Jean Louis Teyssié was a radioecologist at the International Atomic Energy Agency https://www.iaea.org
“The atom for peace” is the motto of the IAEA which advocates nuclear sciences and develops nuclear techniques to study the impacts of nuclear and non-nuclear contamination in aquatic, terrestrial and aerial ecosystems associated with climate change: https://www.iaea.org/topics/climate-change and https://www.iaea.org/bulletin/mass-melt-a-new-nuclear-application-to-predict-the-future-of-glaciers and ocean acidification https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/what-is-ocean-acidification at the Monaco laboratory: https://www.iaea.org/about/organizational-structure/department-of-nuclear-sciences-and-applications/division-of-iaea-environment-laboratories/radioecology-laboratory
Environmental therapy is one of the main objectives of this United Nations organization.
The IAEA received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
Passionate about Nature, JLT tries to raise awareness among the general public, through underwater photography and video, of the application of basic precautionary principles in terms of management of aquatic ecosystems. He explores rivers, streams, torrents, waterfalls, canyons, high mountain lakes in the south of France to photograph and film the expressions of life in fresh waters.
JLT tries to apply the results of scientific laboratory research in the field by favoring heritage management and intelligent monitoring of ecosystems via bioindication to protect biodiversity.
Who knows the caddisfly, the simulid, the stonefly, the white-clawed crayfish, the blageon, the sculpin, the gerris? Cleaners, recyclers, filterers, aquatic animals depollute the water in our rivers. Each living entity has had a specific role in the balance of freshwater ecosystems for millions of years. Useful and creative, life expresses itself in aquatic ecosystems to surprise us with its biodiversity.
Bioindicators of clean water, diplomats of biodiversity, the people of water are little known to the general public. To discover it is to learn to know it in order to better protect it and better protect yourself. He is our ally. To selfishly ignore it is to lose the memory of millennia-old biodiversity and become deserts of resources.
This people has been threatened for a hundred years by our industrial, agricultural, household, over-tourist activities, our neglect of comfort, our waste. If it disappears from our waterfalls, the water will no longer be cleaned or balanced naturally. It will be polluted and unfit for consumption. The water people provide human beings with clean water. Without these cleaners, these aquatic sentinels, water treatments would be more and more sophisticated, expensive to have the luxury of drinking water in taps and toilets (France is a country which uses drinking water in flushing toilets to evacuate urine and feces: (https://www.francetvinfo.fr/meteo/secheresse/plan-eau-pourquoi-tire-t-on-encore-la-chasse-avec-de-l-eau-potable_5735690.html)
The biodiversity at our feet is in danger. Knowing it better means better protecting our rivers and its inhabitants from anthropogenic stress and climate change. From water to pixel, the main thing is to bring information to the general public. There is no need to go to the antipodes to photograph the exotic flora and fauna, the local trip is at our feet and the total change of scenery in a few centimeters of fresh water. This photo site reveals “The water of life”, a precious asset that each of us must preserve. Only ecological citizenship, communication and education will save our aquatic heritage.
JLT presents an extract from his underwater photographic work. He exhibits at the United Nations in Geneva, Vienna, Monaco, Cevennes and on the Côte d’Azur in France.
BIODIVERSITY AND BIOINDICATION
Biodiversity is an explosion of expressions of life. All species on our planet have specific characteristics that are very useful to men who seek information for their comfort. Man copies Nature to optimize his technology. He finds food and medicine there. To destroy nature is to destroy yourself. Badly managing your natural resources means disappearing.
Water is everyone’s good and it is high time to make it known to the general public so that it can be managed well and wasted less. The water of our rivers is home to astonishing biodiversity, threatened by the human activities of a society in a phase of overconsumption, waste and overtourism. Each animal, from the smallest to the most visible, has a specific role within the food chains of our waterways. Their disappearance signals an imbalance in the river and generates polluted water unfit for our consumption. The aquatic animals in our waterways are the guarantors of healthy water. More or less sensitive to pollutants, they survive with difficulty or they disappear from their ecological niche.
Bioindication (https://professionnels.ofb.fr/fr/node/369) and biodiversity (https://biodiversite.gouv.fr/la-biodiversite-cest-quoi) (https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/biodiversite-presentation-et-information-cles) (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity) are complementary. The animal and plant species that inhabit our planet are sensitive to ecosystem contamination. They react specifically. These are sentinels or bioindicators (https://www.cnrs.fr/cw/dossiers/dosbiodiv/index.php?pid=decouv_chapC_p7_d1&zoom_id=zoom_d1_5) (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioindicator)
Some species disappear, others resist and accumulate (bio-accumulators), retain, metabolize, bio-magnify, transmit the contaminants released by humans into the food chains. The absence and presence of these bioindicators or bio-markers (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomarqueur) inform us of the health of ecosystems and the interventions to be carried out to rehabilitate them.
These interventions can be better targeted if the resistant species specify the type of contamination. It is easier and less expensive to measure contaminants concentrated in a living organism than dissolved in water, air or sediments. These bioindicators reflect the health of the biodiversity of our rivers.
The main inorganic and organic contaminants in waterways are micro and nano plastics, sticky plastic films, nano and micro fibers released by washing our clothes, cigarette butts, discarded surgical masks in nature, metals heavy, radionuclides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, hydrocarbons, detergents, fertilizers etc.
River animals integrate them by direct contact or ingestion. These sneaky contaminants biomagnify along food chains and accumulate from bacteria to humans. We find in fish at the end of aquatic food chains, heavy metals from abandoned mines (As, Pb, Hg, Cd, Ag, Zn, Mo, Co…) Chernobyl radionuclides (137Cs) and in their nervous systems, their brains nano-plastics, carcinogenic nano-fibers resulting from the degradation in water of bags, cigarette butts, bottles, pipes, plastic materials, fabrics, masks, surgical gloves and plastic rain and snow which are increasingly frequent in our latitudes
Nano-plastics and nano fibers are very dangerous for health. They are already present in milk, cheese, vegetables, fish, game, drinking water, beer and in our lungs!
Biodiversity is useful in the search for new molecules to treat many diseases, but with bioindication it becomes an incredible source of information on the ecosystem state of our waterways. This is another reason to protect aquatic animals in our rivers.
Let us hope that bioindication will save the biodiversity so useful to humans.
Jean Louis and his companion Ptiloup continue to snorkel in the rivers of southern France. JLT created a first Cévennes aquarium in the old mill in the village of Plantiers (https://caussesaigoualcevennes.fr/maison-de-leau/)
An immersive room coupled with a second Cévennes aquarium and a Fab-Lab are being studied in the Piedmont Cévennes. These projects hope to disseminate responsible ecological citizenship and environmental therapy adapted to climate change. We must not give up. We must protect Nature which nourishes us, protects us by communicating, by informing, by developing field strategies, solutions in environmental therapies.
Jean Louis and Mille et Une Productions are preparing a film about the water people in the Cévennes. You can discover some images shot by Jean Louis and edited by Michel Coqblin on https://vimeo.com/178904930
The image in all its forms has a great power of emotional communication.
So if you see two friends in the rivers of the south of France: it’s us! We continue to photograph, film, communicate, educate, develop to protect Mother Earth.