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Facing Changes in African Forests

Submitted by Michael Rastall 3rd February 2014 16:37

What is Participatory Video?

Participatory Video (PV) is a set of techniques to involve a group or community in shaping and creating their own film. The idea behind this is that making a video is easy and accessible, and is a great way of bringing people together to explore issues, voice concerns or simply to be creative and tell stories.

This process can be very empowering, enabling a group or community to take action to solve their own problems and also to communicate their needs and ideas to decision-makers and/or other groups and communities. As such, PV can be a highly effective tool to engage and mobilise marginalised people and to help them implement their own forms of sustainable development based on local needs.

How does it work?

  • Participants rapidly learn video skills through games & exercises.
  • Facilitators help groups identify & analyze their important issues
  • Short videos & messages are directed & filmed by participants.
  • Footage is shared with the wider community at daily screenings.
  • A dynamic process of community-led learning & exchange is set in motion.
  • Communities always have full editorial control. 

Project description

Climate change is a totally new label for most Baka villagers, but they have long identified seasonal changes as a vital issue affecting their livelihoods and cultural heritage. The women take cameras to the forest springs to record their fishing techniques and explain how drought has affected their catch, while the men film the harvesting of wild honey and show how climate-related disease is affecting their crops. On the way, they document medicinal trees and illegal deforestation. 

Project start

April 2009

People

Baka

Location

Mayos (near Bertoua), Cameroon

Further Resources

To get a broader view on vulnerability in the region from the perspective of the Bantu communities (who interact with Baka people), please find out more by reading the COBAM placemark and article.