Award-winning media expeditions

Wildlands Expedition

Latin America
  • Dates: 2012-2013 (14 months)
  • Partnered with the World Land Trust (WLT)

Bethan John undertook this solo expedition across 10 countries – from the top to the tail of South America – working alongside conservation scientists in some of the most biodiverse places on Earth. The objective of this project was to carry out in-depth interviews and research into the success and failures of conservation programmes on-the-ground, creating site visit reports and multimedia projects. 

The project culminated in producing a publication for WLT’s Alliance for Conservation, a network of 30 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working together to preserve global biodiversity. In researching and writing the 50,000 word handbook, Bethan drew together the combined knowledge and expertise of the members of the Alliance, as a tool for knowledge sharing and capacity building. 

Rainforest Journalist

Peruvian Amazon 
  • Dates: 2016-2017 (10 months)
  • Working for the Crees Foundation

This was a multimedia reporting assignment based at a research station in Manu Biosphere Reserve, Peru’s south-eastern Amazon, working in-the-field with research scientists. The objective of this project was to raise public awareness about the research being conducted at the field site, specifically the biodiversity value of regenerating tropical forests. 

The project culminated in the creation of a Multimedia Internship; a three-month experiential educational programme that provides hands-on training in media skills and career development. By creating and running this course, Bethan ensured that a wealth of promotional materials were being created at the research station to promote their work, while providing students with training and mentorship from media professionals to improve their career prospects.

Voices on the Road

Peruvian Amazon 
  • Dates: 2018 (6 weeks) 
  • Funded by the Scientific Exploration Society (SES) & the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL)

Voices on the Road was a co-led expedition to investigate and report on a road being built through a protected area of the Peruvian Amazon and its impact on indigenous communities. The objective of this project was to unearth stories on environmental and social injustices taking place in Manu Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The project culminated in a documentary that was Officially Selected at film festivals worldwide and is now available to stream on WaterBear – the first video on demand platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Along with the film, Bethan published a series of articles that exposed the challenges facing indigenous communities in Manu, such as the corrupt police at the heart of cocaine trafficking within their ancestral territory. I am also co-ordinating an Impact Campaign aimed at working with stakeholder groups in Manu to find solutions to these issues. 

Defensoras

Bolivia 
  • Dates: Sept-Nov 2022 (6 weeks) 
  • Funded by One World Media & the SES

Defensoras is a collaborative expedition with female indigenous leaders across Bolivia to report on human rights abuses and environmental destruction. The objective of this up-coming project is to amplify the plight of indigenous women, who face deep-root sexism and systematic discrimination as they fight to protect their territories from exploitation by oil companies, mega-dam projects, illegal road building and many other threats. 

The project will culminate in the production of a variety of multimedia outputs – a documentary, community-made films, articles and photography – with the objectives of sharing knowledge between indiegous communities across Bolivia and gaining international media coverage to create an on-the-ground impact.