Ho Van Chien, Southern Regional Plant Protection Center, Long Dinh, Tien Giang, Vietnam
Ecological engineering to restore biodiversity and ecosystem services into rice landscapes was launched in Tien Giang province by HE vice minister Dr Bui Ba Bong in September 2010. The campaign that included the use of mass media such as TV, pamphlets, posters and newspapers improved farmers’ knowledge and practices resulting in a 12% decline in insecticide use. In March 2012 “Women in Ecological Engineering” was launched on International Women’s Day. The change in practices included the planting of nectar rich flowering plants on the bunds. Initially skeptical about such practices, farmers later changed their attitudes. These ecological techniques to reduce vulnerability of the rice crop to planthopper outbreaks are now being promoted in China, Thailand and Vietnam. In order to outscale the ecological engineering principles and techniques, TVE Japan (Television Trust for the Environment) in collaboration with IRRI, is developing a film on this.
TVE Japan is an autonomous, non-profit organization formed in 1995 by a group of senior Japanese broadcasters. A member of the influential Global Environmental Forum of Japan, TVE Japan produces new television programs on environment and development issues relevant to Japan, arranges their broadcast on Japanese television, and organizes film screening and distribution activities across the country. It has always been supportive of TVE Asia Pacific and the Asia Pacific Partner Network. In addition to participating in regional workshops and events, TVE Japan has worked with TVE Asia Pacific in raising funding support from Japanese sources.
The film entitled “Hopper Race” has completed part 1 that describes the planthopper problems in Asia related by Thai farmers. This will be officially launched later in 2012. Part 2 will focus on ecological engineering. Film producer, Ms Juka Kawaai and cameraman Mr Seiko Akiba traveled with us to the provinces of Tien Giang, An Giang, Kien Giang, Dong Thap and Vinh Long to film the range of ecological engineering implementation, rice farming practices and to conduct interviews with farmers, scientists and local officials. The film will be translated into several Asian languages and distributed through the TVE network of collaborators for television broadcasts and education.