Deadline: 15 April 2020
National Geographic is interested in supporting storytelling projects that highlight ecosystem-scale stories and solutions-oriented attempts to mitigate or reverse human impacts.
Resource demands that include mining, agriculture, and hydropower have combined with illegal logging and incursions into protected areas to create intense ecological pressures on tropical rainforests. This increasing peril has already manifested in measurable ways. For example, the dry season is now longer in some parts of the Amazon, and more drought-tolerant tree species are starting to starting to appear. Continued loss of tree coverage in any tropical forest can alter water cycles in ways that could lead to further degradation. However, there is hope that global recognition of these problems and discovery of locally grounded solutions can halt or reverse them.
Examples of potential story angles:
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- Connected impacts in cities and farming communities
- They know about threats such as deforestation, but what stories haven’t been told? What’s happening with more subtle interactions such as the introduction of urban pollution or the decreases in insect biomass? Where do sources of resilience exist?
- Indigenous peoples and traditional community voices
- Millions of people live, work and play in the Amazon, the Congo, and the tropical forests of southeast Asia. What are sustainable solutions that account for both the ecosystems and the people who depend on them? How can a mix of technology and tradition foster guardianship within indigenous and traditional communities?
- Solutions and resilience
- How are communities, individuals, and/or wildlife in these regions adapting to the changing climate? Are there innovative ways to reveal how recent climate changes affect local communities, ecosystems and biodiversity?
- Proposals will be funded from the local equivalent of $5,000 to $70,000 USD with clear justification necessary for budget requests.
- Budgets of successful proposals will include reasonable, well-justified costs directly required to complete the project.
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- Journalists and storytellers (photo, film, text, maps, data visualization) are allowed to apply, as are social media influencers and content creators looking to highlight traditional and indigenous knowledge on their channels and indigenous youth aiming to expand their storytelling on YouTube and Instagram.
- Priority for this RFP will be given to projects led by journalists and storytellers from countries within the relevant regions (Amazon River basin, Congo River basin, and rainforests in southeast Asia).
- Projects that benefit local communities or incorporate local voices are also strongly encouraged, as are local-language outputs.
How to Apply
If you are applying as a vlogger, please submit a short video (two minutes or less) of yourself describing the following:
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- A brief description of your project
- Why you’re excited about this project
- What you hope to accomplish with this project
You can use your laptop or cell phone camera to film yourself in front of a plain (not distracting) background in a quiet location. You may submit a video in a non-English language. However, if you choose to do so, you must either subtitle in English or submit a transcript of your video in English.
All applicants are encouraged to go through the standard application process. However, if English is not your first language, you may submit a Letter of Intent in your preferred language through the form available on the given website.
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For more information, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.org/funding-opportunities/grants/what-we-fund/tropical-rainforest-story/