Threatened Brazilian Savannah Is Subject of New WWF Campaign

by Antonio Pasolini on May 12, 2011

As the debate on Brazil’s Forest Code rages on – and sadly it has seen protection for the country’s forests being watered down by the agribusiness lobby in congress – a new campaign to save the country’s savannah seems very timely.

WWF has launched a video to raise awareness about Cerrado, a huge swath of land that is largely unknown by the international community but which is home to 5% of all life on the planet. It covers about 21% of Brazil’s land area.

Although it gets much less coverage than the Amazon forest, Cerrado is being destroyed at a must faster rate. WWF says the main culprit is soya farming destined for livestock consumption. Although the soil in the area is nutrient-poor, it was altered with fertilizers to become suitable for crops such as soya beans. The Cerrado case is one of the reasons that livestock is the main source of carbon emissions in the world, estimated at 18% of the total.

As a consequence, half of the natural Cerrado has been destroyed, the equivalent of the UK, Germany, Italy and Portugal combined.

The main component of the campaign is a stunning 60 second film, which uses hand shadows that portrays some of the most famous Cerrado inhabitants, such as the giant anteater and armadillo.

The film was created by South American magician El Mago Serpico and New Zealand director, Kirk Hendry.

“It would have been much easier to make the film digitally, but we loved the authenticity and magic of creating the hand shadows for real using just one person’s hands. It was painstaking work for the cast and crew involved, but worth it”, said Matt Wood from Neo, the UK agency that created the campaign.

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