Starting at 7pm UK time on Sunday 24 April 2022, Our Changing Planet is a two part series.
Six presenters visit various destinations around the world. They are investigating the impact of accelerating economic development and the impact of climate change.
In the first programme on 24 April 2022, the programme takes us to the Maldives with Steve Backshall. There has been massive coral bleaching here, because of the acidification of the ocean and warming seas. The biodiversity of these reefs is very important: they give food security and income to the people, and they are trying to stop the destruction. Steve also checks on a group of manta rays – their presence gives us an idea of the health of the reefs.
The Joyful Environmentalist: How to Practise without Preaching
by Isabel Losada, available from Foyles.co.uk
Cambodia is developing rapidly and this growth is putting huge pressure on natural resources. Ella Al-Shamahi meets a fishing community on the Tonle Sap lake who used to rely on the fish there but dam construction along the Mekong river is threatening the biodiversity of the lake. New roads are giving poachers easy access to the forest, propelling an illegal wildlife trade, and Ella visits a project which rescues and rehabilitates wildlife that have been illegally trafficked, including pangolins. Visit the website for the Wildlife Alliance who work to protect the ecosystems and wild species there.
Chris Packham is in Iceland looking at how the glaciers are retreating as the Arctic temperatures are rising at over twice the annual global average. As sea and ice melts faster and faster so sea levels are rising. Iceland is very much affected by rising temperatures and islanders’ lives and livelihoods are being threatened. Chris joins a team of scientists who are monitoring the impact of increased shipping on humpback whales.
In the second programme, Liz Bonnin visits California to look at the impact wildfires are having. Scientists can see clear links between the fires, raised temperatures, climate change and a longer drought season. Conservationists and scientists are working to help wildlife affected by fires to help retain biodiversity, as the loss of keystone species and large carnivores is a real threat to California’s ecosystems. Liz also visits the Pacific coast, where great white sharks have arrived to live in the warming seas.
Ade Adepitan is in Kenya, looking at the effects rising temperatures are having on the land. He also visits a project to help preserve the elephant. It is going to amazing efforts to ensure the African elephant survives.
Pantanal Wildlife: A Visitor's Guide to Brazil's Great Wetland
by James Lowen from Foyles.co.uk
And Gordon Buchanan finds out about a project aiming to save the jaguar in Brazil. The country is home to the Pantanal, the world’s most important wetlands. Back in 2020, 30% of the Pantanal was destroyed by wildfires – about 17 million animals were killed as a result. Jaguars were affected because of habitat loss, a shortage of food, injury and death.
This series should be thought provoking and hopefully it will also give us all ideas of ways we can help.