The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most unspoiled nature in the world. But even here plastic waste is a problem, and biodiversity is under threat. Marine biologists and conservationists are campaigning for the expansion of protected zones. The fauna and flora of the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean is a treasure trove for marine biologists.
They still know very little about many of the fish, rays and sea turtles that can be found here. But these days, their work is focused primarily on conservation, because many of these species are endangered due to threats such as overfishing and boat strikes. Efforts to protect local wildlife include attaching tracking devices to juvenile hammerhead sharks to determine their migration routes, which can then be designated as protected areas.
Other research teams are focused on the problem of plastic waste in the Pacific – identifying where it comes from and exploring its impact on marine life. Meanwhile, local fishermen are under pressure: Large fishing fleets from China and elsewhere ply the waters near the Galapagos Islands, severely depleting fish stocks. As a result, local fishing boats are forced to move into designated conservation zones. If the delicate marine environment surrounding the Galapagos Islands is to survive, fishing needs to become more sustainable.
Each year, just about 30,000 metric tonnes of plastic pollution enter Indonesia’s waters. How does one man plan to clean it up?
In Indonesia, the ocean plays a critical role in people’s livelihood; from their food to their careers. But that important life source is under threat from overwhelming amounts of plastic. Unfortunately, this pollution is fueled from one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist destinations, Bali.
This, combined with plastic from the rest of the world, washes up on beaches, gets hooked by local fishermen, and damages marine ecosystems. This film follows Wayan, a 90-year-old Balinese fisherman using all his resources and knowledge to tackle this growing problem, one net of trash at a time. This is Voice Above Water, a production from Turning Tides Films.
The world is facing a growing waste problem, with 2bn tonnes produced last year alone. Is it possible to clean up this mess by turning trash into cash? 00:00 – The world has a huge waste problem.
Video timeline: 00:45 – Upcycling to reduce waste 02:46 – Building offices from recycled products 03:46 – The problem with traditional recycling 04:59 – Waste reduction relies on a circular economy 05:38 – Taiwan’s waste management success 08:20 – The problem with incineration 09:55 – Is the future zero waste? 10:43 – Consumption attitudes are changing Read our special report on waste here https://econ.st/3JrlD6y
Bangladesh is struggling just to stay afloat. Literally: By 2050, it’s estimated that climate issues will displace one in seven of the country’s inhabitants.
This film takes the viewer on a journey through Bangladesh, exploring why overflowing rivers flood three-quarters of the country every year. We see how flooding threatens the country’s food security, how soil erosion thrusts thousands into homelessness, and how climate refugees are forced to flee their homes in a desperate act of survival.
Along the way, we meet communities adapting to rising sea climate change by growing food on water. This is a strategy which could prove very useful in the near future, as rising sea levels threaten to inundate 11% of the country’s land in the next 30 years.
This documentary brings us to the front lines of the battle against catastrophic climate change in Bangladesh. It also tells the stories of activists who are bringing the dangers posed by man-made threats to light.
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.”
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.
Dutch inventor Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup at the age of 18 in his hometown of Delft, the Netherlands.
We are a registered charity as a ‘Stichting’ in the Netherlands, and a 501(c)(3) in the US.
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.
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.
Contributing Correspondent Dennis Normile talks about a long-term study involving the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Seventy-five years after the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the two cities in Japan, survivors are still helping scientists learn about the effects of radiation exposure.
Also this week, Sarah talks with Winnie Lau, senior manager for preventing ocean plastics at Pew Charitable Trusts about her group’s paper about what it would take to seriously fight the flow of plastics into the environment. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.
Particulate pollution is a serious threat to human health, but the way that new particles form is poorly understood. This week, new research suggests a new mechanism for it to happen. Research article: Wang et al.; News and Views: Airborne particles might grow fast in cities