Conservation work, whether it’s about marine or terrestrial ecosystems, means finding innovative ways to reach users of those resources. As eco-tourism becomes more attractive as an income earner and climate change adds risk to the fishing sector, the need to manage the use of this invaluable resource becomes significant. Community meetings and focus groups are one way to share messages, but for the past few years the Wildlife Conservation Society in conjunction with partners such as the Belize Fisheries Department have used a fictional radio series to spread the message about proper use of the sea. Love News attended the workshop for the radio drama, Punta Fuego.
Jose Sanchez: PCI Media Impact; a group known for International entertainment education was awarded the MIL Bank Social Marketing Award for Innovation in the Environmental field for the Serial radio Drama Punta Fuego that airs in Belize. The nonprofit organization has returned to do ground work on season 3 of the radio drama.
Alleyne Regis Regional Programs Manager PCI Media Impact: We’re bringing the methodology of Entertainment Education; we have this unique methodology of using entrainment to be able to influence person’s’ attitudes and behaviors towards matters that directly affects people’s lives. We’re happy to work with WCS to look at how do we take the best of the signs that has to do with marine protected areas and so on and use that in the form of radio drama to reach people and get them to understand the value of what it is that they have.
Jose Sanchez: Specifically you are working in the drama Punta Fuego in its third season, what lessons have you learned regarding the target audience if you can express that and what’s the vision going forward?
Alleyne Regis Regional Programs Manager PCI Media Impact: I think we have done a fairly good job at taking the time to understanding the persons we are intending to reach. Everything that we do is researched based so we have hired persons to go out and do the best ensure that we are reaching the people intended to reach with the drama and so far the results have been quite good.
Jose Sanchez: In addition to having informed listeners the Drama has won another award, the Hermes Creative Award for season 2. The main stakeholder in Belize is the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Ralna Lamb Lewis Assistant Country Director, WCS: When we did our research we found out that a lot of fishers do listen to the radio while they are out at sea and even when it pertains to certain communities such as Hopkins and Dangriga you still have people coming together listening to the radio at night, listening to the different programs. The target or the goal for this program is the build that knowledge, increase the knowledge in regards to Marine Protected areas; looking at changing the attitude and behaviors of fishers as it relates to our Marine Protected areas so we found that this was an effective means of increasing the fishing communities’ awareness of what benefits these particular protected areas provide to them, provide to their families, their income, their livelihoods.
Jose Sanchez: Season 3 of the radio drama will air on Love FM.
For Love News Jose Sanchez
At the end of each episode of Punta Fuego is a call in talk show called Talking Fuego and it is hosted by LoveFM’s very own Armin Arana. We will let you know when Season Three is ready to air on Love.