Tropical rainforests cover about two percent of Earth’s total surface area, but they provide habitat for half of terrestrial plants and animals on earth. In the Amazon alone, the trees and other plants generate 20 percent of our oxygen, earning the nickname “the lungs of the planet.” Millions of indigenous peoples who call these rainforests home — as they have for millennia — have proven to be the best guardians of these forests, but other human influences have never been a more imminent threat. Today is a time of great challenge and great opportunity in the rainforests of the Amazon River basin, the Congo River basin, and the Indonesian and Malaysian archipelagos.
We need journalists, photographers, filmmakers, cartographers, data visualizers, and socially-connected storytellers who can show us what we might lose if these biomes are not protected and highlight potential solutions that have the power to create real, sustainable improvements.
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.
National Geographic is interested in supporting storytelling projects that highlight ecosystem-scale stories and solutions-oriented attempts to mitigate or reverse human impacts.
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.
Proposals will be funded from the local equivalent of $5,000 to $70,000 USD. Please note : October 9, 2019 is the deadline to submit a proposal for this funding opportunity.
If you wish to read more & apply, click here.