earthrise: Protecting Precious Landscapes

earthrise Protecting Precious Landscapes on Aljazeera on StarSat - web

earthrise: Protecting Precious Landscapes

Every living being has always been in conflict with nature. It’s only the rare few of any species that managed to live beyond infancy and to produce offspring. Humans have managed, more than any other animal on earth, to master nature to such a degree that most of our offspring manage to mature to adulthood and have kids. This wasn’t an easy battle however, fighting against all the horrors nature can dish out: from diseases and natural disasters to deadly parasites and predators, humanity has finally managed to come out on top.

Since the beginning of civilization, human development has always come at the cost of natural resources: no building of towns unless forests are cleared for crops. Human destruction in the aeons of the past was mostly out of necessity to feed themselves and their offspring and to protect them from the elements. In the modern era, however, natural resources all over the world are being depleted not for survival, but for luxury. In this episode, we follow environmentalists who are attempting to protect ecosystems that are under threat because the market demands it.

Viscose and rayon are fabrics made from the pulp of trees that are growing in popularity. To meet the demand companies have been mulching millions of primary forest thousand-year-old trees for their precious pulp. Canopy is a non-profit whose goal is to stop the decimation of these forests by getting some of the biggest clothing companies in the world to buy into more sustainable methods and materials.

Dams are very useful to us. They make it incredibly easy to store and access a vast amount of water that we then use for irrigation and personal hygiene. Unfortunately, building a dam means depriving everything downstream of their water source. Water is life, and without it, whole ecosystems cease to exist. Environmentalist Cagan Sekercioglu has made it his mission to preserve a rare pocket of wetland in Turkey that serves as a breeding ground for all sorts of migratory birds, 16 of which are on the endangered species list. He’s planning to prove the area’s significance by tagging and monitoring the birds that come here to breed.

Wednesday, 5 August at 12:30 AM on Aljazeera (ch 257)

Repeats: Wednesday 5 August at 11:30 AM; Thursday 6 August 5:30 AM; Friday 7 July at 6:30 PM; and Saturday 8 July at 7:30 AM.

Author: Jan Hendrik Harmse