The Global Mechanism has showcased its groundbreaking Virtual Reality (VR) experience on Africa’s Great Green Wall, at an international symposium organized to coincide with the first global report on the State of the World’s Plants. The landmark event, organized by the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew, was opened by Lord Gardiner of the UK Parliament on 11 May 2016, in London.
The State of the World’s Plants report provides for the first time a baseline assessment of our current knowledge on the diversity of plants on earth, the global threats these plants currently face, and the policies dealing with them. Kew’s State of the World’s Plants will set an important standard from which we can annually track trends in biodiversity for years to come.
The VR experience, ‘Growing a world wonder’, formed a key focus for the event showing international policymakers, scientific experts and parliamentarians, the impact plants can have on people’s lives in tackling the urgent challenges facing humanity, including food security and climate change.
The film itself, which is shot in 360 degrees using high-powered drones, focuses on the story of an 8 year old girl called Binta, whose community in Northern Senegal are transforming their future prospects through the implementation of the project.
Speaking at the event, the Global Mechanism’s Camilla Nordheim-Larsen, highlighted that ‘The Great Green Wall is a compelling example of the impact that plants can have on people’s lives, where communities in one of the world’s poorest regions - the Sahel - live off what the land produces for their every day survival’.
Kew has been actively involved in the Great Green Wall for the past few years, with a specific responsibility in selecting many of the drought resistant species grown along the wall, particularly those with an economic use for local communities.
As a public institution with 2 million visitors a year from around the globe, the UNCCD and Kew are expanding their partnership with a series of upcoming events this summer to educate the general public about the Great Green Wall including through pioneering Virtual Reality.
Virtual Reality film
ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS OF KEW