Every person on Earth is fundamentally connected to Earth’s biodiversity, or nature - through the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe, but overwhelmingly disconnected from the reality of our impact on it.
In conjunction with partners including the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), WWF aims to achieve the CBD’s target that by the year 2020, people should be aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably. That same year, world leaders will convene to review Sustainable Development Goals and the next step of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.
The Earth Hour 2018’s #Connect2Earth campaign aims to make nature matter to people around the world and kickstart a movement for nature, like that of climate change, by engaging communities from the world’s largest grassroots movement, Earth Hour. We aim to build up an undeniable chatter and pressure on the topic, so that come 2020, the policymakers will know the public wants a clear course of action on the matter.
We started with an open source idea and visual device that is universal and transcends languages; it would be inspiring to audiences of all levels to make it their own. This gave birth to our #connect2earth tagline and the wifi symbol. Our two-prong approach was:
• Open source visual device: we will open source the #connect2earth wifi symbol during Earth Hour to encourage adaptations of the visual device to get people to connect to local environmental issues
• Create a digital-led/tech product to collect all nature-related conversations around the globe in one place www.connect2earth.org
For Earth Hour 2018, we invited the hundreds of millions of supporters from the communities and global networks to #connect2earth and spark never-before conversations on the loss of nature around them, undeniably the need of the hour. It was accomplished in the most open source way possible, far beyond WWF and Earth Hour.
We used the open APIs of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Search keywords to bring together all the public posts related to biodiversity. Our backend database infrastructure logic allowed us to surface the most relevant trending posts by causes and by countries. The key was to ensure that one can immediately like, comment, or share a post as soon as one arrives on connect2earth.org.
Just in the month of March 2018, we collected 2.8 million raw biodiversity posts on the platform, filtering and scrubbing through in real time to display 84,291 of the most relevant conversations front and center.
WWF and Earth Hour teams, followers on our social media platforms, partners such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement, organizations, the general public, world leaders and policy influencers all made #connect2earth their own. On the night of Earth Hour, #connect2earth visuals appeared all over the world on the web, OOH, print, building projections and in stores as well as on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The lexicon expanded to #connect2forests, #connect2rivers, #connect2nature, and more, as we saw supporters posting and joining together on social media. We achieved over 3.5 billion impressions of official campaign hashtags between January and March 2018.
Awareness translated into impact faster than imagined. Over 250 ambassadors, leaders, and figures from around the world emphasized the importance of biodiversity – from Andy Murray, Jared Leto, Ellie Goulding, The Killers, Amitabh Bachchan, Li Bingbing, Park Seo-joon, Claudia Bahamon, and Roger Milla. President of France Emmanuel Macron voiced #connect2earth in a special message for Earth Hour. In his video statement for Earth Hour, UN Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated the need for people to work together to build a sustainable future for all.
This was just the beginning. Policymakers need to be ready. The pressure for 2020 is now on.
#Connect2Earth Award Submission Video (private): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GuZDsWvbjEZEcf81fkOl4WOgSXMIXyh0/view?usp=sharin g Highlights of Launching #Connect2Earth: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p8uPmjYRLaSepjpIrXaR4iZFDYOhnJg9/view?usp=sharing