tv Global 3000 LINKTV October 31, 2017 4:00pm-4:31pm PDT
♪ anchor: this week on global 3000, we learn how precious gems play a far from dazzling role in the lives of locals. in afghanistan, how emerald mining supports the taliban. in myanmar, there are rich supplies of jade. but what are the risks for those mining it? also, in tunisia we ask entrepreneurs why it's worth -- why they are choosing to invest in environmental technologies. but first, myanmar is a multi-ethnic nation with eight large ethnic groups and numerous
smaller ones. two thirds of its citizens are burmese. coexistence within the country isn't always peaceful, as the plight of the muslim rohingya shows. tens of thousands of rohingyas have fled to neighbouring countries, like india and bangladesh, into an uncertain future. in myanmar's northern kachin province another conflict rages on. this one is about natural resources, kachin is home to vast supplies of jade. reporter: a torrent of rubble and scree. armed with picks and hammers, the workers begin their search. we're in the jade hills of myanmar, in kachin state in the northeast of the country. sam awng is a teacher. he's hoping for a find that will make him rich. >> did you find anything today? reporter: the miner says he found two stones. it's his lucky day.
men from all over the country flock hehere to the ededges ofe jade mines in the himalayan foothills, to dig for that single stone that will make them a fortune. there are even children among the scavangers picking through the trailings from the mines. it's perilous work. there's at least one death a month. when someone gets buburied ina landslslide, or killeded by ro. >> the stones can rollll down e hillside a at high speeds. the bigger fragments could break your bonones. you woululdn't stand a chance. sometimes in the raiainy seaso, the whole slopope is a mudbab. reporter: one mountain after another is being reduced to rubble by prospecting.
kachin is jade country. the world's largest deposits are here on the border with china. but the "stone of heaven", as it's known in china, is stained with blood. a war is raging in kachin, but one that's hidden from international view. a war over land and resources.. jade mining is a billion-dollar indudustry contrololled by the military. few of the mines are c controld by the ethnic kachin who are native to the jade hills. the party of nobobel peace prie winner andyanmnmar's de e faco leader, aung san suu kyi came to power in 2015. it promised to put an end to the fighting between the military and ethnic kachin guerrillas seeking self-rule in northern myanmar. jade is the biggest obststacleo peace. b but the war hasas wors. 100,000 pepeople have been ford to flee.
>> o our home was in the middlef a battlefield. if we'd stayed, , we would be dd now. we had toto leave everythg behind. reporter: but therere's no trae of the war in mandalay, the former capital. glittering gold pagodas line the mighty irrawaddy. gold, tropical wood, and jade, myanmar is rich in natural resources. mandalay is a hub of the jade trade. thant sin has made a fortune with the near-translucent green stones. he trades mainly in large stones. the jade trade is lucrative. $31 billion worth ofof jade is minein m myanmarveryry year. one kilogram alone of the finest jade can fetch millions. thant sin showows off his anat stones. most of his s clients are chine. >> the chinese think that jade
is good for your health,h, thatt has a cooling effect. a stone like this can be unbelievably expensive. the more translucent it is, the higher i its price. reporter: but the human cost of jade is even higher. many of the mine workers end up with drug habits, opium, heroin, crystal meth. these men have been forced to go cold turkey. >> we thought the drugs would protect us against malaria. i kept taking more and more. i ended up in hospital. i couldn't get offff them. reportrter: christian aid organizations are trying to fight the drug epidemic in northern myanmar. their methods include singalongs and bible readings.
drugs are illegal in myanmar, but ubiquitous. the military and the police have their hands in the drugs industry too, activists say. >> the mines a are lawless. the drdrug trade is controlledy gangs. they're making a lot of money.. working in the m mines is exhausting, and the miners are a long way from their families. they'r're very vulnenerable. reporter: some of the e camp's rehabilitation methods are draconian. mediaeval, even. this inmatate's feet havave bn shackled to a wooden block. he has only a blanket to keep himself warm. >> i behaved badlyly. so they brought me here. i've been here for two days and a night. reporter: it's an ignominious end to the dream of finding jade and making a fortune. the rehab takes six months. then the men are sent back to their families.
