting more than 500,000 of the estimated 2.7 million refugees that Turkey claims are now in the country.

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Shark Fin Harvesting in Ecuador Revisited

Pile of shark fins, Manta, Ecuador

When I was in Ecuador in May 2013, I posted a brief summary on my blog of how a loophole in Ecuadoran law allowed fishermen to legally sell sharks that ended up in their nets. While shark fishing is officially outlawed, the law didn’t clearly define a distinction between landings that were accidental or intentional, which meant that plenty of dead sharks, young and old, were piling up on Ecuador’s coast each morning.

The main prize was the fin, which continued to command a lucrative price to help feed China’s insatiable appetite for shark fin soup. I spotted plenty of evidence during a couple brief walks along the morning fish markets in Manta and Puerto Lopez.

Young hammerhead sharks, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

Young hammerhead sharks at the morning fish market in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador, May 2013


In the following photo essay, Shark Fin Harvesting in Ecuador Revisited: ‘Sincere Efforts’ to Close Finning Loopholes Reported, I did some follow up work on the situation in Ecuador, and it looks promising. Certainly an improvement over the last widely reported English language report I’ve seen, a December 2011 story in The Global Post.

I was in touch with several experts who are closely monitoring conservation efforts on the ground in Ecuador: Pablo Xavier Guerrero Verduga, the Marine Coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund; Scott Henderson, Vice President for Conservation International in the Americas Field Division Marine Program; and Luis Suárez, Vice President of Conservation International-Ecuador.

Said Henderson:

“What is certain is that the Ecuadorian laws and system is much better than it used to be, and much better than most Latin American countries — indeed better than most countries, in general. This doesn’t mean it is perfect, but there have been sincere efforts to improve.”

Check out the full essay on Medium.