Community Conservation Films

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Project Achievements 2008-2009

Over 80 young conservationists have been trained in filmmaking in more than seven film-making workshops at field camps in East Africa – Olkiramatian (Kenya’s South Rift), Mkuru (in the shadow of Tanzania’s Mt Meru), Lake Bogoria and Lake Naivasha (two lakes in Kenya’s Rift Valley; each twice). The training pattern is for two weeks intensive fieldwork teaching the principals of camera work and digital editing, using Final Cut Pro on Apple Macintosh laptops, to be followed a few weeks later by an intensive further week’s classroom editing. All the 2008 trainees were given a further week of intensive training in storytelling/ script writing, which was repeated later in 2009.


Training was undertaken variously by Ben Please, Erin Moore, Sandy Watt, Sarah Matthews, Camilla Turner, Adrian Seymour and Helene Ganichaud.

These young European and American professionals also mentored selected trainees to become trainers themselves, thus enabling all continued training to be done by locals. Kenya trainers are Jackson Komen, Elijah Chege, Elsie Kariuki, Mary Mwendwa. Training the second half of 2009 was done by the Tanzanian trainers. In the process we/they have produced seven Film Series about biodiversity conservation and livelihoods in the training locations.

Post Project 2009 - 2012

The seven Film Series completed as part of our training camps and now being distributed are as follows:-

  • Maasai Pride (the remarkable conservation progress made in Kenya’s South Rift Valley);
  • Camels & Communities (livelihood & wildlife issues for Tanzania’s Mt Meru communities);
  • Bogoria Livelihoods (issues of sustainability for communities around Lake Bogoria);
  • Naivasha’s Challenges (tackling the problems of Lake Naivasha as a result of the global agricultural industry dependent upon its water and the people attracted to jobs there);
  • Soda Lake Safari (understanding the links between Kenya and Tanzania for flamingo lives);
  • Communities & Climate Change (how communities around Lake Naivasha are dealing with adaptation to climate change).

A second set of five Film Series were made by individual trainees, and were completed by August 2009, from a combination of donated and new footage. Working titles are:-

  • Coastal Communities for Conservation (conservation camp; livelihood issues among fisherfolk on Kenya’s coast);
  • Wananchi for Wetlands (the papyrus wetlands in western Kenya, their value to people as well as nature);
  • Forest Futures (opportunities for forest conservation under new community-based management);
  • Green Queens (the lives of prominent Kenyan women past and present);
  • Bees and Trees (the value of bees and honey to conservation and livelihoods).

Trainees also made films addressing controversial issues in East Africa – Tana Delta and Lake Natron development plans, for example. We currently have a library of films from these and from donated material. Our efforts to connect with NGOs/government organisations concerned with conservation, research and development education in the region, to establish distribution channels for these Film Series, has been very successful so far. We are networking with over 40 Education Centers in East Africa to make CBCF films widely available to schools and communities through their existing avenues.


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