About

Hard facts about how we are destroying our planet have not changed mass behaviour in the 21st century. Nor have hard facts overcome national interests which block an effective global response to global crisis. The harsh reality of mass species extinction and unprecedented climate change is backed by scientific certainty. Too many people feel disempowered and hopeless – what difference can individual action make?

VOICES FOR NATURE is using the arts to help make planet protection central to mainstream thinking. We don’t back off from harsh reality or science but we change how this information is framed and processed.

OUR MISSION is to capture the imagination of young people, to engage their motivation and to sustain their action to protect our planet.

OUR VALUES are equality, diversity and justice. We believe our natural world has intrinsic value beyond its service to mankind.

WE INSPIRE YOUNG PEOPLE through our bespoke ‘stories’ set in not-too-distance futures but rooted in fact.

WE EMPOWER ACTION through critical debate and forum theatre  and developing science and conservation communication in a wide range of media.

WE SUSTAIN MOTIVATION through PLANET PARLIAMENT NOW our new grassroots initiative for young people anywhere in the world.

VOICES FOR NATURE was founded in June 2014. It is a not-for-profit company run philanthropically by the founders Sigrid Shreeve and Dr Tony Coombs. Our early work focused on inspiring and engaging with young people through the specially written novel Jabujicaba and it’s sequel Caretta Caretta, both set in Brazil. The environmental themes are the complex geo-politics of rainforest and coral reef conservation.

In 2017 we broadened our focus to include global population growth issues and climate change. We have further developed our debating tools and forum theatre formats and are using video as our main means of communication.

In 2018 we continue to broaden global environmental themes and engage with young audiences. We are launching our new initiative Planet Parliament Now to sustain young people’s motivation to protect our planet. We are building outreach and technology platforms.

 

Inspiration

Stories are powerful tools for change. We all make sense of our world through narratives with beginnings, middles and ends. On a personal level we use these to inform or justify our behaviours and at a societal level, shared stories underpin culture and set explicit and implicit rules.

Voices for Nature is reframing the current negative environmental narrative of our lives to a positive one, where we through our actions can help change outcomes and protect our planet.

OUR NOVELS are redemption ‘myths’, set in not-too-distant futures but firmly grounded in fact and science. They have interesting and colourful characters who constantly ask questions as they go on their own learning journeys to make sense of their world.

Our eco-thriller novel Jabujicaba is set in Brazil’s rainforests. Our shorter sequel, Caretta Caretta is set on Brazil’s Amazon Reef.

In our dramatic fiction readers explore other cultures and learn scientific facts. They also learn to see the world through the eyes of our many very different characters, which some neurologists claim helps promote empathy and emotional learning. Our novels also aim to inspire readers with new role models who value and protect our planet.

CLIFF-HANGER CAMEOS

We use short stories and scripts in our forum theatre work to set the scene  for our performances. Like our literary fiction, these are set in a not-too-distant future. Central to the plot is a crisis of mankind’s making which participants are challenged to resolve. Through the process of forum theatre different endings can be explored and to help inform the learning process we involve academics and scientists.

In November 2017 we produced ‘The Garden’s Secrets’ on population issues and healing plants. Also involved were a well-known plant scientist and anthropologist from Oxford.

‘The Last Snowflake” is currently under production. It is a forum theatre event for families at Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History Museum on 31st May 2019. The theme is climate change and the polar regions.

Here is Yrsa Daley-Ward in action as Carmen, investigating what is going on in the deepest Amazon….

 

Empowerment

To “empower” is to give others the courage to speak out and influence those in ‘authority’ and claim a rightful say in their their own lives.

Our human rights are defined by constitution, law and cultural, political or traditional norms. Sometimes an individual may not know or have the courage, confidence or skill to claim his or her rights. Sometimes the ‘system’ excludes them.

Voices for Nature‘s values are equality, diversity and justice. We believe our fundamental human rights to family, home, security, safety apply to all.

We work with young people not only to break down the barriers which might prevent them from understanding or claiming their rights but also build awareness of currently unrepresented rights, such as those of future generations and the intrinsic rights of Nature. We empower consideration, debate and independent thought and do not impose our own particular views.

To empower young people we:

Success builds confidence and working together sustains energy when progress is difficult. Our new project Planet Parliament Now aims to build a global community of Planet Citizens who work to protect the planet and build a better future for all.

Here are some of the young people we have worked with, exploring what Nature means to them through our forum theatre….

PLANET PARLIAMENT

PLANET PARLIAMENT is an initiative to ‘give Nature a voice’ through democratic global environmental engagement. It is directed at young adults.

Voices for Nature embeds Planet Parliament into its theatre work and is currently testing communications and exploring new media and digital technology formats.

The mission of Planet Parliament is to be a digital engagement platform for real world environmental advocacy and action based on the science of  planetary ‘boundaries’.

Events incorporating concepts from Planet Parliament:

PLANET PARLIAMENT NOW! participative theatre in collaboration with the University of Salford and Media City UK, 20th March 2019

THE LAST SNOWFLAKE forum theatre with the University of Oxford Natural History Museum, 2018

Planet Parliament builds on Voices for Nature‘s experience working with six formers in Jabuji debates and with young people of all ages in creative communication across all arts and media.

Students from Eton College and Burnham Grammar, Jabuji Debates pilot 2015

FIND OUT MORE about our participative theatre

THE GARDEN’S SECRETS, 2017 forum theatre at Oxford University Department of International Development for the launch of the Educere network

THE AMAZON AUCTION, 2016 forum theatre in Oxford University Botanic Gardens with Wheatley Park School

 

Join us

We are rapidly growing our team of collaborators, for outreach, content and technology development for our initiative Planet Parliament Now.

In particular, we are looking to build

  • our hubs for environmental education (eg teacher champions, school environment or politics societies, conservation charities,  youth organisations, educational outreach departments in natural history museums and botanical gardens)
  • web development skills
  • film special effects, animation and gaming technologies
  • young environmental and science bloggers with an original voice

If you would like to find out more e-mail Voices for Nature and explore how we could work together….