As the scientists of the world become increasingly concerned about the effects of climate change, it can be difficult for people to relate to such a huge, sweeping issue. To bring the problem down to a human level, Al Jazeera subsidiary Contrast VR and the European Forest Institute (EFI) announce the release of The Disappearing Oasis, a virtual reality (VR) film that show the tangible consequences of climate change.
The Disappearing Oasis looks at a region in Morocco called M’hamid Oasis which has been effected by climate change. The film uses immersive storytelling to look at how the area faces being swallowed up by the Sahara Desert.
The M’hamid Oasis is a vital lifeline for the residents of the area, with people like Halim Sbai seeing the available fertile land dry up leaving them with fewer places to grow crops. The film shows stark, immersive images of areas once full of lush vegetation that fade into empty sand-choked land.
Contrast VR Producer Viktorija Mickute, who directed the film, had this to say: “VR is a powerful visual tool for audiences to dive into the story and see the effects of climate change with their own eyes,” said producer Viktorija Mickute. “Too often the world talks about climate change only when disasters hit. It’s important to shift our focus to communities that are struggling daily with the impact of changing climates. These communities can help us understand the gravity of the problem and can offer solutions.”
“Trees and forests play a key role in regulating biodiversity, climate, soil and water, ensuring the resilience of susceptible regions to climate change,” said EFI’s Director Marc Palahí. “At EFI we connect knowledge to action, bringing research to policymakers, the media and the public. Our Lookout Station media partnerships aim to tell science-based stories about climate change in an innovative way.”
The Disappearing Oasis will be released on Al Jazeera +, Vimeo, Al Jazeera English, Contrast VR and EFI social channels. VRFocus will continue to keep you informed on new and upcoming VR projects.
Update: This article has been updated to add that Contrast VR are a subsidiary company of Al Jazeera. VRFocus apologises for any confusion.