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FACT Dialogue highlights plight of deforestation with global broadcast event

The Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue, an initiative from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the COP26 Presidency, aired its live ‘What is FACT?’ global broadcast on 9 September.

The broadcast aimed to educate the general public about the purpose of the initiative, the impact of agricultural deforestation, and provide them with the tools to take action.

Filmed at London’s Kew Gardens, the event was hosted by Julia Bradbury, featured guest appearances from celebrities and friends of COP26, and adopted a TV-style approach, with opening animations, dedicated topic areas, transitions and mini ‘ad’ breaks featured throughout.

Viewers also heard from the producers and farmers of agricultural products such as cocoa, meat, palm oil and soy, were transported to some of the areas where they are grown, learned about what innovations are being implemented to minimise deforestation around the world, and how they can play their part.

Working with Wilton Park, part of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Sledge ideated, created and managed the 90-minute virtual event, handling and directing filming, scripting, editing, and translations, and the live stream on the day, which is also available for viewing on-demand. It was housed on FACT Dialogue’s website, which Sledge designed and built, and the COP26 YouTube platform for increased reach.

To generate awareness of the event and continue the momentum after the fact, a social media marketing strategy featuring bite sized highlight videos was also developed by the team.

David Saddignton, head of nature campaign for COP26, BEIS, said: “Sledge creatively developed an engaging, educational and widely accessible live broadcast, which has enabled BEIS to raise further awareness of FACT Dialogue among the general public. “It has brought the organisation one step closer to achieving our objectives as they relate to deforestation and agricultural production around the world, and we thank the team for their partnership, proactive approach, and passion for this important cause.”

Sarah Yeats, managing director, Sledge, added: “We are honoured to have been a part of this vital initiative to help FACT Dialogue bring the plight of our planet to the fore. Leaning on our expertise in live experiences and film, Sledge worked closely with BEIS and Wilton Park to ensure the broadcast enabled key information about FACT Dialogue to be shared in relatable ways, while amplifying these messages through a dedicated, interactive website and engaging social content.”