Caption: A screen Grab of the MTN Uganda Caller Tunes Portal Showing Conservation Tunes.
Biodiversity Conservation in this digital age means we must adapt to the methods the young generations are moving with, otherwise, we shall be moving towards opposite directions and sending out messages using wrong forums. There is increasing need for creativity in the way conservation messages are pushed out to the people in a sense of making the messaging ‘sleek’ and also segmented for the right audiences.
In Uganda, we have about 21 million unique mobile phone users which amount to 50% of the population and 14 million internet users, important to note that 70% of the population is below 35 Years. This means the relevance of speaking to the people through these devices cannot be undermined. If everyone comes to realize that loss of biodiversity affects all of us in the long run because even the telecom companies only make money when the peasant farmer has a dollar to spend on airtime.
For over 3 years I have been actively using my space as a radio and TV host to communicate information about protecting the environment in my music shows, something that my colleagues at first thought was awkward until I explained to them that, through these shows we can change behavior and attitudes of the people if we do it smartly. For now, this is something am proud of and encourage my colleagues to take up the other challenges such as HIV/ AIDS, teenage pregnancy, etc whichever one feels comfortable with.
In my day job is I look after the East African business of Content Connect Africa which is a digital music content distribution company plugging in music content in form of Caller Ring Back Tunes, Full Track streaming and downloads through telecom networks.
Through this space, I have been able to create 30 second long Caller Ring Back Tunes (CRBT) speaking about conservation. The campaign is simply about the telecom customer choosing a CRBT that speaks about either, Forests / Wildlife / Wetlands. The CRBTs are available in either English/ Luganda languages. I hope to get government’s support to ensure the content is free for access to the telecom networks.
Listen to the CRBTs here: https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/525801144
By James Propa
GYBN Steering Committee, Uganda