Climate Cinema: Take Four

By Yufei Li

Last Tuesday, ECD organized its fourth Climate Cinema Event, in association with the Think Forward Film Festival and the International Center for Climate Governance. Focusing on the theme of clean energy, five films were screened with a panel discussion led by James Heer from IFAD and Lorenza Campagnolo from Euro Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Italy.

The first film, Forests: The heart of a green economy, was a documentary about the UN-REDD Programme. The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries. The Programme supports nationally-led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in national and international REDD+ implementation. Produced for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), this film highlights the critical role of forests in combatting climate change as well as supporting the environment, the economy, and human well-being through REDD+ initiatives.

The second film was Kenya: Kid Power!, produced by IFAD in 2012. The film featured IFAD Mount Kenya East Pilot Project for Natural Resource Management, showing how children could change adult’s behavior and make a difference in environmental conservation. The kids at Kambaru Primary School in Kenya have planted more than 4,000 trees as part of a larger effort to reforest east Mount Kenya and restore much-needed water resources.

The next film, Black Inside - Three Women's Voices, was a documentary by Rodney Rascona from the United States. Nearly half the global population still cooks over an open fire. Each year over 4 million people lose their lives, mostly women and children, from breathing the toxic smoke created while cooking over an open wood fire to feed their families. Black Inside presents the stories of three women from three continents - voices who regardless of their cultural differences or the hardships they endure, share the same aspirations of a better life for their children, framed by the mist shrouded cliffs of the Peruvian Andes, India's richly chaotic border with Nepal and the remote, drought affected arid lands of Kenya's northern deserts.

The fourth film was Brazil: Living with the land by IFAD. The North-East of Brazil is the most densely populated semi-arid region in the world. Low, erratic rainfall and recurrent droughts make farming difficult. For generations, farmers have resorted to excessive use of chemicals and slash and burn agriculture, stripping the soil of nutrients. The film focused on farmers like Irupuan Gomes who started to use bush management techniques to rehabilitate the natural ecosystem. Not only is the environment healthier -- but so are their profits.

Lastly it was The Windmill Farmer, a silent animation by Joaquin Baldwin. The film started with a farmer planting in the ground. Through the seasons, his crops were flourishing until a vicious wind destroyed everything overnight. Feeling disappointed and helpless, the farmer resigned to his fate when the thick winter snows arrived and nature started its process of rebirth. 

The next Climate Cinema will be held on June 23rd, focusing on the theme of environment.