Partners Creative Agency Vertiver and forest conservation firm IORA Ecological Solutions celebrated International Day of Forests in the national capital and across four states of India to highlight the importance of forests to sustainable development in the country.
The campaign titled “Forests are Life” featured a workshop organised jointly with the state forest department in Guwahati Assam where the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, Sri Sarabananda Sonwal in Guwahati unveiled an outdoor campaign, ““Only until trees exist shall human survive”. In his keynote speech, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam Sri Sarbananda Sonowal laid great emphasis on the involvement of youth in forest conservation and said that there is a need to involve students. He mentioned that International Day of Forests must be celebrated in all schools and colleges from hereon.
Launching SACReD he said said, “Majuli is struggling in the midst of massive erosion, therefore to preserve and protect the rich biodiversity of Assam, all stakeholders including Civil Administration, Forest Department and IORA Ecological Solutions should work together as a team to achieve success. The concept of Carbon Neutral Initiative for Majuli should be taken to the local communities of Majuli through regular awareness programs and consultations.”The campaign design, conceptualised by Vertiver, featured Assamese folk weaving and embroidery traditions-inspired craft style to showcase how culture and natural ecosystems are deeply intertwined. The event further featured a launch of the SACReD (Sustainable Actions for Carbon Resilient Development) in Majuli initiative where IORA is supporting the District Administration and the Forest Department through the Assam Project on Forestry and Biodiversity Conservation in developing a strategy and an online project registry to ensure that future developmental investments in the newest district of Assam are low emission and the island remains carbon neutral. At the event, the CM mentioned that biodiversity and forests are key heritage to the state of Assam and that we must ensure that we protect them. “We must work together to ensure the success of the SACReD initiative and also mentioned that the International Day of Forests must be celebrated in all schools and colleges from hereon,” said the Chief Minister.
In Delhi, at an event organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), the Secretary MOEFCC, Mr. Jha released a nationwide outdoor media and online campaign designed by Vertiver and IORA on the theme, “Forests are Energy”. The campaign will be featured on prominent media sites across Delhi and Mumbai through Vertiver and IORAs partnership with JC Decaux.
“For us this was the culmination of a 21-day national level information campaign the “Forestathon” that Vertiver ran through the Indiaforestportal, an information portal on forestry for citizens of India that Vertiver and IORA are jointly developing,” the companies stated in a press release.
Mr. Ajay Narayan Jha, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said “Van hi Jeevan, Van is Urja is our theme for this year’s International Day of Forests. The theme clearly shows the relationship between man and forest. This campaign spreads that message through beautiful graphics and we hope that it inspires people specially our children to engage in forest conservation.”
In Madhya Pradesh, IORA Ecological Solutions and Vertiver worked with the State Government officials in the districts of Hoshangabad, where the District Collector inaugurated the “Forest are Life” campaign while in Mandla, where IORA is implementing its flagship program Innovations in Ecosystem Management and Conservation (IEMaC), a campaign was featured across 5 sites in partnership with the Forest Department.
Swapan Mehra, CEO, IORA Ecological Solutions stated “We have been working extensively on forest conservation and climate action in India for eight years. Bringing a visual campaign to life about forest conservation completes the cycle of our work by communicating this key message to a wide set of stakeholders, all of whom are directly or indirectly impacted by forests.”
He further added, “Not only are forests essential for the survival of several species of flora and fauna that reside in them, they are critical in providing several ecosystem services, including food, fuel, water, clean air, pollination, carbon sequestration, erosion control etc. Conservation of forests is essential to creating resilience in the face of future floods, disasters and diseases and adapting to climate change and accomplishing several Sustainable Development Goals. ”
In Uttarakhand, the organisations participated in an afforestation drive along with the School children and representatives of the Forest Department in a jointly organised event. The event also featured the launch of our outdoor campaign in Haldwani district.
In Sikkim, where IORA has been engaged in a major forestry project for over 3 years, the Forest Department launched and put up the “Forests are Life” campaign outside the premises of their headquarters.
An online campaign, the Forestathon and a special forestsarelife filter that Vertiver created, has drawn several hundred viewers and followers in the past three weeks.
Chhaya Bhanti, Vertiver’s founder said “We are excited about having created the “forests are life” campaign which took months of rigorous illustration and design effort. We wanted to create a visual message with an emotional resonance and depict the intricate relationships between humans and wildlife that exist in India’s forests. Thanks to MoEFCC’s partnership we’re able to bring this awareness to a nation-wide audience.”
Bhanti further added “By launching the outdoor campaign in Delhi as well as in many other states we are able bring extended outreach of the value of forests to the public consciousness using art and design, which makes for good recall in the minds of viewers.”
IORA and Vertiver’s endeavour to highlight the International Day of Forests and promote a celebration on March 21st, stems from the firm’s close work with rural communities and government partners. Through the campaign forests have been rought into the radar of public consciousness for three years in a row starting with 2015.