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tv   Global 3000  PBS  March 17, 2018 12:30am-1:01am PDT

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announcer: opportunity. prosperity. optimism. host: this week, global 3000 heads to the seychelles. what can be done to protect the nation's endangered coral reefs? in ecuador, top chefs are discovering ingredients from the amazon. can local delicacies save the rainforests? but first we head to china, where many people are drowning in trash from around the globe. plastic has become a seemingly unavoidable feature of our planet. in 1950, we produced around 1.5
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million tons of it. since then, global plastic production has skyrocketed. in 2016 it totaled about 335 million tons. around half of the plastic produced is disposable, products like bottles, plastic bags and cups. where does it all end up? much ends up in landfills or in the environment. plastic waste is also sold, shipped to countries like china. in 2016, china received 1.6 million tons of plastic rubbish from the e.u. alone. china is the world's top importer of plastic trash to date. places like guiyu depend on it for survival. but since early 2018, the country has banned many waste imports. reporter: these chinese children have little to look forward to each day. they spend most of their waking hours between plumes of smoke
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and mountains of plastic. their families earn their livelihood by sorting waste. these scenes are from a chinese documentary. wang jiuliang spent many years filming small chinese garbage dumps. he was haunted by what he witnessed. wang: i have a daughter of my own. i couldn't bear to see her grow up in such a horrible environment. some of these children have been surrounded by garbage since they were born. i don't want kids living in rubbish every day. reporter: this is the dark side of china's recycling business. the families sorting the trash are exposed to numerous health hazards, including toxic fumes and harmful substances. some of the children here don't go to school. what's not recycled often ends up elsewhere in the landscape, polluting the groundwater. as a result, animals fall ill. some of the mountains of garbage catch fire.
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>> the stench here is horrible. it's almost impossible to bear. but what else can we do? >> the air is no good, the water is no good. the only thing that's good is the money. reporter: while shooting his film, wang jiuliang made another discovery. most of the garbage comes from overseas. wang: one day, for my research i was at a massive garbage dump in hebei province. when i took a closer look, i saw packaging from the u.s., japan, germany, france, and i realized that i was looking at the garbage dump of the entire world. reporter: until the beginning of the year, more than half of the world's waste was sold to china. wang also shot footage in the u.s., where waste was the sixth largest export to china.
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germany has also been exporting several hundred thousand tons of plastic waste annually to the far east. china has now said it will no longer buy certain kinds of waste from abroad. beijing-based environmentalist ma jun welcomes the import ban. ma: this is good for the environment and it is urgently needed. of course, it will also lead to a lack of raw materials such as paper and plastic. reporter: now china itself is producing too much waste. but environmental awareness is increasing. modern recycling and incineration plants are being built in many locations. that means other countri are now stuck with 24 tys of waste banned from imrt tchin ma: counies ch as germany,
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britain, the u.s., or the european uni should all think about how to solve their waste problems instead of relying on the world market and simply exporting them. reporter: wang jiuliang also sees change. many othe recycling plants he visited have since been shut down. the filmmaker says the conditions at this garbage sorting facility in beijing are satisfactory. his film has won several international awards. for wang jiuliang, the import ban is good news, and will contribute to solving china's environmental problems. wang: we also hope that people in industrialized countries will see the facts and hear the truth through our film, and that they give more attention to this issue. reporter: wang jiuliang is no longer allowed to sh his film on china's strictly controlled internet. but he's convinced his work has helped raise awareness in the country about the need for change.
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host: now it's time for global ideas. this week, we visit the rainforests of ecuador, home to a wide variety of little known delicacies. our reporter michael altenhenne travelled to the town of archidona. there he met people determined to protect both the local way of life and the rainforest, with the help of its culinary delights. michael: in ecuador, people living in the amazon often maintain household gardens, called chakras, within the rainforest. for kichwa people, who are indigenous to this part of the amazon, chakras are often their main source of food. cecilia shiguango and her family are among those who live from the bounty and biodiversity of the forest. they know which plants are good to eat and which can be used as medicine.
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cesar: this fruit is good for treating a snake bite. we break open the skin and squeeze out the juice onto the wound. michael: this wealth of knowledge is passed down from generation to generation. cecilia: guayusa is another medicinal plant. we give it to women who are about to give birth. it prevents hemorrhaging. now i sell the leaves to restaurants. you can make tea with them. sometimes i get an order and send guayusa leaves to quito.
