This side event was organised by the CEC (Centre for Environment and Education) and the IUCN (International Union for the conservation of Nature).
The workshop was very innovative and it opened our eyes to a new approach towards climate change and nature communication.
The topic of the workshop itself was very intriguing: “How to tell a love story - Teaching through love not loss”.
Most environmental communication approaches have a negative undertone, where the message is strongly focussed on “loss”. The campaigns, advertisements and feature films document loss of nature and the critical importance to save it.
However, this only helps to generate awareness and actions only up to a point of sending donations. It fails to inspire real action, in terms of a behavior-change, a life style change at an individual level, that will in fact truly contribute to save the environmental damages predicted for the future.
The workshop emphasised on not communicating loss but “love” for nature.
Campaigns usually communicate the number of extinguished species, the figures of loss of natural resources. The mood of communication is not “inspiring”.
Instead, if we can capture the emotions of people, love the nature, the biodiversity they live in, the “love” will naturally motivate them to preserve it.
This approach emphasises on “humanising nature”. Talking of nature in “human terms”.
Such a paradigm shift is necessary for all communication approaches about climate, change, biodiversity loss and other issues threatening the environment.
The approach used is to make people “pride” the biodiversity that belongs to them. That is making them know that their nature “belongs” to them .
This helps garner public support for the conservation efforts, beyond only donations. For example, if people are convinced that the forest around them is their mother, instill a motherly care for the forest and its species, people are voluntarily willing to save their forests.
The IUCN website hosts a number of such “pride Campaign“ case studies that have been conducted voluntarily in different parts of the world.
Have a look at their website for more on how to communicate with love: www.iucn.org/ece