Eugene Kaspersky, together with a renowned team of environmentalists, film makers and photographers, set off on a 12-day expedition to explore the unique ecosystem and raise awareness on the environmental challenges of the Kuril Islands – one of the most remote and endangered island chains on the planet.
The expedition, that launched from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, will go across the Kuril Islands chain, exploring Onekotan, Ushishir, Simushir, and Urup. It brings together an exceptional team of environmentalists, adventurers, filmmakers, and photographers: Renan Ozturk, Taylor Rees, Chris Burkard, Ted Hesser, Jeff Kerby and Rushi Sugla among others. Together, they will be exploring the unique ecosystem of the Kuril Islands and the environmental impact on the chain, as well as climbing a rock formation on Ushishir Island. The adventure will result in a documentary film that will provide knowledge about the beauty of the Kuril Islands to a wider audience.
The expedition is supported by the WWF-Russia, acting as an environmental consultant to guide the crew through the local wildlife and sea life and help them to understand the current environmental challenges in the area.
For Eugene Kaspersky, this will be his second expedition to the Kuril Islands – he last visited them on a ship-based excursion in 2014 and was stunned by their wild, untouched beauty. Yet the Kuril Islands are endangered due to over-fishing, ocean pollution and other environmental threats, and it is crucial to bring attention to this outstanding part of the planet which needs support and protection to stay as unique as it is today.
“The Kuril Islands are one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever visited, with a unique climate and stunning landscapes. I hope that more people will visit and explore them, but they’re very difficult to reach without organizing a proper expedition. This is why, when I learned about Renan Ozturk’s dream to visit the Kurils, and his overall passion for exploring such remote places, I decided to help make his dream come true and invite him on an expedition there. It’ll be great to explore the Kurils with a group of professionals who’ll be undertaking some environmental studies and filming the expedition. We also very much appreciate the support from WWF Russia for this expedition: their experts will be advising us on the local wildlife and sea life and helping us better understand the challenges of the region. I hope that together we’ll raise awareness about this remarkable place that deserves protection, which is what our expedition is ultimately calling for,” said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky.
The documentary film that will be created by the team of renowned filmmakers on board will enhance this expedition goal by giving people the opportunity to explore the remarkable nature of the islands and bring attention to the current ecological situation faced by the region. It will also demonstrate how new technologies bring us knowledge about unique but hard-to-reach places, such as the Kuril Islands, and how Kaspersky makes these technologies secure so that everyone can enjoy the opportunities they bring.
“We want to show the beauty, but also the fragility of this remote strip of land”, said Renan Ozturk, a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. “But to cut through the noise and create an impact in public awareness, we can’t just go on a boat and take beautiful pictures and hope a few media would cover it. So we put together a group of filmmakers, photographers, and environmentalists to make a meaningful representation of this place with wide reach. We will produce a documentary about it all, including first ascent climbing and true boots on the ground exploration, as that is the kind of content that really creates awareness these days.”
The expedition will be live reported on the new digital platform Tomorrow Unlocked, an online magazine for technology culture and a film production house, created by Kaspersky. It focuses on stories showing how technology helps us create a better future, providing a mix of background reading, documentary films and quick essentials.
The expedition can be also followed on social media via the hashtag #fromkurilswithlove.