Category Archives: Conservation

Island Tours: ‘Tetiaroa’ – Marlon Brando’s Carbon-Free South Pacific Resort

Tetiꞌaroa is an atoll in the Windward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas territorial collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. Once the vacation spot for Tahitian royalty, the islets are under a 99-year lease contracted by Marlon Brando.

Marlon Brando

“My mind is always soothed when I imagine myself sitting on my South Sea island at night. If I have my way, Tetiaroa will remain forever a place that reminds Tahitians of what they are and what they were centuries ago.”

Marlon Brando first came to Tetiaroa while filming Mutiny on the Bounty and was immediately enchanted by the island’s rare beauty and the sense it gave him of being closer to paradise. Enthralled by the Polynesian way of life – and the leading lady Tarita, the love of his life – he resolved to find a way to own this piece of paradise and succeeded in his goal in 1967. It was in this natural wonderland that he settled down, and finally found a home.

Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and was determined to find a way in which it could be a center for research and education, and a model of sustainability. He was convinced that this small atoll could bring good to the entire world.

In 1999 he asked Richard Bailey, a long-time resident of Tahiti who shared Brando’s passion for the environment and who had created some of the region’s finest resorts, to help him conceive a plan that would help Brando achieve his dream. Together, Brando and Bailey pursued a vision of creating the world’s first and foremost post-carbon resort—an island where innovative new technologies would enable a self-sustaining luxury environment for hotel guests, residents and scientific research. The Brando is the legacy of that shared vision.

Conservation: Protecting Amazonian Rainforests In French Guiana (Video)

In France’s overseas department of French Guiana, the Amazon rainforest covers 90 percent of land. It’s teeming with wildlife, but this unique biodiversity is in danger. Researchers and locals are doing their best to protect it, like in Favard, where the village healer passes on his knowledge to the younger generations and educates tourists on the need to protect the forest. Meanwhile, entomologists list different species of insects, a titanic job as this knowledge is still in its infancy. Finally, researchers are trying to understand what’s driving the decline in sea turtles.

French Guiana is an overseas department of France on the northeast coast of South America, composed mainly of tropical rainforest. The ruins of 17th-century Fort Cépérou overlook the capital, Cayenne, with its colorful Creole houses and street markets. Shops and cafes surround the palm-filled main square, Place des Palmistes. The Rémire-Montjoly suburb is lined with Atlantic coast beaches. 

Ecosystems: ‘Scotland’s Rainforest’ (HD Video)

Scotland’s rainforest is one of our most precious habitats. It is as important as tropical rainforest, but even rarer. Yet few people know it exists and fewer still know how globally significant it is. This film was created by the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest to inform and inspire better protection for Scotland’s rainforest.

Scotland’s rainforest is made up of the native woodlands found on Scotland’s west coast where consistent levels of rainfall and relatively mild, year-round temperatures provide just the right conditions for some of the world’s rarest mosses, liverworts and lichens.

Ecology: ‘The Great Green Wall’ Of Africa (Video)

Development banks and states pledged a total of $14.32 billion over the next four years to build a “Great Green Wall” to help contain desertification in Africa’s northern Sahel region. But what exactly is it and how much progress has been made?

The Great Green Wall or Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel is Africa’s flagship initiative to combat the increasing desertification. Led by the African Union, the initiative aims to transform the lives of millions of people by creating a mosaic of green and productive landscapes across North Africa. 

Profile: ‘Ocean Cleanup’ – Ridding The World’s Oceans Of Plastic (Video)

The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, is developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the oceans primarily from rivers. The plastic afloat across the oceans – legacy plastic – isn’t going away by itself. Therefore, solving ocean plastic pollution requires a combination of stemming the inflow and cleaning up what has already accumulated.

FOUNDED 2013

Dutch inventor Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup at the age of 18 in his hometown of Delft, the Netherlands.

NON-PROFIT FOUNDATION

We are a registered charity as a ‘Stichting’ in the Netherlands, and a 501(c)(3) in the US.

HQ ROTTERDAM

The Ocean Cleanup’s team consists of more than 90 engineers, researchers, scientists and computational modelers working daily to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

Website

Travel Journeys: ‘Ashio, Japan’ – Return To Forests

Dig deeper into the story of Ashio, a former mining town in Tochigi Prefecture that’s returning to nature with the passage of time and contributions of hard-working residents.

