IUCN - Creating hype around biodiversity in the Caribbean

Creating hype around biodiversity in the Caribbean

01 May 2013 | News story

How did nature became the hottest word on the lips of St Lucia's top musician? Such entertainment-education is part of the PCI Media Impact concert series focusing on cliimate change.

by CEC member Jessica Robbins

Teenagers are ecstatic after St Lucia’s top musicians performed during a series of concerts held at schools to create hype around the role of nature in climate change.

The concerts are being conducted as part of the My Island My Community, a strategic Communications for Behavior Change program that builds knowledge, shifts attitudes and changes behaviors to help create resilient island communities.

In the beautiful island nation of St Lucia, music is a life blood. Musicians are hugely popular, particularly among youth, and offer a powerful opportunity shift attitudes towards climate change and nature.

PCI Media Impact and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat hosted a seminar with musicians to help them incorporate nature and climate change messages into their music. As a result, top musicians such as Ronald “Boo” Hinkson, “Scady P”, “Ambi”, “Mongstar” and “Q Pid” are eager to promote positive action for nature.

Through the My Island My Community, Media Impact is working to identify key role models and opinion leaders of specific target audiences to create hype and stimulate change around priority issues.

In tandem with the secondary schools concerts, primary school kids are also bubbling with excitement after mascots visited their class rooms to sing and dance to songs about the issues.

Media Impact’s Alleyne Regis states, “In primary schools children are known to react positively to a mascot costume and hands-on activities. In secondary schools the visiting team adopted a different approach where popular musicians helped convey messages pertaining to climate change”.

The school visits will culminate in a community clean-up of the Mankòtè Mangrove, one of two RAMSAR sites on St Lucia, later in the year. This activity will bring students, friends, and families together with our partners to take action to protect precious natural resources.

To complement the community mobilization campaigns, Media Impact is broadcasting the locally produced radio drama ‘Callaloo’. The 130 episode serial drama provides an avenue to role model desired behaviors through compelling storylines. The drama engages the target audience with recognizable characters from their community to spark discussion on priority issues.

Media Impact is also working closely with radio stations to host call-in shows that turn up the volume on the issues presented in the drama. Listeners call in, ask questions and share stories with local experts and opinion leaders to validate facts and influence their changing attitudes.

Community mobilization campaigns are currently being rolled out in The Bahamas, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Tobago with funding support from US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). My Island My Community is supported by a partnership of more than 60 organizations and governments that provide local knowledge and technical advice for a successful program including: GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP, Global Island Partnership, KfW on behalf of the German Financial Cooperation, and The Nature Conservancy.

PCI-Media Impact is a leader in Entertainment-Education. For 27 years, Media Impact has empowered communities worldwide to inspire enduring change through creative storytelling. Working with our partners, PCI-Media Impact has produced more than 5,000 episodes of over 100 productions. Together, these programs have reached more than 1 billion people in over 45 countries.

For further information: Jessica Robbins, PCI Media Impact