tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle August 18, 2019 8:02am-8:31am CEST
lloyd to prevent violence. in. peru south america a country rich with natural treasures. tucked away in the country southeast lies my new national park it's considered one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. doesn't he suppose it's like the world's super treasure chest and that of course is a huge motivation to protect this park he's hard to should see. but even this largely inaccessible region is at risk can maneuver be protected from dangers like walking. or the lost for cold.
it's morning in southeastern peru beyond the andes in the amazonian lovins. during the dry season macaws and smaller parrots from the area gather on these claybanks. they come in search of salts and minerals which are scarce in the rainforest. spectacles like leeds indicate where nature is still intact. but conservation is about so much more than exotic beauty. world. intact ecosystems
are vital for the survival of humankind. a team from frankfurt's to a logical society is visiting the manu national park. the nature conservation organization operates across the globe and has a major program in peru. dr christoph shank one study jain authors here today he has the organization but over the past 30 years he's always found time to come back. over by design i'm here to gauge the state the park is in and the size of the threat to the surrounding area and of course i want to see how the otters are doing and he's not here and. the men travel by boat there aren't any roads they keep a sharp lookout for fallen trees or any other obstacles they want to make sure to avoid any accidents not least because the waters are teeming with caymans and promise. to
cover hundreds of kilometers this way and keep making astonishing encounters along the way. to take. this prehistoric looking creature is rarely spotted around here. south america is rich in pristine habitats and peru is particularly diverse the manu national park in the southeast of the country covers a good 17000 square kilometers. it stretches from the eastern foothills of the n.d.s. to the amazonian lowlands. that's an altitude difference a 4000 meters running through the heart of the region is the river which gave it its name the manu river. the abundance of different habitats this creates is one of the reasons peru boasts such an enormous biodiversity. in fact. the manu national park is home to the greatest
variety of animal and plant species known to science. 1030 different species of birds inhabit manu for example that makes up 10 percent of all the bird species on earth. 228 different mammals have been identified here roughly 4 percent of all mammals worldwide. the park is also home to a number of different invertebrates and for beginnings and reptiles. one hector of rainforest here contains more than 200 different types of trees and other plants some of them can reach astounding heights. the jaguars the largest hunter in the rain forest. while huge black caymans rule the lakes and rivers amongst other things they hunt copied barra's the world's biggest rodent.
but even this paradise is under attack. nearby the rain forest is being felled legally and illegally for roads construction sites for timber. when the forest disappears so does its biodiversity. rangers from peru specialized body for conservation have been working with environmentalists for years to stem this tide. in the manu national park they've been successful for the most part but elsewhere profit interests mostly overturn their efforts. once
before as to spanish roads appear and pave the way for further destruction. land that has been cleared will be turned into pastures for the meat industry. here the rich abundance of species is a bygone memory. another threat to local biodiversity only becomes clear at a 2nd glance the farming of coca leaves. the eastern end in slopes where the bushes usually grow. local inhabitants enjoy the stimulating effect of tea made from coca leaves but it can also be used to produce cocaine. the big island. didn't always gone the swine flu in peru it's not that easy to distinguish between legal and illegal coca cultivation it's not against the law to grow coca plants but it is illegal to extract the alkaloid from the leaves to
produce cocaine yields perfect there are high so it's very hard to convince farmers to use it for other purposes or to grow something else it's a toy. that looks harmless but the plant invites criminal activity. in the drug mafia as ruthless and well organized after all it's not easy to get drugs out of the country by the time. as a reason to take you for stock to we've noticed increased aircraft movement in the area and that points to the drug cartels and. the coca mafia are creating illegal airfields and obviously they prefer to do that somewhere remote that's why large and isolated nature reserves are particularly at risk if you know. one of the elite . landing strips is located in the manu region. the police blew up one corridor
aircraft a dangerous operation. the cocaine mafia is known for being violent so far the authorities have been unable to stop the cartels new illegal coca fields new airways and new airplanes keep appearing peru is moving up in the narcotics business. in the past colombia played a leading role but today peru is one of the world's biggest suppliers of cocaine especially to the western world that's why the business is growing to such huge dimensions here in the rainforest and playing a massive role in its destruction. up to now cocaine production has mostly taken place in the area around the national park the heart of the region is wild and almost an accessible. it is still inhabited by indigenous peoples. the ministry of culture has a stablished a checkpoint to protect them as far as possible. christophe shank and its peruvian
colleague paul scott who. are taking the opportunity to assess the situation. a ministry employee tells them that every now and then indigenous residents appear on the opposite bank. with. ministry employees stand back and observe letting the natives decide for themselves whether they wish to make contact here. is the scene there but. as far as we're concerned they should live the way they want. we respect that and make sure that no one tries to establish contact with us but it's on us a lot of this we try to shield them from any negative influence as. we want them to preserve their culture. and we respect their territorial claims.
