Landscape narratives

Storytelling is an effective way of communicating information and motivating action for change. Through the development of narratives, LP stakeholders may find a way to express or highlight certain aspects of their journey that they deem inspiring or important. This may help motivate others to continue working together over the long term. These narratives can highlight initial successes (quick wins), and articulate aspirations for the landscape.

Compelling landscape narratives can also help to attract the interest of groups outside the LP who could contribute to the LP’s success, such as policymakers, investors, buyers of marketed products from the landscape, business leaders, or the media. When developing and delivering these narratives for these audiences it is important to focus messages on matters that are relevant to them and use their language. For example, pitches to potential investors might include information on natural capital valuation in the landscape and the landscape investment portfolio (output 4.4).

Landscape Narratives can take various forms to appeal to different audiences: a brochure, a story, a video, a play, photographs, recordings, visual arts, music, a poem, a newspaper or magazine article, or a marketing flyer. These applications of the Narrative can be incorporated into the Calendar of Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach (4.2).

Landscape narratives

Landscape narratives Tools

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Video storytelling with a smartphone

  • Communication
  • Guide
  • Mobile Phone

People tend to connect with stories they can see, stories that engage them and make a topic seem real and personal. Telling your story through video can be a very powerful tool for attracting funders, raising public awareness, growing your community, and much more. And the best part is that you can make a video to tell your story even with limited resources and budget. This recipe covers the creation of a video from idea to distribution using just an Android phone and software tools that can be used for free.

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Appreciative Storytelling

  • Guide

Appreciative Storytelling is a tool which seeks to document things that are going well in a partnership and increase positive sharing, common ground and pride amongst stakeholders. Achieved through intentional interviews to collect positive stories, appreciative interviewing encourages participants to take a positive perspective by rediscovering and reorganizing what is going well rather than focusing on problems.

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Explorer.land’s storytelling guide

  • Guide

Explorer.land designed this storytelling guide to inspire communicators of landscape projects to tell their story in a dynamic way, using maps, data, photos and imagery, video, timelines, biographies and more.

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Sharing Good Experiences

  • Guide

This section of the Partnering Toolbook helps partnerships identify audiences and presents an example story about a successful initiative. The associated tool, Case Study Template, also provides several questions that can be used to conduct an interview with a member of the LP with an eye toward sharing the story with others.

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The Barefoot Guide Approach to Writing Stories of Practice

  • Guide

This short guide explains how stories can be used to tell honest and meaningful accounts of development experiences that reveal not just the outside successes, but also the inside story of what unfolded during the process. It provides several guiding questions to assist stakeholders in accessing the inner story.

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Whole Landscapes, Whole Communities: Working with Nature to Heal, Transform and Generate Landscapes

  • Guide

This mini Barefoot Guide is an introduction to the Seed and Knowledge Initiative and its partners’ journey of landscape-level work with communities in Southern Africa. It can serve as an example of a compelling story that includes maps, dialogue, illustrations, definitions and narrative storytelling.

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