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michael: casa gangotena is one of the best restaurants in the capital. recently, the menu has been beefed up with exotic ingredients from the chakras. an interesting move, given the guests are city dwellers and foreign visitors, with little or no contact with indigenous communities. head chef andres robles creates exquisite dishes that embody a fusion of traditions, western and indigenous. he buys herbs, yucca, and a freshwater fish, paiche, from chakra farmers in the forest. for high-end restaurants in ecuador, ingredients brought in from the rainforest have become something of a trend. andres: it's our duty to make these products more widely known. ecuador may be a small country,
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but it's home to a diverse range of species. we use foods from the amazon, the coast, the andes, and the galapagos islands. our food is a way to present ecuador to the outside world. michael: the meals cecilia shiguango cooks are less elaborate. many kichwa communities are very poor. the livelihoods of indigenous people who live in the rainforest are in jeopardy, as more and more trees are felled. for the most part, chakras are used for subsistence farming. now, there are new opportunities to sell produce to outsiders. cesar: there are hardly any jobs around here. sometimes we get work on a hacienda. rich people pay us just $8 a day to slave away from dawn till dusk. that's a very small amount.
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that's why our women try to sell things at the market. michael: that market is held every sunday in the town nearby. but kichwa stall holders don't always sell much. estefania baldeon works with the canopy bridge ngo. it helps indigenous farmers sell directly to restaurants in quito. estefania: chefs in the city use products from the amazon in a new and different way. the harvest is now more financially valuable, and people here can earn a little money. some things just don't sell locally, even though they are very healthy and tasty, and have great potential.
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michael: for marta echavarria, chontaduros have proved to be a delicious surprise. they come from the peach palm, and have a nutty flavor when they're roasted. she's one of the founders of canopy bridge. the ngo has now established a supply chain to 15 restaurants in quito. marta: we can move people, speak to their hearts by encouraging them to consume products from the amazon. they should not only associate the region with deforestation, but also with its cuisine, its cultures, and its colors. food offers a special way of relating to a place. most people don't appreciate the immense value of the amazon. even in ecuador, many people don't know anything about it.
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michael: so far, about 300 indigenous families in the amazon work with canopy bridge. the team there wants to support traditional farming in the forest to help kichwa people there thrive so they're not tempted to cut down more trees. estefania: in chakras, farming is in harmony with the plants and the animals. when people give up tending their gardens, they start to fell trees and sell them, or turn the forest into grazing land. michael: the forest is rich in fruits and herbs, and tasty, fat beetle larvae as well -- chontacuros. for kichwa, they are a delicacy, full of fat and protein, to be eaten raw or grilled. they live in chonta trees.
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chontacuros are not on the menu at fine restaurants in quito, at least not yet. host: coral reefs are among the most species-rich biotopes on earth. 29 reefs, including australia's great barrier reef and the aldabra atoll reef in the seychelles, are on the unesco world heritage list. but 21 of them are damaged. climate change is causing sea temperatures to rise. and oceans are becoming rubbish dumps. plastic, oil, sewage and agricultural pesticides are having a devastating effect on coastal waters in particular. environmentalists are working to protect the corals off the seychelles. after all, the island nation depends on this marine life for its very survival.
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reporter: the seychelles is a tropical paradise. the archipelago covers around 455 square kilometers of land, but more than 1.3 million square kilometers of sea. sylvanna: we depend on our marine resource for everything, whether it is economic activities, for tourism and fisheries. we don't have anything without that. reporter: tourism is the country's biggest source of income. many visitors come here for the spectacular nature. sylvanna: i realized it was important to conserve the ocean when growing up and understanding the relationship that the seychelles people have with the ocean, with the marine ecosystem, and how much we rely on it. reporter: as a marine scientist, she's concerned about the growing pressure on the ecosystem.
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experts go on regular dives to assess the conditions. fishing, environmental pollution, and tourism put strain on the seychelles' unique underwater world. the coral reefs are suffering the effects of climate change because they're very sensitive to changes in water temperature. they provide a home for a whole host of marine life, from sea snails to sharks. so without them, biodiversity suffers. reefs near the coast are especially vulnerable and they're the first ones to die. sylvanna: there has been a rise in ocean temperature and this has an impact on new corals because then this leads to coral bleaching and then you lose the corals, because then you end up with dead corals. reporter: by the late 1990's, most coral reefs in the shallower waters had died. sylvanna: when coral bleaches, you observe the white corals and
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once they are dead, they are usually taken over by tough algae. the resources that you had and the activities that you could carry out on the coral reefs, then you've lost that. reporter: but a groundbreaking conservation project is now underway. the government recently agreed to protect nearly a third of the country's marine waters by 2020, as part of an initiative called the seychelles marine spatial plan. as a first step, the initiative is carrying out a survey of the underwater ecosystem. sylvanna: we carry out diving activities with the intent of collecting data on coral reefs to ensure that the management of protected areas in the seychelles is effective. reporter: in partnership with the nature conservancy ngo, the seychelles conservation authority is hoping to understand exactly what's happening to the reefs. coral reefs often have trouble
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regenerating in shallow water because the waves and currents are constantly moving the skeletons of the dead coral around, making it hard for new corals to settle. this has repercussions for the entire ecosystem. sylvanna: mapping the reef, you can see the changes. where you have this long period of time where the temperature is really high and the corals cannot recover, so this has a huge impact on your marine resource on coral reefs. we have started a coral reef restoration project looking at other ways to try to restore coral reefs using the corals that are more resilient and growing these corals and putting them back on the reefs. reporter: together with fisheries and tourism companies, the country wants to find ways for everyone to use the sea sustainably, even outside the protection areas.
