Climate change has far-reaching effects on every part of the planet, including the disappearance of certain animal species. The best-case scenarios presented by scientists predict about 18% of current species will be extinct by 2050; more extreme models suggest that number could be as great as 35%.
To change this outcome, dramatic changes must be made by humans around the world.
The future of animals depends upon the choices made by humans, as well as building awareness of and involvement in environmental activities is a critical piece of the puzzle. In Poland, even though environmental awareness is growing, only about one-third of its population is actively taking environmental action.
NOIZZ.pl, Axel Springer’s contemporary urban publication that targets a younger, digitally savvy population, saw getting young people engaged in the conversation about endangered species as the planet’s best hope. So, the publication decided to lead by example and take dramatic action.
Sending animals to space
NOIZZ.pl partnered with scientists from Copernicus Science Centre and came up with a project they called Ark 2.0. Using the World Wildlife Funds’ database, they identified the 24 most endangered species on the planet. Then, to launch the groundbreaking project, they gathered the DNA of those species and transformed that DNA into radio signals.
The signals were then sent by radio toward 13 exoplanets that bear similarities to Earth and, therefore, hold the greatest potential for the species to evolve and survive.
As the project was developed, NOIZZ.pl documented the programme’s evolution on video, which then was published in all NOIZZ.pl channels, including the Web site, Facebook, and Instagram.
The editors conducted a series of interviews with ecology and space experts, and also developed articles on environmental changes. A landing page offered tips of actions each person could take to help save the animals by making changes in their behaviour. This included tips such as reducing meat consumption, reusing shopping bags, and taking a more responsible approach to such things as clothing purchases and travel.
The campaign, which involved both the editorial and marketing departments, emphasised that there’s still time to save endangered species and slow the effects of climate change — but it requires immediate action.
Capturing a generation’s attention
NOIZZ.pl acknowledged there is minimal chance the signals containing the DNA of endangered species reaching an intelligent civilization. But, it pointed out, there is also a minimal chance that many endangered species — including the polar bear, tiger, and mountain gorilla — will survive. The most critical part of this campaign was to catch the attention of young people and start a conversation about what they can do to stop climate change.
In addition to the coverage on the NOIZZ.pl platforms, the campaign caught the attention of national TV and radio stations, which led to interviews discussing the project and the problem it is designed to solve. NOIZZ.pl reached more than 1.2 million people via social media, and its video had more than 338,000 views. The Ark 2.0 Web site saw more than 600,000 visits.
Wanting to create lasting change, NOIZZ.pl also created a declaration that was signed by nearly 10,000 people. In it, they committed to changing their behaviour for the good of the planet. As an ongoing effort, NOIZZ.pl continues providing tips and advice to help stop climate change — and save the animals.