Can protecting forests prevent pandemics?



Event information

Deadline: 8 November 2020


Tell us in your video how we can prevent pandemics by protecting forests for a chance to win a GoPro!

Forests are crucial to the health of all people because they provide clean air and water, food and timber and places for recreation. They also mitigate climate change by storing carbon and helping to prevent climate-induced disasters such as droughts and floods. 

Protecting and restoring forests is essential to overcoming the climate crisis and preventing the spread of diseases such as COVID-19 that are transferred from animals to humans.

This year, we are learning an important lesson: Our health and well-being depend on how we protect and care for our forests and the environment around us. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone around the world. To prevent the disease from spreading, people are confined to their homes. Schools and businesses are closed, social gatherings are restricted and travel has halted.

Tell us in your video how can protecting forests prevent pandemics?

Share with us your opinion for a chance to be recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and RECOFTC.

The contest is open to  

  • High school students aged 14 to 18, in grades 9 to 12
  • University students younger than 35, studying bachelors' or masters'
  • Students residing in the Asia-Pacific region, as defined by FAO

The judges will select winners from two categories—high school and university. Participants submitting videos must subscribe to FAO, UNEP and RECOFTC YouTube channels. All videos will be uploaded to RECOFTC’s YouTube channel on Monday 9 November 2020. Students are encouraged to promote their videos on social media using #ForestsPreventPandemics.

The video with the most likes on YouTube will win the category of "Most Popular."


Winners will receive a new GoPro camera!

Video submission 

  • Answer the question: Can protecting forests prevent pandemics?
  • The submitter(s) of the video must have clear copyright of the audio and visual content or provide appropriate attribution
  • The video must be factually accurate and credit third-party sourcing of video and audio 
  • Language: Video can be in a local language but must have English subtitles
  • Length: Maximum of 1 minute 
  • Resolution must be at 1080 pixels (1920 x 1080 Full HD) or higher quality
  • Videos must be encoded as an MP4 using the H.264 codec
  • The video can be produced with any professional or non-professional device, such as a smartphone, tablet or video camera
  • Submissions can be entered individually or in teams of up to three people, but all submissions will be treated as equal
  • Share video file using WeTransfer
  • All submissions must be received by 8 November 2020
  • Sign consent form

Judging criteria

Each video submission will be reviewed by the reviewing committee and evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Overall relevance to the question: Can we prevent pandemics by protecting forests? 
  • Innovative and creative approach 
  • Quality of presentation, imagery and sound
  • Accuracy and understandability 

Winners will be announced in a virtual event later this year.