♪ reporter: few of them manage to stay clean. back in the jajade mine. the day y is drawing t to a cl. sam and the others size up the day's takings. the torch light gives them an idea of the stone's value. >> we're all poor. we all have the same dream. to find a valuable stone. then we'll have struck rich. reporter: : but the fortununese with jade e aren't made by peoe like sam. and for as long as the mines are controlled by military elites, drug kingpins s and ethnic kacn guerillas, the jade industry will benefit only a few. and peace in myanmar will remain elusive.
anchor: myanmar is not the only nation where raw materials feed conflict. wood, coal, oil and rare earths are key to our global economy. but this commodity-based wealth comes at a high price. devastated forests, toxic soils, devastated forests, toxic soils, polluted water, for many countries, raw materials are more of a curse than a blessing . any rewards they bring usually end up in the hands of a few. while the masses remain poor. in many countries conflicts rage over raw materials, and the profits from mining end up funding terror and prolonging wars. like in panjshir in northern afghanistan. conditions in the emerald mines there are tough. and only a few reap the benefits. for most, the precious stones bring only misery.
emeralds from afghanistan are beautiful, valuable and in demand. but experts say the trade is funding terror and violence. these e dealers in kabul are inspectiting their latatest delivery. it's worth several million euros. but is this business legal? >> yes, they come from the panjshir valley, we bought them officially. it's legal. reporter: the dealers might act innocent, but in fact 95 percent of afghan emeralds are smuggled out of the country. the taliban buy weapons and explosives with the proceeds. we're on our way to the panjshir valley, home to the emerald mines. the landscscape is ruggeged and inhospabable. the region is a taliban stronghold. the fundamentalists hold sy in large paparts of the c country between kabul and the papanjshr valley. foreign visitors are in danger of being taken hostage. remnants of the soviet occuaption lie beside the road.
it's difficult to make contact with with the men who mine for emeralds. most of them come from nearby villages. some are armed. emerald mining up in the mountains is a highly dangerous business. >> we're always afraid. there are bandits who would kill for the precious gems. if you have a mine you have to watch over it every second. reporter: we're heading to a mine that's around 3700 meters above sea a level, just beneah the snow line. the climb takes 3.5 hours. the men make the trek across this rocky terrain every day, some of them in just flimsy plastic sandals. we're having breathing difficulties. the air up here is thin and the sun is beating down lentlessly. this is one t the caves where the emerald vein runs.
lunch is flatbread and sweet tea. these are rough and ready men, desperate enough to do this dangerous and laborious job. it's not making them rich, but there's no other work available. who knows how they got this generator up here. >> sometimes we don't find anything for 2 months. allah decides if we get lucky or not. no one knows for sure where the mountain has hidden the gems. reporter: using explosives, they've managed to blast their way about half a kilometre into the mountain. it's freezing in here. the mountains of the panjshir valley are home to untold riches in precious gems, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. with these and other natural resources, afghanistan could be a wealthy country. but instead the gemstones help fund violence and atrocities. the men drill a hole in the rock. nothing is secured.
the methods they use are hihigh-risk and completely antiquated. the 'demolition expert', as they call him, arrives. he's spent his whole life here in the mountains. we ask him about the explosives he's using. >> it's 'boom, boom'. that's all i know. we buy it illegally in pakistan and smuggle it over the border. reporter: take cover, they call. the fuse is already burning. we head for a sidetunnel. the men sift through the overburden. >> it's been a long time since we found anything hehere. at home they're complaining because there's nothing to eat. until now this was all rock. we had to blow it up to follow the vein. reporter: it's unclear who this mine, and ththe emeralalds in, belongs to. basically, whoever happens to have the say at any given time. sometimes that's the government.
sometimes it's local warlords, sometimes the taliban. they're all looking to fund their wars with precious gemstones. there are only slim pickings today. foreign investors could provide modern mining technology. but they're put off by the violence in afghanistan. vast profits can be earned with emeralds. just a handful of the stones are worth hundreds of thousands of euros. but these men don't see much of it. are they happy with what they found today? >> yes, i am happy. i climbed the mountain ten times to get thihis. i earned around 200 euros for it. what it will fetch in kabul, i have no idea. reporter: the traders send the stones to kabul by courier. the journey through the panjshir valley would be much too dangerous for them to undertake themselves. back in kabul. hidden behind a maze of
passageways, the stones are cut and polished. it's tedious work. over the years the cutters learn not to grind away too much. but here too, no one is getting rich from emeralds. >> payment is by weight. we get 50 afghani per carat. reporter: that is not even 1 euro. here is where the trail of the stones is lost. most are smuggled across the border to pakistan or by plane to dubai to dealers from europe and the americas. here in kabul we also encounter one of our two dealers again. >> we don't ask any questions. when someone comes and pays, he gets the goods, and what happens gets the goods, and what happens after that is no longer our business. reporter:
in front of the camera, mohammed azim is vague. but later, he explains to us how the emeralds are smuggled abroad: regional bosses, warlords, the taliban, and yes, even the government take their cut. afghanistan's s emeralds could provide the country with work and prosperity. but in reality they finance the taliban's civil war, drawing the country deeper and deeper into the abyss. anchor: in global living rooms we visit people around the world. today we're i in estoni. >> hello, my name is tonis kipper, i'm from estonia. you are welcome in my home and in my small private gallery. you're welcome. seven years this house working like gallery and memory house for these three famous
estonians. it is my small gallery room and my living room. there's many different things. this chair is from our town hall. if somebody wants to see them they call me and i show him. this is my first picture. it is a a very famous estoninn painter, edgdgar valter. and this paiainting is called 'cats house'.
