Biodiversity Media Alliance

Linking Journalism with the Web of Life

In a week and a bit, the big cheeses of biodiversity science, research, policy and communication will descend on Nagoya, Japan. Their job is to work out how we as a global population can safeguard life on earth over the next decade or so.

No mean feat. But boiled down to basics, they have three big questions to answer:

  • Why, after decades of communication, are we still losing so much biodiversity?
  • What do we all need to be doing to stop it?
  • How do we get people to do those things?

I’ve been invited by the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication to join in. I’ll be presenting Futerra’s latest thought leadership, Branding Biodiversity, with the aim of persuading communicators to take a new approach to biodiversity communications.

Here’s the synopsis:

Biodiversity is the world’s most elaborate scientific concept, but also, potentially, its greatest story. Imagine the incredible complexity that makes up life on earth, bottled up for mass appeal. What if the word ‘biodiversity’ represented not just a set of scientific concepts, but emotions of awe and wonder? Could that biodiversity story trigger mass action to safeguard it?

Love of nature for most people is about awe, wonder and joy; not habitats, ecosystem services or extinction. By using these powerful emotions to bring science to life communicators will inspire conservation action around the world.

My challenge to communicators of all shapes and sizes will be:

  • Kill the extinction message
  • Reconnect us with our collective awe and wonder for the natural world
  • Give people a clear set of relevant actions that fit their lifestyles

If you’re going to be in Nagoya too, please come and listen in:

Communicating Biodiversity: Bringing Science to Life
Wednesday 20 October — 13:00 to 15:00 — Nagoya, Japan
CEPA Fair, First Floor, Building 2, Room 216 A

If you’re not, you can follow updates here on the blog, and on our twitter feed @futerra.

What would you like to hear about?

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Comment by Vincent NNANNA on October 14, 2010 at 18:35
For more than a month, the inhabitants of Benin Republic experienced acute shortage of cooking gas that affected both domestic and industrial users. Reason was that one of the gas plants, owned by a private enterpreneur, had been found to pose a threat to the environment. The only sourse of supply during that period was the government-owner supplier. The result was chaotic and embarrassing. People could not help but go back to traditional methods - using firewood and charcoal. Within that short period, our ecology was raped like a lone woman in a war-torn zone. The damage done to the ecosystem will take many years to recover if at all. The fact is that people had long given up the tree planting culture, believing that enough had been done for posterity. The crisis had since been over, but nobody seems to be looking at how to refurbish our damaged ecology. One thing that could have resulted from such situation was for technocrats and bureaucrats to start thinking of alternative energy sources, but unfortunately, everybody quickly fell back to traditional method with ease. Biodiversity is yet to receive its right place in the scheme of government's master plan. Methinks the Media has a role to play in Communicating Biodiversity.

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