It goes in search of answers to these key questions: Can ordinary people help save our planet under siege from multiple environmental crises? How can everyone change attitudes and lifestyles to consume less and generate less waste?
The stories – drawn from Cambodia, India, Nepal, Laos, the Philippines and Thailand -- were all selected through competitive public nominations in 2007. Each 10 minute story is a self-contained documentary, filmed on location by a local film crew with the participation of local organisations whose work was being profiled.
The stories are diverse and colourful. For example:
A youth theatre group travels across the Philippines, performing the living cultural heritage of the Ayta indigenous people.
Radio Sagarmatha, a citizen-owned broadcaster in Nepal, uses its airwaves to resolve conflicts between tourist hotel operators and the local people.
Housewives and school children join hands to clean up the southern Indian city of Dindigul – and also make money from their garbage.
Volunteers engage school teachers and students in Laos in a process that introduces fun and play into learning.
These and other efforts featured in Saving the Planet are all local responses to formidable challenges in balancing people's incomes and jobs with community welfare and the local environment.
"Saving the Planet profiles individuals and groups working quietly and relentlessly to spread knowledge, understanding and attitudes that inspire action to help humans live in harmony with the planet," says Nalaka Gunawardene, Director of TVEAP who scripted and executive produced the series.
"These men, women and children are all silent heroes who often work without external funding and beyond the media spotlight," says Manori Wijesekera, Regional Programme Manager of TVEAP who was series producer. "They persist with clarity of vision, sincerity of purpose and sheer determination. Their stories can inspire many others to pursue grassroots action for a cleaner and safer planet."
Saving the Planet covers both the traditional ‘green’ environmental education activities as well as other challenges of pursuing sustainable development. Among the topics covered are eco-tourism, preserving cultural heritage of indigenous people and community-based waste management.
The series had its global premiere during the ACCU Asia-Pacific Forum for ESD Educators and Facilitators held in Tokyo, Japan, in late August 2009. The Forum brought together nearly 200 educators, facilitators, policy makers and researchers from 16 countries across the Asia Pacific region.
The series is now available for broadcast, civil society and educational use anywhere in the world. As with all other TVEAP products, this series comes without license fees and complex copyright restrictions.
Broadcast requests may be sent to:
Educational and civil society users may directly order the series from TVE Asia Pacific's online film catalogue.
Saving the Planet: Series 1 (6 x 10 mins)
Cambodia: Floating the Future
People living on and around Tonlé Sap Lake, the largest in Cambodia, discover how to harvest fish and other sources within limits.
India: Living the Change
For people in Dindigul in India's Tamil Nadu state, waste isn't really a problem – it's just a resource in the wrong place.
A small group is trying to transform learning in Laos by introducing play-and-learn activities in schools.
Nepal:Voice of a Valley
By inspiring discussion and debate, a community radio station helps Nepali communities to find the best solutions or compromises.
The Philippines: Rising from the Ashes
Displaced from traditional homelands by a natural calamity, an indigenous group is preserving their culture through theatre.
Thailand: Smile Again!
A programme that links schools with their local community helps Thai children learn about Nature through exposure and experience.
Photos by TVEAP Image Archive
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