Harbin, the capital city of China’s northernmost province, Heilongjiang, is renowned for its ice and snow culture, which is vividly displayed at Harbin International Ice Festival every year. The festival also kicks off the city’s winter tourist season. At the ice mining event, ice miners in traditional Chinese costumes sing songs while cutting the ice into rectangular blocks and dragging them from the river. The ice blocks collected from the Songhua River are crystal clear with no impurity spots, making them the perfect materials for creating ice sculptures. Join CGTN to have a closer look!
Bangladesh is known as the “Land of a Thousand Rivers.” Its capital, Dhaka, is surrounded by four rivers, has over 50 canals and several lakes. Yet, the city has problems providing clean drinking water to residents. This is one of the reasons why Dhaka was ranked the seventh least livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2022 Global Livability Index. How will the Padma water treatment plant built in February 2019 ease the water crisis? Find out in “Our Better World.”
Rooibos tea and the sweetener stevia were originally discovered by indigenous peoples. Now they are among a long list of biological resources that bring profit to international corporations.
Biopiracy, or scientific colonialism, is the term for when big companies appropriate biological resources or the traditional knowledge associated with them without compensating the relevant indigenous peoples. It chiefly involves stimulants, food crops and medicinal plants with benefits first determined by the people who originally cultivated them. Financially powerful corporations take that knowledge, and turn it into big business.
The Pai Tavytera in northeastern Paraguay discovered the sweetening properties of stevia centuries ago – but have seen none of the profits now being made on the global market. While they find themselves displaced to reservations and surrounded by monoculture agribusiness and cattle farms, the wild stevia plant has almost died out.
Over in South Africa, the descendants of the Khoikhoi and San face a similar fate; the country’s original inhabitants were the first to cultivate rooibos, which is exclusive to the Zederberg region. Today the plant is grown on a large-scale commercial basis, and marketed worldwide, primarily as a tea product.
The fight against biopiracy, however, is not just about money and patents; species preservation is another crucial issue. Indigenous peoples possess precious insights into the workings of nature, and are recognized by UNESCO and other institutions as vital conservers of biodiversity. There are international agreements that are supposed to ensure that the relevant peoples or countries receive fair compensation for access to their genetic resources. However, in practice this rarely happens. All too often, industry and governments alike lack the will and authority to guarantee compensation payments. Biopiracy has thus become rampant – especially in the biodiversity hotspots in the southern hemisphere.
Medicines and cosmetics use substances derived from nature. But Bioprospecting can turn into biopiracy. More and more companies are patenting natural ingredients making billions. It can come at a cost to the environment and traditional communities living in biodiversity-rich regions.
Reporter: Louise Osborne
Video Editor: David Jacobi
Supervising Editor: Joanna Gottschalk
We’re destroying our environment at an alarming rate. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Our new channel Planet A explores the shift towards an eco-friendly world — and challenges our ideas about what dealing with climate change means. We look at the big and the small: What we can do and how the system needs to change. Every Friday we’ll take a truly global look at how to get us out of this mess.
The ice in the arctic is melting, revealing huge amounts of fossil fuels, rare earths and new shipping routes. And the rush to secure these has already begun. Will countries continue their race for economic and militaristic advantages or will they finally work together to solve the global problem of climate change?
Reporter: Monika Sax
Video Editor: Markus Mörtz
Supervising Editor: Joanna Gottschalk, Kiyo Dörrer & Michael Trobridge
We’re destroying our environment at an alarming rate. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Our channel explores the shift towards an eco-friendly world — and challenges our ideas about what dealing with climate change means. We look at the big and the small: What we can do and how the system needs to change. Every Friday we’ll take a truly global look at how to get us out of this mess.
Over the past few months, activists have targeted priceless works of art to call attention to the climate crisis. These viral moments are grabbing attention, but is the message getting through? We look at how these protests could be both helping and hurting in the fight against climate change.
After a year of climate catastrophes, we take a look at the history of environmental activism in America. In his new book “Silent Spring Revolution,” Douglas Brinkley calls attention to the climate change movement by tracing the work of pioneering environmental activists in the 1960s. He joins Walter Isaacson to discuss this environmental awakening. Originally aired on November 28, 2022
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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