“Nature is speaking campaign” gives refreshing and brilliant perspective on conservation topics
By: Ashley Gustafson
When the word “nature” comes to mind, everyone imagines something different. For some people it may be mountain ranges along the coast, while for others it could be the tropical rainforests of Sumatra. It could be an image of wild flowers along rolling plains or it could be a beautiful sunset on a Caribbean beach overlooking the sea. For me, I imagine the great sand dunes and pine wood forests surrounding Lake Michigan near where grew up. All of these images and more describe nature. It is diverse, sensational, and wild which is also what makes it so powerful. Nature is the stepping stone that gives planet earth life. Unfortunately, that is often overlooked when we imagine nature. As a whole, the human race is able to recognize the beauty of nature but for some reason we lack respect for its authority on how we live our lives. It is the hope of nature campaigns like “Nature is speaking” to open the eyes of the global masses to not only the power of nature but also to the importance to the entire human race.
Enlisting the help of some of Hollywood’s finest, the “Nature is speaking” campaign aims to educate the general public about the consequences of abusing nature. The campaign is run by the non-profit organization Conservation International. They have been working since 1987 to save human beings through the protection and care of nature. The goal of the video series is to educate the public about biodiversity, ecosystems, and general human well-being. The board of Conservation international is composed of several powerful and wealthy individuals as well as conservationists and educators.
As I mentioned previously, the videos are voiced by famous actors who embody various forms seen in nature. The videos themselves pose nature an eternal being. They are a refreshing and a different take on the ever-rehearsed “conservation of the world’s resources spiel”. It feels like the truth is finally being said and all the things that will actually happen to the planet if we don’t make a change. The series hits the nail on the head for giving nature a voice. When watching the videos, you feel as though the elements of nature are speaking their minds as though they really could.
Conservation International’s vice chairman, Harrison Ford, is one of the several actors who lends his voice to the project. In the series of beautifully crafted short films, Ford voices “The Ocean” which recently just won a Cannes Gold Lion award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of creativity which made it the only film from the United States to win gold this year. With Ford’s iconic voice and powerful dialogue like “Humans; they’re not different. I don’t owe them anything”, the short film is a commanding asset in conservation education of the world’s oceans. In addition to Ford, other stars in the series include Julia Roberts as mother nature, Kevin Spacey as the rainforest, Edward Norton as the soil, Penelope Cruz as water, Robert Redford and Lena Redford as redwoods, Ian Somerhalder as coral reef, and Lupita Nyong’o as flower. Each video includes the same commanding and blunt dialogue as heard in “The Ocean.” Here are some highlights from the series:
The rainforest says confidently, “Humans breathe air, and I make air.”
The redwood points out the obvious by saying “They started using the planet like it was put here just for them.”
The coral reef says “I am coral. Some people think I am just a rock, when in fact I am the largest living thing on the planet.”
The Flower states, “But in my experience people underestimate the power of a pretty little flower, because their life does start with me and it could end without me.”
I am pleased to say that I watched every single one of the videos in the series and I was even compelled to watch them multiple times. The perspective on the posing problems we are facing was so refreshing and I was left inspired. By using famous and beloved actors, the brilliant series will excel in modern society that idolizes celebrity. I know I enjoyed hearing some of my favorite actors speak passionately about something that I care about tremendously and I think others will too. As the campaign states, we must protect the only earth that we have. By creating an innovative and beautiful series, Conservation International may be able to raise more awareness about the consequences of human actions on all the elements of nature. Next for campaign, is a showcase at the Paris Climate tanks fall 2015. They were invited by the UN framework convention of Climate change. A new film in the series will be debuted at the showcase so stay tuned for the newest addition to the series! The link to watch the whole series can be found here: http://natureisspeaking.org/