There is still time to “repair what we have destroyed of this kind” according to Nicolas Vanier

Nature has been the common thread in my life. As a child, I trotted behind my grandfather’s boots and listened to him tell me about trees, deer, and wood pigeons. I helped him with the work on the farm, and together we went looking in a tree at the edge of the plain to observe the animals at the dawn of darkness.

From the forests of my home Sologne, to the snow-capped peaks of the rocky mountains, to the heart of the boreal forest, the Siberian taiga or even the waterfront of Lake Baikal, I have never ceased to be fascinated by the wonders of nature. I experienced my most beautiful feelings there and devoted my whole life to it.

In the footsteps of Saint-Exupéry

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As soon as I graduated from an agricultural high school, I negotiated the rest of my studies and then organized my entire existence to remain true to a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “Make your life a dream, and a dream, a reality. ‘A regulation that I have respected for forty years and strived to bring my dreams to life.

Forty years of exploration

Going up the Rocky Mountains from south to north for eighteen months, crossing Alaska by canoe to the Bering Strait and then embarking on a two-year expedition to Siberia. Lapland, the Carpathians, the Kola Peninsula, Manchuria, Canada again, from west to east … In all these high countries, I traveled about 60,000 kilometers on snow or on frozen rivers with my sled dogs. In the summer it was on horseback, reindeer, canoe or even on rafts that I crossed the wild infinities. Only this slowness, which is specific to natural means of transport, makes it possible to understand and respect these territories.

To live in and with nature

I lived with Indians, Inuit, nomadic reindeer herders, with them I touched on what is most important to me: this ability to live in and with nature. A quasi-love relationship based on exchange, where everyone takes and gives their share back and thus helps to maintain balance.


It is this life in harmony with nature that I wanted to show in some of my films like “The Last Trapper” or “Wolf”. Show how men today still know how to live in a certain “happy sobriety” – to use the title of a book by the late Pierre Rabhi – men who can re-teach us to bend a little more the verb to be instead of the verb has .

“This social project no longer lasts”

For in this desperate flight of growth we have lost our orientation and sowed too much misery, caused too much damage, some irreparable, such as the disappearance of quantities of species and more generally the dramatic decline in the mass of biodiversity.

“We can no longer thrive on the illusion of endless growth. That is what the latest IPCC report, like the previous ones, once again reminds us of, this absolute urgency of reducing the dramatic consequences of climate change.”

Impossible to ignore that all the lights are red. The loop tightens: With war on our doorstep, the risk of pandemics, climatic events and the collapse of biodiversity, our vulnerability and our dependence on energy, metals, raw materials and food force us to reduce our needs and replace the dictatorship of endless growth with another idea on progress, which is no longer exclusively indexed to GDP, but which incorporates other indicators such as well-being, social cohesion and sharing. Precisely these values, which are the ones that I learned and understood from these people who are still living in nature, but who today are very unfairly the first to be influenced by “Western” lifestyles.

Global warming: IPCC experts warn against unprecedented human suffering

In front of us, two scenarios: either we remain under the illusion that we will be able to continue in this head-long rush by producing always and even more to possess more, despite the planetary boundaries, or we finally plan to find a way to live compatible with reality: one that requires us to reconsider our behavior in order to preserve the habitability of the planet for our children and our grandchildren.

(Photo by Malot Eric)

It’s a huge challenge, because we live in a world under the influence, stunned by fossil fuels, but solutions exist and the adventure promises to be exciting, provided we are reactive and able to put all our energy, our genius and our creativity to repair what we have destroyed of this kind. Let us remember once again that it does not belong to anyone and we must ensure that its resources are equally accessible to all living beings on earth now, here, there and tomorrow. This will no doubt be the only way to avoid conflict and hope for peace. Choose to act now in our territories to live better tomorrow or suffer tomorrow our passivity in a world that has become threatening and dangerous.

So what are we waiting for?


Nicolas Vanier’s latest film “Champagne! will be released in theaters on June 8th.

Looking for tomorrow

Faced with the scale of the challenges we face, between ecological crisis, social inequality and democratic tensions, it is more than ever urgent to look beyond what separates us to highlight what can bring us together. If the inevitable changes in our ways of producing, consuming, living, living together inevitably shake our certainty and our personal convictions, they can also unite us around common concerns. On a daily basis, French men and women from all walks of life and from all walks of life overcome divisions and are already working hand in hand to meet the social and environmental challenges in our territories. Citizens, local authorities and economic actors are involved, experimenting and implementing solutions that together draw a common goal: a world tomorrow that could be more in harmony with nature, more sustainable, fairer and overall perhaps more desirable. These initiatives, these collaborations must be able to grow and spread. That is why the group’s titles Center France associate with spark news and 43 titles from the regional press to highlight those who are trying to bring the world of the future forward in our territories.

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