The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a membership of 197 countries (called “Parties”) with the collective aim of preventing dangerous human interference with the climate and stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations.
Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) are policies and actions that developing countries undertake as part of their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). NAMAs are usually government-driven initiatives that help reduce GHGs across a sector or even for a single project. The implementation of NAMAs is intended to ensure the sustainability of economic sectors while protecting the livelihoods of each country’s people.
In order to raise the profile and visibility of NAMAs, and to showcase NAMA successes in various countries, the UN Climate Change Secretariat wanted to produce a video animation as part of a “countdown social-media led campaign” to International NAMA Day.
Be the Change Group was hired to research, design, and produce an animation-style video documentary narrated by Akon, recording artist and co-founder of the Akon Lighting Africa Project, to help the UN Climate Change Secretariat position NAMAs as vital instruments for climate action and sustainable development.
The full animation was hand illustrated by six illustrators and was officially launched as a “signature clip” at the 2015 Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, France. The animation is used by the UN Climate Change Secretariat to raise awareness of NAMAs, inspiring countries to participate in climate change initiatives and encouraging future projects and donors.
The UNFCCC provided us with several technical reports and background documents on NAMAs. Our team of climate experts, researchers, and communications specialists then reviewed and compiled this information, breaking down complex concepts into accessible, bite-sized pieces of information to be used for developing the script. This process included selecting which programs and projects to highlight and finding compelling ways to tell the stories of the hard work that went into these projects.
Script writing and storyboard
Our writing, design, and research teams collaborated to develop a script and storyboard for the animation. To start, we had to determine which NAMAs our animation would showcase, and tell a clear story of each. Since NAMAs are actions that are tailored to solve a specific problem, our goal for the script was to illuminate different ways NAMAs have been implemented in various countries around the world. As a team, we constructed scripts and sets of illustrations to create storyboards for our animation.
Our CEO Brandy, an award winning director, and co-founder Natalie, directed the voiceover for the animation. The animation was narrated by Akon, recording artist and co-founder of the Akon Lighting Africa Project, to help the UN Climate Change Secretariat position NAMAs as vital instruments for climate action and sustainable development.
Once the look and feel, including colours, fonts, and styles, and the script and storyboard were determined, our team of six illustrators began working together to illustrate each of the scenes in the animation. The resulting illustrations tell the story of NAMAs in various settings including Costa Rica, Columbia, Gambia, and Thailand, highlighting a variety of inspiring projects.
In addition to the final animation, we designed and developed additional assets for the conference, including infographics and a conference banner to be displayed and distributed along with the animation at the Paris Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP21) in December 2015.