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  • This participatory video which was made in North Kivu, Congo DRC is part of an IUCN NL learning trajectory aimed at reinforcing the relationship between ecology and development through the use of audiovisual media in capacity building.

    Vitshumbi is a small fishing village on the edge of Lake Edward in North-Kivu, Congo DRC. Due to bad management, war and overfishing the lake has been overexploited since the 1980s, which has severely disturbed the delicate thread between ecology and development and has led to conflict and malnutrition. In this film, community members of Vitshumbi, from fishermen to military, explore the situation from their own point of view and share ideas for improvement.

    Trainee Yalala Tangira, about the process: By making this film we can perhaps not change the situation in our village completely. But by working together to tell our story we can show our children and the rest of the world that we do care about our environment and that we have the intention of changing the situation for the better.

    How do local people perceive the relationship between ecology and development in the areas where they live? What is the impact of the destruction of the environment on their livelihoods? To find answers to these questions, the Ecosystem Grants Programme (EGP) of IUCN NL started a learning trajectory on the use of audiovisual media for capacity building. The programme intends to enable its partners and local beneficiaries to tell their own story about the sustainable use and conservation of ecosystems, biodiversity, local livelihoods and development, to stimulate a constructive dialogue between stakeholders and to assist local communities and civil society organizations in finding solutions to their problems through integrated conservation and development approaches.

    As a first step in the learning trajectory, IUCN NL together with local partner organizations trained and encouraged a diverse group of local stakeholders in two degraded natural areas in East Congo to make their own films and to share their views and opinions, problems and possible solutions to the wider world. On the basis of these participatory videos IUCN NL is in the process of developing a number of educational films, which form part of a complete toolkit, including film projection equipment. The films are to be used by local organizations during community-based sensitization sessions in eastern DRC (and other countries) to open up discussion with community members on alternative and sustainable ways of managing their ecosystem. The educational films will be accompanied by a moderation guide that will help the animators to address the right questions and link the debate back to the images and issues shown in the films. This will help to stimulate a constructive dialogue between the community members, the IUCN partner organizations and other (international) organizations active in the region or working on similar issues in different parts of the world.