BA (Hons) Animation Production students Olga and Irina Ertahanova have won $2,000 as part of the IFAD-AUB Animation Prize with their animated adaption of the IFAD’s Adaption for Smallholder Agriculture Program.

The winners of the IFAD-Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) Animation Prize of US$2000 are sisters, Olga and Irina Ertahanova from Ulan-Ude in the Russian Federation. The competition asked students on the undergraduate animation course to capture the essence of IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP).

ASAP was launched by IFAD in 2012 to make climate and environmental finance work for smallholder farmers. A multi-year and multi-donor financing window, ASAP provides adaptation finance to scale up and integrate climate change adaptation across IFAD’s approximately US$1billion per year of new investments.

“We were very intrigued when we first heard about ASAP,” said Olga and Irina. “We had many ideas about how we could represent it in animation,”

“But we felt that the most important message was not that these rural people were receiving help, but that they were being supported in order to help themselves. We tried to convey this point in our animation, an animation that we thoroughly enjoyed working on.”

The competition encouraged students to consider the impacts of climate change on the rural poor and how adaptation on small farms can overcome poverty and avoid crises.

As the United Nations lead agency on agricultural development for smallholder farming, IFAD is actively looking to partner with learning and research institutions with records of excellence.

The winning film was judged on the design content of the animation and quality of the idea. The narrative focused on the increasing risks to smallholders as ecosystems services become more volatile owing to climate change. The animation demonstrated the usefulness of adaptation techniques in managing these risks.

“The fresh take of younger people on environment and sustainability issues bring invaluable insights, We have learnt a lot through this competition, especially about the power of animation to really bring home the problems faced by smallholders and solutions on offer to climate change impacts. Working with the AUB has been an exciting opportunity to collaborate with an establishment that is leading in its field,” said Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Director of the Environment and Climate Division at IFAD.

Pete Symons, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Animation Production, believes this is an interesting way of involving young people with the activities of IFAD,

“Animation has the ability to put across complex and difficult messages that sometimes cannot be so effectively expressed in other media.  We feel that it is important for university students to engage with pressing environmental issues and this project certainly provided a new challenge for our students. Being able to use animation in a way that promotes IFAD’s extraordinary work with the world’s rural people is a great opportunity and we are proud to be involved.”