the fact that people here can still pursue their original way of life is another positive distinction of the region so it might be that some say that they live like people in the stone age but that sounds so negative it's true that they don't seem to be acquainted with metal or don't produce it at least they might have managed to get a machete or an axe somewhere but for the most part metal is foreign to them and i think that that's actually quite a good thing because these people are an integral part of the rainforests ecosystem . christophe shank and his team are looking for giant authors are typical to the region. they live mainly in cut off meanders not on the manu river itself. the team
needs a portable dinghy in order to move around here. the head of them lies lush rain forest. some of the jungle giants along the way are more than 50 metres high. in the undergrowth to rancheros like waiting for their prey. while cup which in monkeys are out in about in the trees. they're curious animals. giant authors often colonised cut off meanders former bends that have become separated from the main river. 30 years ago
christoph shake was 1st able to observe giant orders here for just 60 seconds. the encounter changed his whole life. as a wall of just began to study the animal scientifically and wrote his doctoral thesis on. so naturally he's interested to see how they're faring. today giant authors can only be found in the best rainforests of the amazon and the most pristine habitats of giant autres live off the fish they catch along the riverbanks that's where humans have the strongest impact overfishing animal husbandry illegal gold panning and logging they all take place along the river banks so finding giant orders anywhere is a sure sign of a very good region diskeeper. the remote wilderness of the manu national park is an important retreat for them. yet the giant autor still remains one of the rarest predators in the world. when the 1st otters appear to keep their distance
during his 3 years of field research christophe schenk had to work hard together any knowledge of them. and such it's amazing how little was known about the giant author after all there are active during the day and live in groups. at daybreak the biologists are out in their dinghy again. this is a good time because the authors rest at night and wake up hungry. christophe shank began observing giant orders here. today his work is continued by peruvian biologists. giant otters have singular throat markings which enables each animal to be identified. with comparison with the datasheet reveals whether an otter has already been documented. this helps researchers collect
a lot of useful information. to. confirm that comes in with your phone to you and these individual throat markings have enabled us to trace the lives of a whole number of these animals. and we've been able to watch them grow and then leave the group as young animals to find a new home and establish families of their own. being able to do that is wonderful and it's the dream of every field biologist you know. the giant autor can grow to a length of 2 meters. to meet their energy requirements the animals need about 4 kilograms of fish a day. this means that the average family group will require about 30 kilograms every day. so the species can only exist in extremely productive habitats once the giant author was hunted almost to extinction for its fur worldwide perhaps $5000.00 creatures have survived. black caymans exist in the same habitat
but they usually avoid the self-confident giant autres. not far away other hunters roam the rainforest. the monkey gang and still hunt with traditional methods. and that is no easy task. from their perspective life in the forest has many advantages. would be left to the effect of you're in town you have to pay for everything. but here we don't pay for anything the forest provides us with all our food or we grow it on our fields. and.
if they have no luck hunting they collect plans like the brazil not. the much again go live on the threshold between 2 worlds they have long been using machetes and other tools. who are. the core of their village community is the family unit think of in which the much again cut off and start while still teenagers group ben and his wife already have 6 children. over several generations live under one roof. while rubin carbs wouldn't hunting weapons his wife natalia makes necklaces and bracelets from plant seeds.
