There is gold on Indonesia’s Sangihe island, and a Canadian-listed mining company has a permit to exploit it. Environmentalists say the gold mine threatens the island’s ancient forests, which are home to endemic birds. Locals fear it will affect their water supply. The BBC visited the remote island to see what’s at stake.
Italy’s Carrara marble quarries are a source of controversy, pitting nature against economic gain. Environmentalists warn of overexploitation, while others defend the jobs these Tuscan quarries provide.
Franco Barratini quarries marble blocks that sell for €4,000 per ton. The amount of marble that was once quarried in a month can now be extracted in just three days, and environmentalists are alarmed at the consequences. Marble dust leaks into groundwater, turns rivers milky-white and hangs in the air. The effects of this are still not completely clear.
Sandro Manfredi is fighting what he sees as severe overexploitation in the marble quarries of Tuscany’s Apuan Alps. In 2018, he filed a complaint against an illegal marble quarry, and afterwards was nearly killed when someone tampered with his car. Carrara has experienced four floods in the last nine years. Environmentalists blame marble quarrying, which has increased dramatically thanks to rapidly evolving extraction techniques, upsetting the region’s hydrogeological balance.
Leading documentary photographers and filmmakers Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier are co-founders of SeaLegacy, a conservation collective of experienced storytellers dedicated to protecting our oceans. The two Sony Artisans Of Imagery have taken their mission to the next level with SeaLegacy 1, a boat that they stripped and systematically rebuilt for diving and documenting with their Sony Alpha gear. In episode one of the new series SeaLegacy: The Voyage, follow along as they set sail on a four-year long mission to save the world’s oceans. Learn more: https://alphauniverse.com/
This week, we’re highlighting these four top stories: watch Peruvians fix an ancient bridge with just wild grass and ancient Inca skill, see how NASA is improving life on Earth, learn how a movie snack is being turned into packaging and catch the latest technology making our world a more sustainable place.
After 50 years, scientists return to Elephant Island off the coast of the Antarctic peninsula to do the seemingly impossible; count thousands of penguins.
245 kilometers off the frigid coast of Antarctica is an island where populations of chinstrap penguins live in the thousands. But these penguins are more than just cute, the health of the Antarctic ecosystem relies on their well-being. the scientists in this next documentary count them. Yeah. By hand, in the freezing cold, walking on steep cliffs. It’s been years since this last happened, and the data collected now will inform them of how one of the most remote places on earth is fairing.
The chinstrap penguin is a species of penguin that inhabits a variety of islands and shores in the Southern Pacific and the Antarctic Oceans. Its name stems from the narrow black band under its head, which makes it appear as if it were wearing a black helmet, making it easy to identify.
The Faughan Valley runs from the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains along the beautiful River Faughan to the outskirts of the city. Covering some 80 square miles, it has been identified as an area of strategic importance thanks to some precious natural features. The river and its tributaries have well-earned environmental designations in recognition of the huge variety of plants and animals. And pockets of precious ancient woodland – a habitat even rarer in Northern Ireland than elsewhere in the UK – dot this famously scenic land.
The #TowerOfPisa in #Tuscany, is one of the most visited tourist sites in #Italy. A historic monument, designated a Unesco world heritage site, that has confounded scientists and engineers since its creation. Even at the beginning of construction in August 1173, it started to lean, due to the soft ground that it was built on. Which is why it needs constant attention. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic the conservation team are taking advantage of the lack of tourists to make progress with the maintenance of this iconic building. Our correspondent in Italy, Natalia Mendoza went to observe recent operations.
Thilafushi, an island of floating rubbish island in the Maldives, grows by a square meter a day. But diving instructor Shaahina Ali is trying to slow that growth by recycling and using floating barriers to hold back the rising seas.
For decades, the Maldives simply dumped the trash the tourists and the island country’s 400 thousand residents generated. Yet Shaahina Ali says that has to stop. Almost every day, the diving instructor and her allies go from island to island in the Indian Ocean. Working with an environmental organization, they have obtained trash compactors that make plastic waste transportable, allowing it to be shipped abroad for recycling. Ali also advocates avoiding disposable plastic. She gives lectures, advises hotel managers and even bends the ear of the Maldives’ president himself.
When she has time, Shaahina Ali goes scuba diving. Beneath the waves she sees environmental degradation – dying corals and fish caught up in plastic waste. She says, “We can’t afford to address just one problem. We’ve got to take care of everything at once because everything is connected to the sea.” But the island paradise is not only threatened by rubbish. Climate change is also causing the sea levels to rise, and the Maldives are at risk of sinking beneath the water.
That’s why conservationists are using floating barriers made of recycled plastic to help prevent flooding. In addition to the environmental group “Parley for the Oceans,” Ali has also won politicians to her cause. Last year saw a democratic change of government in the Maldives. “The new government no longer views environmentalists as annoying troublemakers. They see us as partners instead,” Ali says. But those trying to save the island are in a race against time. “If we don’t succeed,” says Shaahina Ali, “far more than a vacation paradise will be lost. We will lose our homeland.”