Staff Correspondent :: Amidst the mad rush of holiday shoppers, street hawkers, and gridlock traffic in NYC’s Times Square, something very special is happening today.
On two huge HD screens that flank the Viacom Building on 1515 Broadway, home to MTV, Connect4Climate’s (C4C) 25-second video that opens with a quote from President Kim and features a collaboration between Eminem and Kenyan hip hop group TS1 rapping about climate issues will play throughout the day in front of the thousands of people moving through one of the world’s most famous squares.
This incredible pro bono outreach opportunity was made possible thanks to C4C’s partnerships with MTV and Artists Project Earth, a UK-based NGO that has produced the ‘Rhythms del Mundo’ charity album series with all proceeds going towards climate change projects around the world. Eminem’s remix of “Not Afraid” with TS1 is featured on the recently launched ‘Rhythms del Mundo: Africa’ CD that also includes tracks by Beyonce, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and many more.
This creative public/private collaboration is just one example amongst many in the wide spectrum of C4C’s coalition of more than 140 knowledge partners. Launched just over a year ago by the World Bank, the Italian Ministry of Environment, and the GEF, C4C’s “campaign, coalition and community that cares about climate change” has worked to amplify the voices of local stakeholders who have stories to tell about climate change. Having built an aggregate online community approaching half a million, C4C’s goal of creating a participatory, open knowledge platform that engages the global community in climate change conversation to drive local action is now a reality.
Global Environment Facility and Connect4Climate
The Global Environment Facility has been a strong supporter of Connect4Climate and its many initiatives. As one of the three main sponsors, in line with the GEF’s youth outreach program lead by GEF EXT, and along with the Italian Environment Ministry, the GEF provided financial support and logistics in the preparation and execution of initiatives taken by C4C. In the run-up to the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 17) in Durban in December 2011, C4C kick-started its campaign by challenging African youth from the ages of 13 to 35 to tell their personal climate change stories through photos and videos focused on six categories: Agriculture, energy, forests, gender, health, and water. The response to the first competition was impressive, with over 700 photos and videos submitted from every country on the African continent. The winning photos and videos were presented at a high-profile awards ceremony and exhibition in Durban that generated over 300 articles and blogs written in English, French, Italian, and Arabic. The winning images and videos are featured on http://www.connect4climate.orgorg and continue to inspire others to share their own stories and offer innovative ideas for action.