with their homemade jewelry that run a modest business even though few travelers venture into this remote part of the world. support programs are a further source of income. going to. your typical men with the money they're getting now they're able to buy goods that they couldn't buy before my outboard motors and other things. in the past everyone had access to all the resources of the rainforest now it's possible to accumulate valuables decide he has changed completely. and fully fit in that it is a tough. life for reuben metallica and their family has already undergone considerable change. they had monkeys and gather nuts in the forest but they also run a small lodge in the jungle together with several other families. that alia takes
care of the rooms out here there are very few opportunities for earning money. then . i want my children to study ha. to cheat more than i have i don't have a real profession i want them to have a better life than mine. it is a rapid development that other cultures needed centuries for here though the change from the traditional to a modern lifestyle sometimes takes place within one generation and meeting growing demands means the forest also has to be utilised more intensely. a considerable distance downstream the manu river flows into the moderated yours. this is where the small town of book is located. it has a boarding school run by the frankfurt school logical society. most of the
indigenous pupils who come from the surrounding area could not travel back and forth and one day. the distances are too great and the routes to arduous. it's hoped more education will give the children better personal prospects and indeed so far there have been no teenage pregnancies. matter how warm and friendly the atmosphere might be in this remote region even with a good education opportunities are limited. but there is one activity where riches beckon the search for gold. the precious metal is found here in the sediment in rivers. hundreds of contraptions like this one can be seen in rivers like the moderated the
us and the tumble thought that. a diesel pump sucks the sediment onto a large sieve. gold prospecting puts a huge strain on the environment. that's why this method has been declared illegal . large stones are extracted gold particles are retained in a mat with a fine mesh. although gold prospecting is banned thousands of adventurers here do nothing else. and i'm undone in the name with it unfortunately jobs are scarce in this region so we have to take certain risks gold panning hasn't yet been legalized so we're caught between 2 chairs there's no other way for us to earn money. to buy the gold dust on a well and his friends use mercury a highly toxic heavy metal which turns liquid at room temperature. it is not only the gold panners on the river who profit from this illegal practice. so to those
behind the scenes. local politicians like to turn a blind eye when it is worth their while. through repeated to canting and painting the metallic mixtures compacted. the surplus ends up in rivers which will transport it thousands of kilometers. of. it. amongst other things mercury poisoning can cause nerve damage unborn babies can often sustain serious disability . areas are contaminated in the end what is left is a small piece of metal. which because of the mercury doesn't have its golden color yet. there is no indication of its toxic history and. if there is
nothing here is contaminated that's a lie how many people have died because of mercury. there's no proof they say everything here is contaminated but the. it's not true. mercury is heavy and in water it sinks so it's impossible for wildlife to be contaminated by it a good way of going to be nothing. but mercury does poison slowly. the nugget is heated up to separate the gold from the heavy metal. this release is toxic substances into the atmosphere. these are then spread the next time the rain falls. when the mercury is vaporized the color of the cold can be seen for the 1st time. i'm well i'm just once it's been melted down which often happened straight away of course it's no longer possible to tell whether the gold came from a legal mine or was panned illegally from river sediment since it even can diffuse a good washing body. prospectors
sell their gold in the nearby town of put it on my lawn model in the mud they did the ostrich and. dealers check to make sure it is really pure gold. and they have no intention of paying for mercury residues hence the fire test. privilege here at the mouth of the us which i hear in mind that i had to deal was illegal and legal gold are already mixed and from here there are direct transport routes to europe because customers in the western world and to an increasing extent these days in asia 2 are of decisive importance the thing is no one investing in gold today is aware of or thinks for a 2nd about the incredible environmental destruction caused by gold mining and how the people here will suffer long term as a result. the extent of the destruction is enormous the water is polluted and the contaminated areas are uninhabitable. the transoceanic of the highway running across south america from
the atlantic to the pacific made exploitation possible in the 1st place. around 60000 people work in southeastern peru is illegal gold prospectors and there is no wind in sight to the boom. was the cargo ship on this of course of course it's understandable that every family would like to have a good source of income but the tragedy with the search for gold is that the destruction is large scale and above all long term for i mean guns guns longview in . the jungles of manu national park in the amazon lowlands are part of the largest tropical rain forest on earth. this forest is not only of regional but also global importance to the climate. the consequences of climate breakdown are
incalculable. the disappearance of endangered species like the giant otter might not affect us in europe but there are signs that systems are no longer functioning systems which work as a global network and on which we depend. for the air we breathe. for healthy food for clean water. conservation is no longer. the basis of our very existence is at stake.
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