How can a comic-book help to communicate important messages for nature?

Cat and mouse

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Sometimes, it is incredibly difficult to communicate priority actions required for nature to people and other stakeholders. This is especially true when the management actions involve sensitive subjects and approaches. Communicating with care and with humour can be advantageous to ensure that the main messages get across.  

Competent Inclusive Communication was a blended learning course led by EUROPARC designed to help participants understand how to communicate meaningfully and with impact about their Natura 2000 site(s). Working through a series of interrelated topics, step-by-step, they increased their practical skills and gained new knowledge important for improving their communication competencies. The following describes the work of a EUROPARC member.

Meet Paul Rutten of Staatsbosbeheer, a Competent Inclusive Communication course participant

Paul Rutten, state forestry team manager in National Park Dunes of Texel found a way to present his work in a new and captivating way. 

He completed his final assignment for the Competent Inclusive Communication course  – which was a part of the LIFE capacity building project – by creating a comic book about wildlife management on a Dutch Island, Texel. 

Paul tackles a potentially sensitive nature management priority with pitch-perfect skill. He captures the Texel love-hate story between cats, wildlife, as well as people and tells this as a story about successful and clever ways to solve the problem of feral and stray cats in this Natura 2000 site.

Paul Rutten introduction

Paul Rutten introduction

As Paul himself points out, the main goals of his comic-book are to:

  • Inspire people to work together no matter what their differences are
  • Respect different perspectives
  • Use open communication: ask & listen instead of judging
  • Find ambitions that help each party to succeed … more or less!

Take a look at his story and the approach Paul used and get inspired to explore new ways of communicating your visions and ideas!

Paul’s comic book “Shifting positions”

Cat hunts mice

Stay connected: The eNatura2000 app

Within the project, an app was developed to help Natura 2000 managers and other nature professionals learn, discuss and connect together. The app is available on Google Play and App Store!

With the eNatura2000 app, users are able to:

  • Network and e-connect with peers and professionals around Europe.
  • Discuss issues and difficulties that arise in the management of Natura 2000 sites and other Protected Areas.
  • Get inspired by existing best practices and solutions. Developed by EUROPARC with 5 partner organisations from around Europe, this practical tool will make networking across regions, countries, and land types for Natura2000 managers easy and enjoyable.

The digital tool will help Natura 2000 managers identify issues, solve common problems that they face, communicate with each other directly, as well as learn about their professional development needs. For more information on the app, go here.