Still from "earthrise" episode "Food for Thought"
S1 E14: Antarctic Sanctuary

Antarctic Sanctuary

For centuries, mankind has been hooked on the concept of a mysterious continent at the end of the world. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it "the unknown southern land" and a century ago, Captain Robert Falcon Scott paid the ultimate price on his famous South Pole expedition.

Antarctica, the planet's southernmost continent, is home to spectacular biodiversity — from emperor penguins and blue whales to krill. But climate change, oil drilling and an ever-expanding commercial fishing industry are threatening this undisturbed land and its iconic creatures.

Greenpeace has been campaigning for the creation of a massive ocean sanctuary in the remote Weddell Sea. The marine reserve would cover 1.8 million square kilometers and would be protected from direct human impacts like fishing and deep-sea mining. 

"Scientists are saying we need to protect a third of the world's oceans, at least. If we want to let fish stocks recover, if we want to mitigate against the worst impacts of climate change, then Antarctica is a great place to start," says Will McCallum, head of oceans at Greenpeace U.K., who leads the Weddell Sea petition — one of the most significant campaigns in the environmental organizations' history. 

In October 2018 the 36 governments responsible for the conservation of Antarctic waters met in Australia to make a final decision on the protected area. 

"earthrise" joins Greenpeace's expedition to the Weddell Sea, as a team of scientists, ocean photographers and ocean experts set out to gather sufficient evidence to ensure that the proposal is carried through and that international support is garnered. Later, we meet up with them again in Australia to see whether the bid to create one of the largest ocean sanctuaries in the world has been successful.

Available until
2019-08-14T00:00:00-07:00

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Forest-Friendly Fires

In a busy market in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, a group of women gather to cook. While the dishes they prepare are traditional, the brightly coloured stoves they cook on are new.

The locally made Ugastove, which requires on average half the amount of charcoal of traditional cookers, saves money in reduced fuel costs, cuts carbon emissions and reduces deforestation.

Water: Saving Every Drop

Estimates say that by 2030, if we carry on as we are, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs. In India's Ladakh, rising temperatures are leading to glacial melt and water shortages in the mountains of the Himalayas. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is also struggling as it experiences severe drought.  

"earthrise" investigates the local solutions being developed in Ladakh and Jordan to help ease the increasingly worrying water problems. 

  • 2020-01-09T17:00:00-08:00
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