Venice, the beautiful Italian city where nature meets culture, was recently in news, when calm returned to its overtourism-affected waters with aquatic life shining through clear canals.
Closer home, monkeys, buffalos, cows and dogs have all come to be increasingly sighted on Indian streets, as human life remained under a tight lockdown from March-end. In Udaipur, one could spot fish swimming in the lake after decades.
Images from across the world has presented a very interesting picture – with people indoors, wild animals can be seen roaming the streets, birds sing on balconies, the dolphins have made a comeback in the rivers and the skies are blue and the air is clean, says WWF India on a campaign film '<em>Our Planet, Our Home</em>', that visually illustrates this human-animal contrast.
The short film, that puts together visuals from across the world, is a clever satire on the idea of freedom, and how reduced human activity has led to the animal kingdom spreading its wings to territory it is kept out of.
"Any kind of development and industrial activity will have some impact on nature. What we have seen in the last few weeks, is that when human activity is decreased, and when we start behaving responsibly, we see the difference. Most of us are locked in our homes, not just because someone advised, but because we are also afraid of an infection. If this responsible behaviour was demonstrated against climate change, against use of plastics, today we'd live in a different space," said Dipankar Ghose, Director of the Wildlife and Habitats, WWF India.
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Adding, Himanshu Pandey, Marketing Communication Director at WWF India says that he cannot imagine life, without wildlife. "When we talk about wildlife, it's about their habitats, their ecosystem. Without nature, no human activity – whether economic or otherwise – is possible. This contrast of us being locked up in our houses and wildlife moving about freely in urban spaces, this is a reminder of the cruciality of conservation," he said over phone.
According to WWF's <em>Living Planet Report</em>, we have lost 60 per cent of wildlife populations in the last 44 years, globally. So when we step out of our houses after the lockdown, let's ensure we protect this biodiversity and build a sustainable world where nature and people coexist. This is a film that aims to inspire individuals, businesses and governments to strengthen positive action to help build a better world for our future generations, he added.
The campaign film, which puts forth a question of coexistence as compared to human-animal competition – "what remains to be seen is whether this will continue once life returns to normal" – has been developed by McCann Bangalore and Native Films.
"In advertising, we believe that all good ideas come from simple observations or insights. This insight came from the site of animals, who were on the streets while humans were caged inside their houses. This was like a role reversal of sorts. This irony was unmistakable in a sense. It was a big lesson for humanity because we truly understood the value of freedom, and not just ours, but that of other species too. It was a timely reminder that this place we call home, is theirs too. This is the film's message: Coexistence is the key to our survival," Sambit Mohanty, Creative Head (South), McCann added.
Coexistence, as per Ghose, is more of a perception that something which is a practically happening. "Animals are reclaiming, I would say, urban biodiversity has always been there, we started observing them, hearing different sounds and appreciating them. If want to hear these koyel sounds, we have to change certain things in our behavior," he concludes..