Series 6

Shed Loads

Well-managed watersheds provide valuable services to downstream residents, such as an adequate supply of good quality water. These services are in jeopardy if land, in upstream areas, is poorly managed. This can have serious impacts and cost for downstream water users. Until recently, society has expected farmers to protect critical watersheds without any form of compensation for the services they provide and the costs they face. Payments for watershed services are mechanisms that aim to compensate land-users and owners for the services that they can provide. New York City is assisting farmers to change their landuse. By doing so, it has avoided the cost of constructing a massive water purification plant. Implementing similar changes in developing countries is extremely challenging. ‘Shed Loads’ looks at the potential and problems for payments for watershed services in South Africa, India and Bolivia.

Health Matters

If you are rich the chances of you dying of a controllable disease like malaria are miniscule. People die sooner and suffer more when they are poor. Here killer diseases still stalk and the billions who earn less that a few dollars a day don’t have a choice. In Hands On this week we report on cost effective developments that can give the poor chances to suffer less and reduce the risk of dying of a controllable disease such as malaria.

Energy Matters

Over 2 billion people have no access to electricity. Around the world people are coming up with solutions, which not only meet some of their energy needs in a sustainable manner, but are also helping the environment.

Green Beginnings

Over a third of the world’s food is grown in the gardens and plots within the town boundary. As agriculture gets bigger and more mechanised we grow fewer varieties. Its here in the garden where we can do our bit to promote diversity…not only in varieties grown but in taste. “Feed the world and nurture the earth…this is what we can all do if we are lucky enough to have a plot to grow food that tastes of something”, says Bodyshop founder Anita Roddick in her introduction to this film.


Imagine what it would be like not to be able to contact your family and friends after the Tsunami? Telecoms Sans Frontieres goes to the frontline helping connect people in the aftermath of disaster. It’s just one of the stories featured in our Earth Report Hands On programme this week. Earth Report travels the developing world to see how readily accessible modern communications have the potential to enable the global South to close the digital divide with the North. There is a back up information service to guide viewers to where they can boldly go to find their own e-frontier.

Africa Works

So many images of Africa seen on our televisions are negative. These programmes show the amazing range of entrepreneurial talents that abound in Africa which are providing creative solutions, sustainable incomes and support for the environment.