Our brand new biodiversity guide aims to help productions reduce their impact and explore ways of becoming nature positive

Watch the launch event for our biodiversity guide

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the complete variety of all the living things that make up our natural world, from animals to plants, insects to fungi right down to microorganisms like bacteria.  All organisms living today, including humans, evolved together over the course of the earth’s existence, and have come to rely on each other, like an intricate web.

That interconnected web of living things generates the air we breathe, the food we eat and water we drink but also medicines, fuel & materials, and livelihoods. To continue to survive, we all depend on the continued abundance and variety of organisms that together, maintain the world as we know it. Declining biodiversity disrupts & degrades the intricate web of life, which makes it much more vulnerable to shocks like floods, fire, and drought.

The film & TV industry impacts on biodiversity through its production practices, supply chain and through its portrayal of biodiversity on screen. Production impacts can be negative in relation to damage or disturbance of habitats or species and through use of materials.

Editorial impacts can also be negative due to increased demand for biodiversity damaging products, increased visitors to sensitive locations and impact on individual species. There is great potential, however, for the impact of the industry to be positive and promote biodiversity.

There is a need to normalise the language of biodiversity across the industry.

Why should the industry care about biodiversity?

  • Biodiversity fundamentally underpins the benefits that businesses derive from natural capital
  • Supply chains rely on biodiversity for natural resources, whether that be for precious minerals for cameras or water for cooling systems
  • Potential cost savings from reducing resource use
  • The interlinkage between climate and biodiversity mean it will not be possible to achieve net zero targets without considering biodiversity
  • Reputational gain for taking action on an issue of growing concern to viewers
  • Opportunity to inform viewers and help deliver international commitments
  • Existing and forthcoming legislation

Example of production impact and solutions

The production of 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road was accused of damaging the ecosystem of the Namib Desert during filming.

Impacts such as these can be remedied by:

  • Being aware of where land is protected
  • Make sure permissions/permits are in place
  • Make sure location guidance is in place
  • Consult local experts
  • Ensure all actions can be remedied
  • Train all relevant staff
  • Get a green location manager/runner in place

Example of editorial impact and solutions

Story content can cause an impact on on the locations in which the narrative takes place. Danny Boyle’s 2000 Adventure Drama, The Beach, led to increased tourism on Maya Bay, on Ko Phi Phi Leh where the story took place, and both the production and mass tourism damaged the beach.

A more recent positive example was an increase in interest of the pangolin, an endangered species, after its inclusion in 2016’s The Jungle Book

Resources to help you preserve biodiversity on your next production!

News Briefing: COP15 - Convention on Biological Diversity

News Briefing: COP15 - Convention on Biological Diversity