The art and science of communication for environmental conservation

When we talk about the environment, we are reminded of the many challenges facing the planet in order to preserve existing resources, including making citizens more aware of the impact of their actions on the different ecosystems.

We have made accelerated progress in the decade of restoration and there are still many things to do, facing the challenge of meeting the Aichi targets, known as 30×30, which seek to conserve and protect biodiversity on the planet, in addition to the Sustainable Development Goals, which some specifically have the same purpose of halting environmental degradation.

In order to achieve the various conservation goals, communication is a vital tool to address this issue, as it raises public awareness and encourages changes in human behavior. If it has not yet been considered as a transversal axis of existing conservation efforts, it is a wasted tool that, in a well-intentioned way, triggers multiple reactions, closely linked to environmental education and culture.

Communication also has the role of educating and it is important to understand that education is fundamental to achieve environmental conservation of ecosystems, it is a powerful tool to foster a culture of respect towards nature and to promote sustainable practices in a strategic way. Communication from the Environmental Funds plays this key role.

The Environmental Investment Fund of El Salvador (FIAES) promotes communication as an effective tool for disseminating the importance of biodiversity and possible solutions to the new challenges posed by climate change. In addition, through the dissemination of key messages, it connects with the communities involved in the planning and execution of conservation initiatives.

Communication as a science is the main tool to promote changes in human behavior in relation to the environment, because people are the driving force behind environmental problems and, therefore, they are also the solution.

Based on this premise, it is necessary to establish a special link with the media, its journalists, content generators and institutional communicators. In El Salvador, for example, a community of environmental journalists was created, who are provided with technical tools through environmental journalism workshops and we facilitate access to specialized sources on the specific conservation of the country's different territories.

The communication initiatives promoted by FIAES are used to promote good practices, such as sustainable agriculture and livestock farming, forest care and the protection of endangered species. In addition, in partnership with other cooperation agencies, we extend training to resource conservation issues such as soil and water, but also the use of renewable energies, reduction of water consumption and proper waste management.

Undoubtedly, communication is also an art that reinforces conservation initiatives, awakening emotions and passion for biodiversity and its ecosystems, reflected through spectacular photographs or videos that take us to wonderful landscapes and show us the daily life of the communities.

This includes another way of communicating from FIAES to promote the importance of conservation actions, through the dissemination of stories and examples of success, with a direct impact on different audiences. Stories are a powerful way to transmit information and inspire people to take action. Through a Photo Exhibition and Mejor Ambiente Magazine, environmental conservation success stories are told to foster hope and confidence that it is possible to generate resilient skills for communities.

It is important to emphasize that communication, with its dual perspective, both scientific and artistic, must be inclusive and adapted to the needs of the different groups of people with whom we interact.

It starts with clear, accessible and relevant communication so that it can reach a broad and diverse audience. It is also sensitive to people's different cultures and values, which means that communication strategies are tailored to the specific needs of each community.

Article written by:
Nelson Rodriguéz, FIAES Press Technician

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