Taking inspiration from President Kennedy’s Moonshot which united people around a goal to put man on the moon and spurred the development of new technology in the 1960s, the Earthshot Prize is centred around five simple but ambitious goals for our planet. Chhavi Sachdev announces the winners of the inaugural prize and discusses how smart ideas from individual innovators and small companies can influence the upcoming climate debate at COP26 in Glasgow. Prizes like this prove that there are clever ideas being developed to ease our pressure on the environment, but how can those ideas be harnessed and scaled up to make a big difference globally? Chhavi is joined by Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and by Juliet Davenport, founder of the green power company Good Energy, to discuss the best ways to make smart ideas part of the solution to the planet's biggest problems.
Producer: Alasdair Cross
Earthshot: More Fresh Ideas for the Environment
Taking inspiration from President Kennedy’s Moonshot which united people around a goal to put man on the moon and spurred the development of new technology in the 1960s, the Earthshot Prize is centred around five simple but ambitious goals for our planet. Chhavi Sachdev profiles more of the prize nominees from all around the world.
This week Chhavi concentrates on the innovators working to reduce waste, provide clean water and develop clean energy solutions for communities without access to power. Japan is notoriously prone to natural disaster which makes it a perfect testing ground for disaster-management solutions. The Wota Box arose from the urgent need for clean water in locations hit by earthquakes or tsunamis. Using the latest techniques in artificial intelligence it controls a series of filters to remove pollutants and provide essential washing facilities where they're needed most. In Nigeria, Olugbenga Olubanjohas invented a portable battery which can be rented from a vending machine to power mobile phone chargers and laptops, bringing modern communication options to some of the poorest areas of Africa.
Producer: Julian Siddle
Earthshot: Fresh Ideas For the Environment
Taking inspiration from President Kennedy’s Moonshot which united people around a goal to put man on the moon and spurred the development of new technology in the 1960s, the Earthshot Prize is centred around five simple but ambitious goals for our planet. Over the next three editions of Costing the Earth, Chhavi Sachdev meets the prize nominees from all around the world.
This week Chhavi concentrates on the innovators working to protect nature on land and in the oceans and meets those striving to improve the air quality of our cities. Vinisha Umashankar, an Indian schoolgirl, reveals her solar powered ironing cart which cuts pollution in her neighbourhood and the Living Seawalls team show off their beautifully carved additions to Sydney Harbour- works of art which provide marine life with a place to hide, feed and breed on the previously sterile sea walls of the harbour.
Producer: Julian Siddle
Photo: Life returns to Sydney Harbour- courtesy of Leah Wood, Living Seawalls project
Qasa’s Farm - Building Resilience in Bangladesh
Qasa Alom has always been told that his family farm in Sylhet, Bangladesh is his heritage. His parents have spent their time and money trying to maintain the estate and his father has always hoped Qasa would take on some of the strain. Born in Britain, Qasa had other ideas about how he wanted to spend his time but he now faces a new challenge; how to protect his family’s roots from climate change.
Bangladesh’s low elevation and high population density make it one of the most vulnerable countries as climate change accelerates extreme weather conditions such as heat and floods and sea-levels rise. Qasa’s village has always faced flooding but the future looks more unpredictable. Now as Qasa considers his future commitment to the farm he finds a country that is battling extremes but also finding solutions.
Early weather warning systems which incorporate local knowledge and using community resolve to insure everyone gets to safety are one example. Changing crops, farming shellfish and growing jute to build up soil naturally are also being trialled and, most importantly, migration by climate refugees is being planned for. As a leader in climate adaptation Bangladesh is leading the world but will it be enough to keep Qasa committed to helping to maintain his family’s way of life here?
Britain's Changing Flowers
Naturalist and broadcaster Mike Dilger takes to the road to map the impact that global warming is having on Britain's plants and flowers. From the highest peaks of the Highlands to the lowest points of the East Anglian Brecklands our flowers are adapting to the changing seasons, but how many will survive and thrive into the future?
Producer: Alasdair Cross