10 Fév 2021 13:30
03 Mar 2021 15:30

Lieu: Online

Organisation: Geneva Environment Network

Wednesdays for the Planet is a series of online screenings and virtual presentations with experts highlighting the natural world and other environmental challenges our planet faces. The virtual screenings are for educational purposes, non-profit and non-commercial.

World Wildlife Day

For the month of February, we will be showcasing nature documentaries leading up to World Wildlife Day on 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.

The Earth is home to countless species of fauna and flora – too many to even attempt counting. This rich diversity, and the billions of years during which its myriad elements have interacted, are precisely what has made our planet inhabitable for all living creatures, including humans. Historically, we have depended on the constant interplay and interlinkages between all elements of the biosphere for all our needs: the air we breathe, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the materials we need for all purposes. However, unsustainable human activities and overexploitation of the species and natural resources that make up the habitats and ecosystems of all wildlife are imperiling the world’s biodiversity. Nearly a quarter of all species are presently at risk of going extinct in the coming decades, and their demise would only speed up the disappearance of countless others, putting us in danger as well.

On World Wildlife Day, we celebrate the special place of wild plants and animals in their many varied and beautiful forms as a component of the world’s biological diversity. We will work to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people, particularly to those communities who live in closest proximity to it, and we will discuss the threats they are facing and the urgent need for governments, civil society, private sector actors and individuals to add their voices and take actions to help conserve wildlife and ensure its continued use is sustainable.

Documentary

Corona: The Pandemic and the Pangolin

At a time when we are bombarded with COVID-19 information comes a moment of clarity – and a warning we cannot afford to ignore.

Connect via Skype with conservation icon Jane Goodall, controversial marine activist Paul Watson and a cast of experts quarantined in home offices and living rooms around the world, to hear their perspectives on our worst nightmare come true.

Revealing dialogues and relevant stories combine with raw, up to date images and Terra Mater’s classic, inspiring blue-chip footage, in a film to make you pause, feel and act.

As accusations and blame are cast on the failures of governments; as talk of coverups and conspiracies multiply; we invite audiences to change focus. In this film we ask – who is really behind the pandemic?

This is not just a story about today. There is nothing new about viruses that jump from animals to humans causing life threatening diseases.

David Quammen, author of a book written in 2012 that warns about the next human pandemic, reminds us of deadly viruses like Ebola, MERS, Hendra, and West Nile. The drumbeat continues with SARS-COV 2. The difference is, this one is affecting the world. According to Paul Watson, “this one is affecting white people.”

Our guests hold no punches.

Scientists with hands on experience of emerging zoonotic diseases like Tracey McNamara, who found West Nile Virus in New York in 1999, see lessons for today. For decades she and other experts have called on governments to connect human, animal and environmental health. Spend more money on surveillance Tracey urges, or we will not detect the next viral threat “until we have a lot of people in an emergency room – or bodies in the morgue.”

Why the title? Who knew what a pangolin was before this pandemic – before reports that it may or may not carry SARS COV 2? Chinese activist Jinfeng Zhou shows exclusive footage of pangolins suffering from suspected coronaviruses months before the outbreak. But, he says, even if the pangolin is not the source of this SARS coronavirus, it has become the symbol of this pandemic.

And the pangolin has become the symbol of our film – a symbol of the illegal and brutal wildlife trade run by organized criminals. Wildlife crime investigator Andrea Crosta takes us to where it begins.

In the jungles of Gabon, in a poacher’s camp, torch light illuminates the carcasses of slaughtered animals packed on top of one another, bodily fluids mixing. Here is a potential for deadly viruses to jump species. Andrea likens it to a Pandora’s box. We have opened that box.

“We have offered viruses a golden opportunity for evolutionary success.”
– David Quammen
No apologies – this film is uncomfortable.

Online Screening

The Geneva Environment Network would like to thank Jackson Wild, Off the Fence and Terra Mater Factual Studios for the documentary and the virtual panel discussion.

Watch the trailer; the full film is available until 3 March 2021.

Experts

Panel:

  • Dr. Tracey McNamara, professor of Pathology at Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine
  • David Quamenn, writer and author
  • Susanne Lummer, producer of Corona: The Pandemic and the Pangolin
  • Ruth Berry, writer of Corona: The Pandemic and the Pangolin
  • Walter Köhler, founder and CEO of Terra Mater Factual Studios
  • Moderator: Jeff Flocken, President of Humane Society International

Links

More Documentaries for #WorldWildlifeDay

The Sanctuary: Survival Stories of the Alps

An incredible journey through the frozen heart of Europe to discover that it is not always the strongest who survives, but more often those who help each other

A Plastic Ocean

A breathtaking movie exploring the fragile state of our oceans and uncovers alarming truths about the consequences of our disposable lifestyle

One Planet & Sanctuary Forest

An visual adventure showcasing the connections and reliance of the habitats that make our planet and support the astonishing diversity of life on Earth | A short film on the one of the largest integral forest reserves in the Swiss Plateau

* Graphics credit: Jörg Eisenprobst