The issue of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution hits close to home since our team is based out of the Netherlands, a country which has recently been grappling with the disastrous effects of climate change. However, to understand how the Netherlands has been blindsided by the issue of greenhouse gas pollution we have to start at the birth of the country's modern agriculture sector.
It all starts at the end of World War 2, a time when the Netherlands suffered from severe food scarcity and economic decline. To alleviate themselves back into prosperity, the government at the time turned to the agricultural sector to rapidly modernize and expand it, and it worked! After decades of basking in success the consequences of rapid expansion and climate change came knocking. Accordingly, government policy changed to reflect the new issues which invoked the wrath of farmers and the entire industry which had blossomed into one of the worlds largest. Thus, the MSP-iGEM team decided to explore the current dichotomy between farmers and the government through a (mini) documentary.
We first started with educating ourselves about this issue by conducting secondary research from online sources both in English and Dutch to gain a clear understanding of the issue. This research revealed the gravity of the situation and the stakeholders involved. Based on this research we decided the style and tone of the documentary. After completing this research we assembled an audio-visual script and interview questions for the stakeholders.
Subsequently, we contacted farmers to interview so that their voices could be heard on the issue. However this effort was unsuccessful after many attempts which we attributed to the politically sensitive & charged nature of this issue. Consequently, we used personal connections to land an interview with a farmer and also secured an interview with D66's (2nd largest party in the Netherlands) representative for agriculture, Tjreed Groot. Additionally, to highlight the synthetic biology solutions being explored to tackle GHG pollution, we highlighted our own team's and Wageningen-iGEM team's efforts to combat this issue. Once the interviews were recorded we entered the post-production stage in which the editors and media group exchanged feedback to arrive at a finished documentary.