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the marine spatial plan is the first of its kind in the indian ocean. sylvanna: i want everything that i do to make a difference and it should have an impact. i think it's a really wonderful feeling knowing that whatever information you bring back, it's going to contribute to the way we do conservation, and that is going to have a positive impact on marine conservation on the seychelles. reporter: the project runs until 2020, by which time the first long-term protection plans should be in place. the ecosystem in the seychelles is counting on it. host: in most countries, women are an accepted part of the workforce. but there are still big differences between nations, such as when it comes to the proportion of women in the paid labor force.
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in the u.s., 56% of women and girls over the age of 15 engage in paid work. in the e.u. that figure is slightly lower, 51%. but in the middle east and north africa, an average of just 21% of women have paid work. in jordan, that figure is just 14%. change, though, is in the air. reporter: drilling, hammering, and hauling, and all in a hijab. aisha knows some people would be surpsed to see her doing this kind of handiwork. but she does it anyway, even if it gets pretty grimy. aisha: i'm used to it now. i enjoy this work. it doesn't bother me anymore. reporter: aisha and her team of plumbers are working on a construction site for luxury flats in amman. they have a range of responsibilities.
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they're fitting solar panels, cleaning water canisters, and sawing pipes. at the same time, they're challenging gender roles in the arab world. these observant muslim women are doing a typical man's job with great enthusiasm. >> i'm very happy to repair toilets and washing machines, and to replace broken taps. >> i feel really good when i've done my work well. it makes me proud of myself and my co-workers. reporter: but their male counterparts on the building site don't share their enthusiasm. some of them see the women as a burden, even if they don't say so explicitly. >> when we're among ourselves, we can move around freely on the site, but not when the women are here.
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>> men and women can be uneasy when they're working together. women don't feel comfortable fixing a washing machine or installing a toilet next to a man. >> women could take on a supervising role, or do design or cosmetic work. but can a woman really work well on a building site, hauling bricks? reporter: aisha doesn't let that get to her. she's too busy taking care of her mother, sister and nephew in a small town south of amman. there's not much work in the area. the few available jobs are poorly paid. she's had other work, but plumbing is more lucrative. she earns the equivalent of 20 euros for every job. she has a few regular customers already, including this hairdresser. the shower here is broken.
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by now, it's an easy repair for aisha. aisha: i thought it was a strange idea at first, that it was somehow a man's job. but then i thought, i'll just give it a go, as a kind of hobby. i thought it would be like any other training. but it was really fun, and it really is worth it. reporter: the salon owner is grateful for aisha's plumbing team, but for a simple reason that has little to do with feminism. samiha: my clients are all women who wear headscarves in public. men are not allowed in here. that's why i prefer to hire her for jobs. and she's very ambitious. reporter: jordan is a beacon of stability in theegion, and in many ways it's more modern than some of its neighbors.
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but gender equality is a long way off. tradition and religion are still very important here. only one in six jordanian women is employed outside the home. but times are changing in jordan, and this vocational school is part of the transition. women are learning to fit water taps and much more, both in theory and practice. they can get a plumbing certificate in two months' time. the graduates are much sought-after in a country where water is scarce and many pipes leak. the german government's development agency is supporting the project. hend: in the past you would find that only women working like, as nurses, teachers. but now you can find women working in each sector, like the female plumbers.
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no one would ever have thought that jordan would have female plumbers. but now with this numerous number we have, i think they are proving themselves in the society. reporter: about 170 women now have the certificate. after completing the course, many say they have a different sense of themselves. they exude strength and confidence, and soon they'll have jobs. >> nothing in this world is just for men. and when i decide to do something, like this course, then i just do it. >> it's changed my life. now i know that i can do things like opening up a tap head or repairing appliances. at home, or with my family, my sisters, my neighbors, i have become a different person. really. reporter: after another hard day's work, aisha and her coworkers head home. every day they spend on the job chips away at cliches, turns gender roles upside down, and
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opens the arab world a little more to women's self-determination. host: and next week's show features other impressive women and girls who are also taking control of their lives. we meet young rock musicians in indonesia, who, against all the odds, are determined to follow their dream. don't forget to write to us, though. send us an email to or post on facebook, dw global society. see you soon. take care. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] announcer: opportunity. prosperity. optimism.
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- [female voice over]: this program is made possible in part by the town of marion, home of the wayne henderson school of appalachian arts, celebrating 21 years as a certified virginia main street community. the historic general francis marion hotel and the speak easy restaurant and lounge, providing accommodations and casual fine dining. in downtown marion, virginia. the bank of marion. technology powered, service driven. wbrf 98.1 fm. and bryant label, a proud supporter of our region's musical heritage. ("cherokee shuffle" by gerald anderson) ♪


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