toomas hendrik ilves. i was younger here. thank you vevery much fofor co. but nonow i must go to work. bye bye. anchor: todaday, in global ide, we head to tunisia. the country imports its power supply, so local businesses are faced with huge energy bills. now the government has announced a sea change. it wants to support firms that save energy and invest in new environmental technologies. ouour reporter jululia henrichn met young entrepreneurs going down this route, and creating new jobs as a result. reporter: this industrial zone in tunis is home to a number of innovative companies. since 2015 the tunisian a year
and a half old, and already has a workforce of 30. the comany makes led lamps -- which are cleaner and more efficient than the older incandescent light bulbs. 24 year old ameni ben hassen is the daughter of the company's founder, and is set to take the reins. >> the government is calling on young people to get involved. it offers funds for developing new projects. i qualified for a subsidy. and i also try to encourage other young people to invest in this new technology. reporter: energy costs are high in tunisia. the country imports most of its electricity, mainly from algeria. and industry consumes a large part of that supply. the onus is therefore on companies to reduce their energy use. thehe biggest brewery in e
country is sfbt. it makes soft drinks as well as beer. german development aid agency, giz, is advising the company on ways of saving energy. and change is already underway. the company has now installed biogas plants, for example. the brewewing process s generaa lot of heaeat. in the past, this went to waste . but not any longer. >> this boiler behind me has been fitted with an energy-saving system. it uses the heat of the thererl energy escaping from the chimney. it's basically a heat recovery system. reporter: somocer, one of the biggest t ceramics manufactures
in the country, is based two hours southeast of tunis. the tempereratures in its giat ovens rereach over,0,000 degres celsius. despite the expense, the company has opted to install a combined heat and power system. the facility cost 5 million euros. it allows the company to produce its own electricity, while feeding any surplus energy back into the grid. dedicated 'energy managers' keep tabs on the energy supply. back in the capital tunis, efforts are also being made to make the construction industry more energy-efficient. the technical center of natural building materials offers training to out-of-work architects, civil engineers and people who are simply interested in new, affordable and
environmental technologies. >> we want to create new jobs, especially in regions where unemployment is rife. it will help revitalise these regions and create new indudustrial sectors. reporter: : tunisia's economy s in poor shape. mabrouk maysser struggled for some time. but after training at the technical center he set up his own business. > i was working in the tourm sector but i wanted to do my own thing. something in this fledgling industry. so i looked into manufacturing gypsum boards and got trained up. reporter: mabrouk maysser's company now employs 35 people.
it insulates buildings with gypsum boards. unemployment is rife among ameni ben hassen's generation. over half the population of tunisia is under 30. many people she went to college with have yet to find work. but environmental engineering is a growth industry. >> our generation is the most affected by environmental issues. and now they've become a big part of our thinking. reporter: environmental protection and energy efficiency, new technologies that could give the tunisian economy a major boost, and the country's younger generation new opportunities. >> i am --
>> a global teen. anchor: now we're off to ireland to a global teen. he too is starting to think about his future. ♪ >> my name's cain, i'm 14 and i'm from dublin. i like playing football and playing games. fifa, barcelona, because they're the best in the world. i've got one brother. his name's christopher. >> hi. >> i don't know yet. but i'm going to try and do
somemething with footbalall. i want t to have a a good fam. >> it depends on where they are in the world. if it's in africa or asia, they might not have things like we have, so we should be grateful fofor what we do have. some of the biggest problems in the world are homeless people and poverty. everyone should have a home and somethining to eat and nobodyy should be starving on n the should be starving on the streets. anchor: and that's all for today. you can watch us online anytime, just go to dw.com. and we love getting your feedback. write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook.