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Environmental heroes in focus as earthrise returns to Al Jazeera
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Environmental heroes in focus as earthrise returns to Al Jazeera

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Al Jazeera focuses on the people around the world making the planet a better place, in the return of award-winning environmental and conservation series earthrise.

Premiering on Al Jazeera English on 17 November at 2230 GMT, the series is unique in highlighting ‘earth heroes’ across the world who are coming up with solutions to environment problems.
 
Giles Trendle, Director of Programmes at Al Jazeera English: “Earthrise highlights positive and uplifting environmental stories at a time when global audiences are increasingly aware of the need to take better care of the planet. This is the sixth series of a popular and colourful show that focuses on solutions-oriented journalism. ”
  
In the premiere episode on 17 November  earthrise reporter Russell Beard joins Kenyan-born ‘local hero’ Martin Wheeler, otherwise known as Birdman, as he channels his love of birds into his own passion for flying. From his small paramotor (a powered paraglider), Martin works with local rangers to identify poaching threats from the air, relaying locations and information back down to the rangers on the ground. The second story highlights how a hunting ban on sea otters is helping to improve marine forests known as seagrass beds, in Monterey, California.
 
In the second episode on 24 November, earthrise looks at one of TIME magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2012, the ‘Aquapod’ and how it is helping farm healthier and more eco-friendly fish in Mexico. Secondly, rangers in South Africa have come across a rather novel solution to protect rhinos from poachers – turn their horns pink. As the number of rhinos killed for their horns escalates to crisis level, conservationists in the Kapama Game Reserve are injecting the horns of rhinos with a mixture of insecticide and indelible dye of the type used by the security industry. The dye not only spoils the highly prized horn for trophy purposes but also makes it detectable by airport scanners and toxic for human consumption.
 
On 1 December, we look at how the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan is being given a boost thanks to two major Indonesian NGOs who have planted hundreds of thousands of trees in degraded areas, and released nearly 200 primates into the restored area, monitored by remote controlled drones, allowing rangers to locate and check up on the orangutan groups once they’ve been released. Secondly, earthrise looks at the surge in urban mining and visits Umicore in Belgium, one of the world’s most efficient metal recycling plants.
 
On 8 December we visit the Elwha River in Washington state, USA site of the worlds' largest dam removal project where the National Park Service, in partnership with the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe and an army of local volunteers, are restoring the ecosystems and reintroducing salmon back to the wild for the first time in over 100 years
 
On 15 December, earthrise features a Bangkok start-up called EnerGaia, who are pioneering an urban farming model that uses neglected urban spaces to cultivate spirulina, a fast-growing blue-green algae that converts carbon dioxide into nutrients, protein and oxygen. In contrast to the large, shallow, open-air ponds traditionally used to grow spirulina, EnerGaia’s small closed-system tanks can be installed on whatever land is available, including rooftops in urban centers. Secondly, a marine biologist, a fisherman and a food entrepreneur have launched the UK’s first responsibly sourced commercial fish box scheme, modelled on organic vegetable boxes. Their aim is to create an alternative market for fresh, local seafood that’s sustainably caught. Finally, earthrise looks at Europe's first "nutrient recovery reactor"  and how it is reclaiming the phosphorus from human waste and turning it into fertiliser pellets, thereby making money and protecting waterways by recycling valuable minerals.
 
Finally, on 22 December, earthrise looks at reducing carbon emissions on the Caribbean island of Barbados. The island is a world-leader in solar thermal technology, with over a third of homes fitted with solar water heaters – saving millions of dollars in imported fossil fuel costs and millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. With the help of some pioneering ‘local heroes’ the shift to a greener economy is also beginning to happen in many other areas, including food and tourism. Russell Beard travels to the sunshine nation hoping to lead the way in small-island sustainable development.
 
Join the conversation by tweeting @AJEarthrise and watch the series online at http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/earthrise
 











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