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When I first started working with the team at Rooted Everyday the word biodiversity didn’t immediately resonate deeply with me. It conjured up images in my mind of insects and plant life and nature but nothing urgently connected to my everyday life.

Now, I know The UN has reported that a loss of biodiversity is as big a threat as climate change. That stopped me in my tracks. As big as climate change, wow. When did I start to grasp the idea that this is the first generation to really understand what climate change means for our planet, and could be the last to do something about it? Not so very long ago.

If you asked me now, what does biodiversity mean to me? I’d say – everything. Biodiversity is the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. It is life on earth. I’m not a scientist, I care about nature but my knowledge is rooted in words, in human experience and emotion. Everyone can be a Rooted Everyday conservationist through the choices we make. The tales of who made something and how it was produced are there to be found everywhere, from what we buy to what we eat.

Human beings are creative creatures. We tell stories to connect with each other and share experience. Through stories we can travel to far off places and experience thousands of different lives. Stories can change the world and so can we.

The first environment-themed writing prize in the Mediterranean

Photo by The Mango Lab

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Stories change how we see the world. It’s urgent for our survival that more people see what’s truly at stake for people and planet and engage with it emotionally and personally. It’ll be a learning experience for me and every reader to see the world through new writers’ eyes and travel to new places and experience different ways of life through their stories.

The new ‘Rooted Everyday Mediterranean Short Story Prize’ will celebrate and protect the rich culture and biodiversity found in the Greek Island of Lemnos, the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, the Shouf Biosphere Reserve in Lebanon and the Dehesas and Montados in Spain and Portugal.

It’s an opportunity to encourage awareness, understanding and the protection of Mediterranean culture and natural resources. The 3000 word competition is free to enter for writers over 18 from 2 April – 24 June 2019.

I’m very proud to be one of the judges. We’ll be looking for stories that address the conservation issues highlighted within the Rooted Everyday campaign. The purpose of the prize is to celebrate biodiversity and to tell the stories of the people whose livelihoods depend on traditional and sustainable practices in the Mediterranean ecoregions.

Creating a platform for new writing internationally

Winners will get the opportunity to travel to their national eco-site which includes accommodation and a guided tour. The Winner will have their story published in an eBook and be given a platform to write, vlog and record their experience of visiting the eco-site.

Help spread the word to writers to enter the competition who are resident or from the Mediterranean countries of Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Greece or Lebanon. Stories entered for the prize must be original and previously unpublished. Writers will retain copyright of their work and agree for it to be used as part of Rooted Everyday communications. Participating in the competition is completely free and you can read the full terms and conditions on the website.

We want to reverse the loss of biodiversity. We want to celebrate and support people who work in balance with nature. Do you?

Be #RootedEveryday

About the Author
Amy Beeson is the chair of the Rooted Everyday Mediterranean Short Story Prize. She is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, copywriting and communications.

Amy has co-written with Sarah Beeson MBE two memoirs The New Arrival, Our Country Nurse and a parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family published by HarperCollins in paperback, eBook and audiobook. She is currently writing a debut novel How To Be A Good Wife. Amy runs Wordsby a branding and communications agency that works closely with the Rooted Everyday campaign.

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