Viveca works at the interface of research for development and communication. She uses writing, film and photography to contribute to SwedBio’s mission to enable knowledge generation, exchange and dialogue between policymakers, scientists and practitioners working to alleviate poverty, promote equity and sustain livelihoods that foster social ecological resilience.

Methods and approaches – film and photography

There are several projects where Viveca works with colleagues and collaborative partners to explore using innovative methods and approaches as tools to support SwedBio’s ongoing work addressing cross cutting issues such as biodiversity loss, human rights, gender and resilience of social ecological systems.

One example is a project with collaborative partner, ICLEI Africa. Viveca launched a project in Lilongwe, Malawi, that uses participatory photography or photovoice to both document a transformation process as well as to encourage more widespread, active participation and engagement in local urban developments. The photovoice component is part of a larger regional initiative aiming to integrate an ecosystems approach into urban planning. As such, the photographs are a means to communicate insights from local projects implementing the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The images also capture and express the multiple and diverse perspectives of individuals and communities, some of whose voices might not otherwise be heard.

Another project involves employing visual methods in one of Swedbio’s multi actor dialogues, as a means of engaging different knowledge, practices and worldviews. Photo elicitation is being explored as an approach to bridge across areas of expertise that usually do not come into contact with each other – human rights and biodiversity – in order to find synergies to better inform global policy processes such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) call for a new sustainability agenda for post 2020.

Communications – webnews, features, policy reports

As part of the communications team, Viveca writes and edits news and feature stories and works with colleagues in planning the communications strategy. This includes creating video content for web and mobile platforms and social media. Contributions to policy briefs and reports that help to inform national and global policy processes include the forthcoming report on the first African Dialogue on The World in 2050. Also, a report on integrating human rights, biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goals ahead of the 2018 meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD.  Other recent work includes supporting colleagues and partners in several indigenous communities to produce a series of reports on piloting a Multiple Evidence Base approach to mobilise and highlight the value of biocultural knowledge, practices and beliefs in maintaining healthy and productive agricultural landscapes and communities.

Merging experiences

Learning the craft of documentary filmmaking at the BBC, Viveca directed several flagship BBC science, history and arts programmes. Her role as a producer and director involved identifying and eliciting the human stories embedded in complex research or events. As a project and team manager, Viveca led the whole creative process of making compelling films to inform global audiences and, to sow the seeds for a change in how we see the world. She moved to Stockholm to study for a MSc in Social Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development from the Stockholm Resilience Centre with the intention of merging her skills as a filmmaker with her passion for understanding and contributing to more equitable, biosphere-based development.


Contact Viveca Mellegård

Advisor and Communications Strategist