Biomovies – IFADs prize for family farming

IFAD's Director for Environment and Climate Margarita Astralaga spoke at the biomovies award screening at the UN's Biodiversity Conference in Cancun (CBD COP13), where the finalists in the IFAD-sponsored Family Farmers category were announced.

For six years TVE has been connecting with YouTube users around the world through. Its a global competition that engages with young (and sometimes not so young) filmakers worldwide on key environment and development challenges and then it showcases the best film entries to a global online audience.

Since the competition was first launched, biomovies films have received more than 3.6 million views on You Tube with films covering a range of issues including climate change, sustainable energy, biodiversity, food waste and marine pollution.

There were entries from 17 countries for the Family Farmers category, with four films being commissioned: South Africa, Kenya, Kosovo and China. Three of these are short documentaries giving a first-hand account of life as a small family farmer in the developing world.

The quality of entrants was impressive considering that they were tacking what can be seen as one of the less glamourous areas of environmental communications– i.e. sustainable farming.

The guidelines for films in the family farming category had to address these or similar questions for smallholder farmers in developing countries:

  • Protecting biodiversity and feeding your family 
  • Climate change and family farmers 
  • Water scarcity and family farmers 
  • The fight for fuel and family farmers 
  • The role of women in family farming 

“This is the first-time IFAD has taken such a proactive role in CBD's COP," said Astralaga. "And with that in mind we wanted to make sure you noticed that we were here in Cancun – so we partnered TVE sponsoring The IFAD Prize for Family Farmers."

IFAD’s investments, including the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), help farmers in a variety of ways, from installing weather forecast systems, to introducing new drought resistant crop varieties, as well as setting up farmer field schools where knowledge and new climate smart agriculture techniques can be demonstrated and disseminated.

The Biodiversity Advantage: Global benefits from smallholder actions shows how IFAD-supported projects are working with smallholder farmers to protect biodiversity contributing to the well-being of communities as well as to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by helping to eradicate poverty, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agricultural practices.

“Necessity is the mother of invention and creativity. And we have seen some incredible entries in this section of the awards,” added Astralaga