Fiji Video - UK Nature Connection
Marks and Spencer, WWF United Kingdom and WWF South Pacific pooled resources to make the documentary aimed at bringing people in the UK closer to their food sources – both at sea and land.
Shot by Australian Free Range Media in several locations in Suva and Vanua Levu, the video features the turtle nesting island of Katawaqa, an outlier north of Vanua Levu, marine biodiversity, turtle tagging activities, turtle monitors, tuna processing, the Labasa Sugar Mill and cane farmers.
Marks and Spencer Sustainability Manager Fiona Wheatley said with the growth of cities and urbanization, people in the UK are increasingly becoming disconnected with their natural environment.
“The aim is to bring people close to the area that services their food needs. People are very distanced from agriculture and fisheries in the UK. This brings them closer because it makes them understand,” she said.
“The big challenge is as more and more people live in cities they lose the context of production, they forget how much you rely on water and how much biodiversity in its wider sense contributes to growing carrots, plantains, sheep farming or tuna production.
“And it’s actually really valuable to help people understand that.
“It also makes them understand the value of the Forever Fish Program which is a Marks and Spencer- WWF partnership around nature conservation and how important the whole environment and ecosystem is.”
She visited the turtle nesting site on Katawaqa Island to view turtle conservation work, the Labasa sugar mill to have an idea about where part of the sugar consumed in the UK comes from and the Solander Tuna Processing outlet in Suva, as part of the video production.
Nature conservation investments made by Marks and Spencer through WWK UK, helps fund the Marine Species Program at WWF South Pacific which coordinates turtle conservation work.
“We are doing it to protect turtles, but actually if we are protecting the turtles habitats we are also protecting a lot of other species as well,” Wheatley said.
“Turtles are really iconic, great, valued, and important and by protecting their habitats we are also protecting the habitats of thousands other species.
“The point of this video is to give them inspiration and help them value this program,” she said.
Demonstrating the close kinship turtle monitors, fishermen, islanders have with nature showcases the interconnectedness and dependence humans have on their natural resources.
“Everyone has a responsibility to conservation, because if we don’t look after our natural food systems we will not be able to continue living on it – that’s the bottom line.”
In accepting this responsibility, the documentary is expected to inspire and motivate UK consumers to willingly invest towards the work of nature conservation just as turtle monitors in Fiji and qoliqoli owners are working to protect their natural resources.