Frontier Diaries: nature in a time of COVID-19

Building a network of local contributors and grassroots storytellers, and involve our global audience in guiding us and sending us footage and information about what is happening all across the protected areas community.

Ranger RPPN Sesc Pantanal

Short video documentary

IUCN is continuously looking for nature conservation solutions through positive stories and case studies of success. We launched both the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas (The IUCN Green List) and the PANORAMA Solutions platform at the 2014 World Parks Congress (WPC) in Sydney, Australia.

The IUCN Global Protected and Conserved Areas Programme and World Commission on Protected Areas also publishes a monthly newsletter, ‘Protected Planet’ which sources news and inputs from tour members and partners and reports on progress in implementing the ‘Promise of Sydney’ that emerged from the WPC.

As the newsletter has evolved, we have also increasingly focused not just on the problems people are experiencing in protected areas, but the ways in which they are coming together to solve them.

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, our work in nature conservation has suddenly become simultaneously more difficult and more important than ever.

To respond in kind, we need your help. We are aiming at producing a short video centred on how people working in nature conservation are responding to the crisis. We have some initial content from the Amazon and we are looking to our global community. We are interested in questions about nature, community, and how COVID-19 outbreak is affecting everyday life in and around protected and conserved areas.

Your story matters

We have not lived through something like this before, so we don’t know exactly what the future holds. But we want you to help us shape it. If you have a story to tell, or want to highlight an interesting way in which you, your community and your protected area is responding to the crisis, get in touch by email or WhatsApp (+41 798136915).

We want to build a network of local contributors and grassroots storytellers, and involve our global audience in guiding us and sending us footage and information about what is happening all across the protected areas community.

This is how we want your help

We do not want to put anyone at risk of either catching or spreading the virus, so at the moment we are asking for you to do things only within your daily routine, and asking that you follow official social distancing advice.

What Story should I share?

Don’t think too much. Just find some good light, find a good space. Relax. Hold the phone horizontally and speak directly at it. Tell us who you are. Tell us how COVID-19 is affecting you. Keep this personal, and then describe your impression of the impact on nature conservation area where you work. What are the solutions? How is the area working with the local community? What are the additional challenges? What is your message for people locally, and globally?

If you can, also take some video of your surroundings, especially if you are able and allowed to be outside and in nature. Film anything that could be interesting. You can take more than one video, but please do not share more than two or three if possible.

Reminder: how to take a video on your phone

If you want to send a video to tell us your story please:

  • Speak directly to the camera, and hold it horizontally;
  • Keep it personal, about you, and your community, your protected area, your piece of nature;
  • Keep each clip to maximum 3 minutes if possible. You can share two or three clips if you like.
  • Where possible also take some video shots of what you are talking about, especially of nature or of your current surroundings.

See this example from James Hardcastle, with IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme, recording from a local nature reserve on the shores of Lake Geneva, which remains open for visitor access.

How to get in touch with us

If you want to send a video now, you can email us or WhatsApp +41 79 8136915. If you can share more information with us, or don’t have a video, then please share any opinion or comment by email. Without your permission, only the IUCN team will see your responses, so please also provide us with:

Your name:

Your location:

Your position or job, or other personal descriptor.

Please also add in email or WhatsApp: “I give IUCN the right to share my video and my information” with the understanding that this will be for non-commercial use and in the context of promoting good nature conservation action through online communications

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