Today is the last day of Marche Du Film, a very exciting day for filmmakers. About 10,000 people attended the Marche Du Film and there were about 50,000 admissions to film screenings.
Today, I attended one of the most interesting discussions on Public Health. Interestingly, it was not sponsored by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) or the WHO (The World Health Organization), and none of the panelists were Public Health Professionals or were in the health field in any way.
The title of the presentation was “Preventing Pandemics and Protecting Pangolins from Wildlife Trafficking through film – VR”
Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked animal. They have been hunted and sold to the markets as delicacies and for medical treatment. They are small spiny mammals native to Asia and Africa. 4 species live in Asia and 4 species live in Africa. They eat ants and termites, which sounds delicious to a pangolin.
Pangolin species in Africa:
• Black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla)
• White-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis)
• Giant Ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea)
• Temminck's Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii)
Pangolin species in Asia:
• Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata)
• Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis)
• Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica)
• Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla)
Researchers are investigating pangolins and their role in the CoronaVirus Pandemic. Some scientists believe that the Corona Virus traveled from bats to pangolins and then jumped to humans.
The panelists talked about environmental programs, community participation, public and private sector collaboration. These discussions are typical at places such as CDC, WHO and other large public health institutions. The panelists were filmmakers, rangers protecting wildlife, anti-poaching organizations, National Geographic and XR programmers. XR (extended reality) included VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), MR (mixed reality).
This was one of the best Public Health discussions I have ever attended. This is another example of how health, art and filmmaking can work together with the same vision and mission.