FOUR season marks Earth Summit
August to 2 September 2002, with selected programmes also shown
on BBC TWO
world leaders gather in Johannesburg for the United Nations World
Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), BBC FOUR presents a season
of specially commissioned programmes that explore environmental
problems and try to separate the scare-stories from the facts.
season investigates how much progress has been made since the last
summit in Rio ten years ago and looks in detail at specific cases
- and at the wider scientific debate.
FOUR presents its own alternative Earth
Summit: The Debate (8.30-10.00pm, 2 September; also on BBC
TWO at 11.20 pm on 3 September) featuring prominent economists and
ecologists discussing various issues which will also be addressed
at the WSSD.
on the agenda for BBC FOUR's Earth Summit: The Debate include -
health care and the AIDS crisis, economic growth and the environment;
famine and access to clean water.
panel will include economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University
Earth Institute, anti-globalisation activist and author of No Logo
Naomi Klein, Malaysian economist and director of Third World Network
Martin Khor and Yolanda Kakabadse, director IUCN, World Conservation
scientist Bjorn Lomborg has made a sensational conversion from eco-warrior
to arch critic of the eco-scare industry.
The Sceptical Environmentalist (BBC FOUR, 7.10pm, 2 September
and BBC TWO, 11.20pm, 4 September) Lomborg spells out why he has
turned his back on the environmental campaigners.
believes that the environmental movement is an ideology in crisis,
that it often forces the facts to fit the message, and that the
world is actually in pretty good shape.
claims environmentalists are deliberately hyping up problems to
generate money for research and campaigns.
Bushmen's Last Dance (BBC FOUR, 9.00-9.50pm, 29 August and on
BBC TWO, 11.20pm, 5 September) examines the plight of the bushmen
in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
bushmen have hunted and gathered on this site for more than 20,000
years but the Botswanan Government inisists they leave their homeland
and the "stone age" behind and join the 21st Century.
campaigners claim diamonds found on the reserve are the real reason
behind the bushmen's expulsion - but the programme finds big business
of Rio (BBC FOUR, 8.00pm, 31 August) has followed the lives
of 12 children since they were born around the world during the
1992 Earth Summit in Rio.
film is a moving record of the lives of children growing up in a
fast changing world. Their life stories reflect the human side of
the environment/development debate, and put to the test the promises
made by the world's leaders in Rio.
programme revisits the children in Brazil, China, Kenya, India,
England and South Africa. Now aged ten and able to speak for themselves,
the programme looks at how their lives have changed, and asks: "What
impact have the promises made in Rio had on the lives of these children
and their families?"
of the Planet with David Attenborough (BBC FOUR, 9.45pm, 30
August) is a two hour version of the ground breaking series State
of the Planet, first transmitted as a three part series in November
is his personal investigation into the impact that humans are having
on the natural world and the future of life on earth.
times since life began mass extinction has rocked the planet, but
this programme asks if the world is now heading for the greatest
stories of rainforest destruction, global warming, rising sea-levels
and meteorite collisions paint a worrying, complex story but David
Attenborough believes that the natural rules that govern both the
past, present and future are simple, and, by understanding them,
humans do have the power to save life on Earth, if they so choose.
says: "Many individuals are doing what they can, but real success
can only come if there is a change in our societies and our economics
and in our politics.
have been lucky in my lifetime to see some of the greatest spectacles
that the natural world has to offer. Surely we have a responsibility
to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy and habitable
by all species."
BBC FOURs Earth Summit season, there will be a series of six
ten-minute programmes shown daily, looking at various ecological
and environmental issues.
Refugees (BBC FOUR, 7.00pm, 27 August) examines how the increased
demand for palm oil for comsetics and soaps has led to an explosion
in palm oil plantations which has devastated the Orangutans' habitat.
world's coral reefs are proving to be the first great casualty of
global warming. Death on the Reef (BBC FOUR, 7.00pm, 28 August)
examines how El Nino in 1998 led to a rise in sea temperatures in
the Indian Ocean and subsequently destroyed nearly half its coral
temperatures are predicted to rise even higher and the latest victim
is the Great Barrier Reef which could die within 50 years unless
greenhouse gases are cut dramatically.
wildlife of Namibia has been under increasing pressure from poachers
and an expanding population.
Desert Revival (BBC FOUR, 7.00pm, 29 August) shows how local
people, including ex-hunters, are now managing their own conservation
schemes financed by foreign tourists who come to see the wildlife
which is rebounding strongly.
Shrimps (BBC FOUR, 7.00pm, 30 August) reveals the hidden cost
of many shrimps and prawns bought in supermarkets as they have led
to the destruction of half of the world's mangrove swamps.
swamps are cleared to make way for shrimp farms but the environmental
impact is enormous. The farms themselves are so pulluting they can
only be used for three or four years before they become too poisonous.
report from a protected mangrove reserve in Ecuador discovers the
shrimp industry is having a serious impact on the local community.
End of the River (BBC FOUR, 7.00pm, 31 August) tells the story
of the Colorado river which flows through the Grand Canyon but no
longer reaches the sea.
waters are extracted for large agricultural projects in the deserts
of southern America and for the desert cities of Los Angeles and
removal of the Colorado's water has destroyed the Canyon's ecosystem
and the way of life of a tribe of indigenous fishermen at the river's
Flacon's Warning (BBC FOUR, 7.00pm, 1 September) investigates
the disturbing discovery that man-made flame retardants are being
found in the yolks of Peregrine Falcons in Lapland.
discovery shows that chemicals emitted by computers have found their
way into the wilderness as well as the human food chain via mothers'
milk. The programme asks why nothing is being done to restrict the
use of these chemicals.
will extensive online coverage of the Earth Summit on BBCi.
or for international visitors: www.bbcnews.com/develpomentsummit.
BBC radio and television stations and channels will provide special
programmes, in depth news bulletins and features on the Johannesburg