The aim of this study is to contribute insights into how biodiversity is framed and visualized in EU policy. The analysis includes both the visual content and the written text of two brochures summarizing two central EU biodiversity policy documents.

The study combines quantitative and qualitative content analysis of the images and a thematic narrative analysis of the written text. The study demonstrates how the two modes of communication differs. First, the written text primarily presents an anthropocentric and economic framing of biodiversity values, whereas the visual material generally features the beauty and wonders of nature. Second, the content of the written text strongly emphasizes the threats to biodiversity and the detrimental side of human activity, whereas the visual material generally shows a close relationship between humans and nature whit humans engaged in small-scale outdoor activities. The analysis illustrates how various representations of biodiversity intersect in the same context, and that the visual representation decontextualizes the matter of biodiversity loss from human exploitation of natural resources and the concrete actions and processes that cause its decline. Biodiversity loss and biodiversity preservation are complex, truly multidimensional matters that can be framed and represented in many ways. Different representations tell different parts of the story, and they all emphasize some aspects and downplay or omit others. Although images of magnificent landscape/scenery and amazing creatures can be useful to emotionally engage the viewer in environmental protection, simplified versions of the story will be of limited usefulness in helping people understand the issue of biodiversity.
Project Leader/Participant: Ylva Uggla, Örebro University
Start: 1 January 2017
End: 31 December 2017
Funding Structure: Seed Money: 195 000 SEK