Sally Snow: Their Future Our Future
About the Project
Sally Snow's My Future is Your Future videos are part of a campaign by LAMAVE, The Large Marine Vertebrate Research Institute Philippines, to support passing a new marine wildlife interaction law in the Philippines and to educate locals & tourists about respectful wildlife interaction. The project will consist of a set of 1-minute videos to "inspire, educate, and empower, while creating a sense of respect and ownership over our actions."
CMG met Sally through our Action Grant pitch session at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Her project was one of eight finalists chosen to pitch and was selected as one of three winners. CMG awarded My Future is Your Future a $10,000 grant to cover necessary production and distribution costs over the next year.
Sally is a filmmaker as well as Media Director for LAMAVE. Their mission is conservation through research and education with their main research work taking place in wildlife tourism destinations. Tourism is one of the Philippines' fastest growing threats to the marine environment and needs to be managed in order to achieve a sustainable future. When managed well, as "eco-tourism", this industry can change lives, help safeguard habitats, create income and protect animals. The challenge that the Philippines currently faces is that there are no established guidelines, and individual towns have been setting their own rules, often based on maximizing the short-term economical gains. LAMAVE's goal is to create standards for tourists visiting the Philippines that will ensure a protected environment, including marine protected areas (MPAs), and to support this effort by fees paid by those visiting the MPA for recreation.
According to Sally, "My Future is Your Future' is an exciting opportunity to tackle the issue of unregulated and unsustainable marine wildlife tourism, which in part is due to a lack of education. I want to inspire people at the heart of wildlife tourism and tourists visiting the Philippines. We all need to understand that we are responsible for our actions and that together we can ensure a sustainable future for the wildlife, the people and the environment we visit."
The My Future is Your Future campaign will focus on passing the "Joint Administrative Order for the Guidelines on Marine Wildlife Tourism Interaction in the Philippines," put forward by the Philippine Department of Tourism, the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The law will unify standards set for interaction with wildlife nationwide and ensure that best practices, based on scientific data, are followed in every tourism destination. With the passing of this law, the Philippines hopes to move into a new era of “ecotourism.” Critically, the law needs support from stakeholders in order to ensure compliance, while tourists and communities need to be reached through education.
LAMAVE's strategy is to use five one-minute films to introduce these new wildlife guidelines while championing natural beauty and targeting key communities with the tagline: “My future is your Future." Each film will focus on one key point of the guidelines proposed by the new law (e.g. no touching, minimum distance, no flash photography) and will illustrate the importance of following the guidelines and the consequence of not following them. One main species or taxonomic group affected by tourism in the Philippines (whale shark, sharks and rays, turtles, dugongs, cetaceans) will be the main character of each film.
The films will be released first online as part of LAMAVE's campaign to rally support for the national marine wildlife interaction guidelines and then distributed through their networks, to raise awareness and generate support for the new law once it becomes public. All five films will be distributed to key marine tourism destinations across the Philippines. Copies of the films will be provided to all key Local Government Units involved in marine tourism who will be encouraged to pledge their support and make the films available on display to tourists visiting the area.
LAMAVE will measure the impact of the videos by looking at the number of petition signatures gathered in favor of adopting national marine wildlife interaction guidelines; features of the videos and their reach on popular news websites/newspapers; the increased percentage of community members involved in the tourism industry that attend events organized by LAMAVE and other organizations that screen the films in local communities engaged in wildlife tourism; the number of Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Philippines that endorse the films as an educational resource; the number of dive & tour operators that actively display the films for public viewing; accreditation of the films by the Department of Tourism as part of their future wildlife watching campaigns; and tourism compliance and education assessed by LAMAVE's ongoing research.
Distribution of the videos is set to begin in Spring 2016.
About the Grantee
Born and raised in West Wales in a family of scientists, Sally is as passionate about the natural world as she is about science communication. After graduating with a degree in both Zoology and Psychology, she embarked on a career in broadcast, working as a researcher and associate producer for multiple television productions for the BBC, S4C and National Geographic. In early 2012 she moved to the Philippines to study whale sharks, where she first became an active part in the LAMAVE project. In late 2012 she returned to the UK where she won a grant to develop and design the bilingual wildlife App 'Gwylltio/Go Wild!'. Coordinating three companies Sally merged different talents to design an App that would appeal the viewers of an accompanying children's series, while also incorporating the school curriculum for use in the classroom. She returned to the Philippines in 2013 to lead a team of researchers to rediscover one of the largest aggregations of whale sharks in Asia along the remote shores of Sogod Bay. Her current aim is to raise environmental awareness in local communities and bring international attention to important conservation issue in South East Asia.
Project Updates and Milestones
Their Future, Our Future launched April 17 in the Philippines. Sally presented at ADEX (Asia's Large Diving Expo) - championing the local sustainable wildlife tourism communities and emphasize how everyone has the #powertoprotectPH. ADEX is the longest running and largest dive expo in Asia. Sally was given the opportunity to present as a marine conservation speaker and her presentation was able to reach a massive audience and increase the campaign reach dramatcially. They launched their Facebook page as a supplement to support their mission and garner support from their community and beyond. Filipinos and international tourists will be encouraged to post statement photographs on this website.
Previously called My Future is Your Future the campaign slogan shifted due to local response and feedback.