[Skip Intro] 1:59

The Ashio Copper Mine (足尾銅山, Ashio Dōzan) was a copper mine located in the town of Ashio, Tochigi, (now part of the city of Nikkō, Tochigi), in the northern Kantō region of Japan. It was significant as the site of Japan’s first major pollution disaster in the 1880s and the scene of the 1907 miners riots. The pollution disaster led to the birth of the Japanese environmental movement and the 1897 Third Mine Pollution Prevention Order. The pollution incident also triggered changes in the mine’s operations that played a role in the 1907 riots, which became part of a string of mining disputes in 1907. During World War Two the mine was worked by POW forced labour.

Deforestation: ‘Amazon Rainforest’ – Becoming A Savannah In 15 Yrs? (Video)

New research suggests that if the current rate of deforestation continues, the Amazon rainforest could transform into a savannah within 15 years. Do we have time to stop it?

The Amazon basin spans over 6 million square kilometers, and is home to one-fifth of the world’s land species. In addition, it supports the 30 million people who live and depend on the land as a source of food, medicine, and shelter. That’s not even including the key role it plays in regulating the regional AND global climate.

Trees absorb water through their roots and transport it to their leaves, where it’s released as vapor through small pores in a process called transpiration. As the water vapor rises and condenses, it forms rain clouds over the forest canopy. Basically, the rainforest is making its own weather. For example, one large tree can release 1,000 liters of water into the atmosphere in a single day.

The rainforest recycles this water up to six times before it moves out of the region, but as more trees are cut down, those that remain may not be able to recycle enough water to survive. Less trees means more sunlight will hit the forest floor, exposing the forest to higher temperatures. Since deforestation began accelerating in the 1970’s, 800,000 square kilometers of the Amazon have been lost. And over that same period, the average temperature of the basin has risen by 1 degree Celsius.

Conservation: Mapping ‘The Great Barrier Reef’ To Help It Survive (BBC Video)

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. 

Net-Zero Tech: ‘Buildings Producing More Energy Than They Use’ (Video)

What if our buildings produced more energy than they used? From the United States to Hong Kong, these projects prove it can be done.

zero-energy building (ZE), also known as a zero net energy (ZNE) building, net-zero energy building (NZEB), net zero building is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site,[1][2] or in other definitions by renewable energy sources offsite, using technology such as heat pumps, high efficiency windows and insulation, and solar panels.

Preservation: ‘Tree Of The Year 2020’ In England, Wales & Scotland (Video)

Scotland’s #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Survivor Tree, Carrifran Valley.

It was once a lone rowan clinging to a stream bank in Carrifran Valley, but today that survivor tree is lonely no more! It is surrounded by a little forest of its children, and lots of suckers are coming up from its base. This was some of the first natural regeneration the Borders Forest Trust achieved in the Carrifran Valley. In addition to its own children, the rowan tree now has over half a million other native Scottish trees for company. Where once it dominated the view, it will soon be hidden from sight. The rowan tree no longer stands alone and is a symbol of the 20-year journey to revive the wild heart of Southern Scotland.

Wales’ #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Chapter House Tree, Margam Park, Port Talbot.

Standing in the shadows of 17th century Margam Orangery and St Mary’s Church, this historic fern-leaved beech envelopes the remains of one of the first Cistercian abbeys in Wales. Its canopy has provided shelter to visitors for many years – from Victorian tea parties taking place under its sweeping boughs to a favourite summer picnic spot for present day visitors. The tree provides an atmospheric back drop and is loved by cinematographers – featuring in TV and Film productions from Dr Who and ‘Songs of Praise’ with Sir Bryn Terfel to the recent Netflix blockbuster series ‘Sex Education’.

England’s #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Happy Man Tree, Hackney, London. Currently earmarked for felling, the plight of this 150 year old Plane has awakened something in a community that couldn’t bear to see it go. The dressing of the tree, and the signs behind it, are testament to the strength of feeling among the local campaigning. As an urban tree, it makes an important contribution to combating air pollution and making grey city streets green. But the community sees it as more than just the sum of it’s parts – it’s part of the estate, part of their collective history.