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To put a human face on the issues affecting our forests, the Association of Young Environmental Journalists (AYEJ), in collaboration with Forest Foundation Philippines, has launched a new project that aims to highlight ecosystem restoration, preservation, and conservation through visual storytelling and video advocacy. 

Kwentong Kalikasan is a video advocacy initiative that seeks to feature the stories and works of individuals, scientists, conservationists, champions, and emerging advocates of forest landscapes through a video series in the hopes of multiplying, amplifying, and creatively documenting the positive impact of forest conservation work.

“We understand the need to come up with tailor-fitted approaches in making forests relevant, and resonate with our communities,”  says Dennis Rosales, landscape coordinator of Forest Foundation Philippines, which he said is the reason why the Foundation has collaborated with AYEJ in this visual storytelling initiative 

According to the foundation, 30 million hectares of land area in the Philippines is historically mostly covered with forests. Commercial logging operations in the 1900s to the 1990s resulted in a significant decline in the country’s forests. 

Despite national greening efforts, the sharp decline in forest cover has affected the capacity of the forests to provide ecological goods and services such as biodiversity, water services, and timber and non-timber products.

Power of visual storytelling

Kwentong Kalikasan is a two-component series. The first component is a seven-episode TV-magazine show composed of a series of intimate indoor conversations featuring honest stories of Mindanaoans that cover topics like forest conversation, indigenous narratives, biodiversity, science, the environment, and everything in between. 

The second component is a seven-part mini-documentary series that will feature profiles of emerging advocates and personalities in the Bukidnon-Misamis Oriental area, zooming in on the human dimension of solutions-making in forest landscape issues.

AYEJ is an environmental development communication non-profit based in Cagayan de Oro City committed to enabling communities to be ecologically literate and proactive towards a more livable planet. They have been doing capacity-building initiatives and knowledge product development with partners such as the Department of Education’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service, Internews, and the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.

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