Mission: Rewild our Planet

When I read about happenings around the world, I am always glad to be a parent. At the very least, I have an opportunity to guide and influence at least one human being, who will grow up to be part of the future human existence. She can carry on the work in her own ways. This is superhero stuff at a do-able level.

At the launch of Rewild Our Planet at the Art Science Museum last week and there, representatives from the World Wide Fund for Nature, Singapore (WWF) mentioned that:

Only 50% of the human population realise that we DEPEND on nature to SURVIVE.

I think our schools are doing a great job in kick starting the concept of loving our environment but, there just isn’t a personal relationship between our children and nature, or the sense of urgency to respond to the call to action. Food ingredients are bought from the supermarkets / wet markets and when they go out of stock, we just wait, don’t we?

I went to this event to explore 2 additional resources which I hoped to use to support Joy in her understanding of ecosystems and why we have to take real steps to go green.

Our Planet, the Documentary Series on Netflix

This documentary took 3500 filming days to complete and it “combines spectacular IMAX style projections with spatial soundscapes and AR to transport visitors to the last wilderness landscapes on Earth – from vast Arctic ice caps to the remote jungles of Borneo and coastal seas of Southeast Asia”

Behind-the-scenes footage shown at the launch, made me really, really appreciate the crew for putting in so much to capture what we’ll see in the documentary.

After watching some of the episodes with Joy since the launch, I highly recommend it. The videography is fantastic (there are visuals I didn’t think I would ever be able to witness before my eyes) and narration is captivating but most importantly, the series depicts how absolutely beautiful nature is when in abundance and explains how different living things rely on the ecosystem to co-exist and thrive. Not preachy, but it drives home message after message without fear mongering and is very impactful.

A breathtaking scene of flamingos.

Rewild Our Planet, Social AR experience at the Art Science Museum

Rewild Our Planet is a free experience you can sign up for at the Art Science Museum that uses AR technology with content from Our Planet, to connect people with nature through immersive story telling. It is built around four natural landscapes representing the last wilderness places on Earth, namely:

1. Forests of Borneo and India
2. Oceans of Asia
3. Grasslands of Mongolia
4. Frozen worlds of the Arctic

There is an additional layer of social dynamics to this AR experience because participants present can choose to experience one of the above 4 landscapes by standing by or near a circle on the floor (each known as a Biome) and based on majority choice, all participants experience the selected landscape.

Once the experiences commences, you are free to roam around the area where you will be able to watch the abundance – destruction – restoration stage of each landscape in the span of 5 minutes or less.

This gif shows the Forest Biome at the restoration stage, where you can restore the forestation wherever you walk.

At the very end, participants are invited to pledge support towards the cause. This portion is known as Voices of the Planet. It is a nice touch with a nice intention – to communicate the scale of support to politicians in hope to drive real, actual change.

I think that the content of Rewild Our Planet is very short and brief. Personally, I was not inspired even on a second trip I made specifically to go through the experience again. Nevertheless, I understand that they will be improving and updating the experience based on feedback and while the experience is still very basic now, I support the direction they’re heading for – which is to use AR technology for the benefit of educating about the cause. It still works as a preclude to binging on Our Planet, and you’re visiting the museum and there isn’t a long queue to go, why not?

Note: Theoretically speaking, you can pre-book your desired time slot here and head over 10 minutes beforehand for the experience. However, my personal experience of the booking system was less than desirable. When we arrived, although we had specifically booked two devices, no one was enforcing the booking system and we were asked point blank in front of other participants if we were reluctant to share with walk in participants – but you know, there was a reason why we made two bookings, one for me to experience and write this post, one for my companion to have a full experience as well. We understand the desire to let as many people participate in the experience as possible and would have been very willing to share – it’s just a shame that we were embarrassed and pressured on the spot for no apparent reason.

Date: 6 April to 2 June 2019
Time: 10am to 7pm daily
Venue: Inspiration Gallery, Level 4, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
Fee: Free ( book now)

Visit ArtScience Museum for more information.

Disclosure: I was invited to the media launch of Rewild Our Planet.

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