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Forests and climate change
Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but this is released when forests are damaged or destroyed, contributing to climate change. In the run-up to the 2009 climate meeting in Copenhagen there was much discussion about a new funding instrument, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). This instrument is based on a simple principle: reward the people who manage forests so that they maximize absorption and reduce emissions.
To explain the thinking behind REDD, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) established the Forests and Climate Change website. Working with CIFOR scientists and a freelance web designer, Green Ink provided simple, clear text that distils the complex implications of REDD and points the way to further resources provided by CIFOR and others. Despite a tight deadline, the site was up and running in time for Copenhagen.
“I have heard the REDD/CC website was a huge success in Copenhagen.”
Jeff Walker, freelance web developer
New mandate, new website
As part of a broader reform process, the Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Research (CGIAR) has changed its name to become the Independent Science and Partnerships Council (ISPC). With the name change comes a new mandate – to ensure the quality, relevance and impact of CGIAR research. This places the ISPC at the heart of the CGIAR’s mission to eradicate hunger and poverty and safeguard the environment.
The ISPC asked Green Ink to develop a new website to reflect its new mandate. We began with a detailed diagnostic and planning phase, to identify objectives and guidelines for the new site. This phase culminated in an expert report, which formed the basis for our subsequent work on site development. Our technical multimedia and content development experts then worked together, integrating the design, writing and construction tasks. The new site went live in April 2011: www.sciencecouncil.cgiar.org.
“Erin and Paul have been magnificent.”
Peter Gardiner, Executive Director, ISPC
On-line annual reporting
In 2009, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) went on-line only with its annual report. Starting with an on-line concept allows greater freedom and creativity than when adapting a conventional hard-copy model.
The report is about as interactive as you can get, with opportunities to share comments via a host of social networking tools. For those wanting a taste of CTA’s activities in the field, there’s a video clip that takes you straight to pastoral Namibia. Another link allows you to explore CTA’s extensive picture library. Despite the bells and whistles we kept the design simple and elegant, creating a slick, user-friendly alternative to a clunky PDF file. And it’s a smooth read too, packed with articles that demonstrate the relevance of CTA’s programme and the potential of information and communications technologies to transform prospects for the poor.
“The electronic version looks really fine…. The Senior Management Group appreciates that this is timely and probably unique.”
Karen Hackshaw, Programme Coordinator, Institutional Publications, CTA
Promote to protect: ethical trade and biodiversity
Promotion these days often involves creating synergy between different outlets and products. That was the need of the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), a membership-based organization that promotes sustainable and ethical trade in products that come from biodiversity.
Green Ink was asked to help update all the union’s promotional materials, rewriting the text so that it would appeal to potential business members as well as other stakeholders. Working with the Executive Director and a marketing consultant, our writer Erin O’Connell found the ‘radical’ tone the client was seeking for a new brochure, then adapted this text for the home page of the union’s website. She went on to edit a technical brief and newsletter and to write a series of briefs for a press-kit. Erin also drafted a Wikipedia entry and helped ‘punch up’ the rest of the client’s website text.
“Great job and fast! It has been great working with you on this assignment. We would be happy to continue working with Green Ink.”
Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Executive Director, UEBT
Biodiversity: back to basics
Websites written by scientists often fail to explain the basics. A case in point was the website of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), which was too cluttered with jargon to allow the organization to fulfil its mandate to share information and data.
Green Ink was called in to help. Our science writer Erin O’Connell visited GBIF’s headquarters in Copenhagen, where she worked with the organization’s scientists and information support staff to identify basic concepts and re-write content in plain English.
“The work you did on our website in 2009 turned out very well. In particular, it was useful to have Erin visit us during the process.”
Anne Mette Nielsen, ICT Support Manager, GBIF