TVE Asia Pacific’s (TVEAP) Asian regional television series, Saving the Planet, was the main item at World Environment Day 2012 schools film screenings at two separate venues in Sri Lanka.
Around one thousand school children between the ages of 10 and 15 years watched the series either in its original English or in the recently produced Sinhala versions.
The six-episode series, released in late 2009, features outstanding efforts in education for sustainable development (ESD) in South and Southeast Asia.
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?
From 5 to 8 June 2012, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia – a leading boys’ school – organised daily screenings of environmental films to mark WED. The effort was a collaboration between TVEAP and the school’s Go Green project under the slogan ‘We Blue Blacks are going Green’.
“Global warming, rising sea level and pollution – all these issues are serious, each one needing our utmost attention. We need more awareness to cope with these and other environmental problems.”
- Dr Indra de Soysa
Warden, S. Thomas’ College, Mt Lavinia
TVEAP showcased films from the Saving the Planet series along with half a dozen other environmental films, including the popular animation Ozzy Ozone, Small Islands Big Impact and World Challenge 2009: Fungi Town.
Each screening session included a non-technical presentation on an environmental theme by a guest speaker. The TVEAP team led by IT and New Media Manager Nadeeja Abeyasekera also hosted a Q&A session each day.
On 8 June 2012, over 150 school children drawn from half a dozen schools in Negombo participated in a half-day WED event. It was organised by EcoPro Technologies (Pvt) Limited in partnership with TVEAP and Jetwing Hotels Limited which hosted the event at Jetwing Blue Hotel, Ethukale, Negombo.
The day’s programme started with the screening of Saving the Planet Sinhala versions, which was followed by a quiz based on the six stories – drawn from Cambodia, India, Nepal, Laos, the Philippines and Thailand.
An expert presentation, on “Green Economy: Are you part of it?” was made by environmental management consultant Nimal Perera. To illustrate the many impacts of indiscriminate industrialisation, he used the Sinhala version of TVE Japan’s documentary, Japan’s Lessons on the Economy and the Environment: Our Pollution Experience.
The programme ended with a screening of the four Sri Lanka based films in TVEAP’s 2006 series, The Greenbelt Reports. These short films looked at how Asian communities are coping with coastal resource management challenges – apt for the coastal town of Negombo, some 40 km north of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.
Danushka Fernando and
Amal Samaraweera, TVEAP Image Archive