Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Prince Charles’ new online initiative for rainforests makes media splash

mongabay.com
May 06, 2009

Releasing a video with as many species of celebrity as ants in the rainforest and simultaneously turning to online sites such as MySpace and YouTube appears to have worked for Prince Charles, a longtime advocate of rainforest conservation. His conservation organization’s new outreach to online users has garnered considerable coverage from the international media.

The 90 second video advocating rainforest conservation features the newest James Bond, Daniel Craig; longtime rainforest activist Harrison Ford; spiritual leader in exile the Dalai Lama; beloved muppet, Kermit the Frog; comedian Robin Williams; Prince Charles’ sons William and Harry; and Prince Charles, himself.

This new initiative received ample coverage from the BBC, New York Times, Time Magazine, AFP, Reuters, and USA Today. It was also covered by some media organizations that rarely spend time on rainforests or environmental issues, such as People Magazine and Monsters and Critics.com due to the Prince’s savvy use of technology and celebrities.

Prince Charles’ move to broaden awareness of rainforest deforestation—and especially its link to climate change—has garnered additional coverage for his use of Blue State Digital, an Internet consultancy group behind the online portion of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign which broke new ground in utilizing the Internet to find and broaden support.

Prince Charles has said that he believes the passage of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) in December in Copenhagen is essential to halting the loss of rainforests worldwide and saving essential carbon sinks worldwide.

"We must start to pay for the services that these great forests provide to us... In the simplest of terms, we have to find a way to make the forests worth more alive than dead... Unbelievable as it might seem, we are destroying our planet's air-conditioning system." Prince Charles told the European Parliament on global warming last year. "The loss of biodiversity is also terrifying. It has been compared to burning down a library of previous knowledge without first reading the books."
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