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Lockdowns led to spurt in animal sightings

By Siddhi Jain

Venice, the beautiful Italian city where nature meets culture, was recently in news, when calm returned to its overtourism-affected waters with aquatic life shining through clear canals.

In India, monkeys, buffalos, cows and dogs have all come to be increasingly seen on Indian streets, as human life remained under a tight lockdown from March-end. In Udaipur, one could spot fish swimming in the lake after decades.

Images from across the world have presented an interesting picture – with people indoors, wild animals can be seen roaming the streets, birds sing on balconies, the dolphins have made a comeback in the rivers and the skies are blue and the air is clean, says WWF India on a campaign film ‘Our Planet, Our Home’.

The short film, that puts together visuals from across the world, is a clever satire on the idea of freedom, and how reduced human activity has led to the animal kingdom spreading its wings to territory it is kept out of.

“Any kind of development and industrial activity will have some impact on nature. What we have seen in the last few weeks, is that when human activity is decreased, and when we start behaving responsibly, we see the difference. If this responsible behavior under lockdown was demonstrated against climate change, against use of plastics, today we’d live in a different space,” Dipankar Ghose, Director of the Wildlife and Habitats, WWF India told IANS.

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report, we have lost 60 % of wildlife populations in the last 44 years, globally. So when we step out of our houses after the lockdown, let’s ensure we protect this biodiversity and build a sustainable world where nature and people coexist. ‘Our Planet, Our Home’ aims to inspire individuals, businesses and governments to strengthen positive action to help build a better world for our future generations.

The WWF’s campaign film has been developed by McCann Bangalore and Native Films.

Sambit Mohanty, Creative Head (South), McCann said that the idea for the film came from the sight of animals during the lockdown. “It was a big lesson for humanity because we truly understood the value of freedom, and not just ours, but that of other species too. It was a timely reminder that this place we call home, is theirs too. The film’s message is: Coexistence is the key to our survival.”

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