“Earthshot, repairing our planet”, on Discovery Channel: Prince William wants to “rewild” biodiversity


It may be surprising to refer to the conquest of space as an incentive to take up the challenge of climate change. Prince William chose an excerpt from the famous speech by John F. Kennedy in favor of moonshot“We chose to go to the Moon”, announced the American president on September 12, 1962 in Houston – to introduce the series Earthshot, repair our planet, broadcast in response to the launch of the eponymous environmental award, presented for the first time on October 17 in London.

From this “Moon objective”, the Duke of Cambridge, eldest son of Lady Diana – and future King of England -, wants to retain only the success of the feat, a priori insane a decade earlier. Proof, in his eyes, that “Humanity is capable of meeting all challenges, if it gives itself the means”.

On the means side, precisely, the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge endows its Earthshot prize with 50 million pounds over ten years. Or 1.2 million euros awarded each year to the winners in five categories: “protect and restore nature”, “correct the climate”, “improve air quality”, “preserve the oceans” and “build a world without waste ”.

Reintroduction of wolves

These five themes define the five episodes of the Discovery Channel series, which magnify nature through spectacular aerial views, time-lapses naturalists and animal scenes. With, as a common thread, the speeches of Prince William, the naturalist David Attenborough and the presentation of pioneering environmental actions.

The reality is complex. The fight against deforestation is illustrated by a report from Borneo, where a scientist protects orangutans while producing… palm oil. That “People who are not from Borneo may find it contradictory”, she agrees.

Sauvan, fisherman in the Mekong flood zone (Cambodia).

By avoiding simplifications, the documentary gains credibility. Whether in Yellowstone (United States), where the reintroduction of wolves rebalanced the ecosystem, destabilized by the disappearance of its main predator, in 1926; in Brazil, where footballer Dani Alves campaigns for the population to eat less meat; in Cambodia, where a giant dam on the Mekong impoverishes the flooded forests …

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers “Rewilding”, a vision of nature protection which is gaining ground in Europe

In terms of solutions, “rewilding” surprises by the simplicity of its implementation, from the United Kingdom (Knepp Wildland) to Kenya, where a Masai tribe has reintroduced rhinos. It shows in passing that protecting biodiversity can bring in money. Prince William is delighted: if the way of life we ​​have created is fatal for our planet, “Now is the time for hope, not for fear. A sustainable future within reach ”. The worthy heir of his grandmother, Elizabeth II, who had said, during the COP26, irritated by those “Who speak, but do not act” for the climate.

“Earthshot, repairing our planet”, documentary series produced and directed by Daniel Huertas (ep. 1), Clare Dornan (ep. 2), Amy Anderson (ep. 3), Jonathan Clay (ep. 4), David Heath (ep. 5) (R.- U., 2021, 5 × 58 min). Discovery Channel, until December 17.

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“Earthshot, repairing our planet”, on Discovery Channel: Prince William wants to “rewild” biodiversity