The New Environmentalists Series
The New Environmentalists share a common goal, safeguarding the Earth’s natural resources from exploitation and pollution. The program features portraits of six passionate and dedicated activists around the globe who have placed themselves squarely in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries for environmental justice in their communities. Narrated by Robert Redford, The New Environmentalists illustrates how ordinary people are effecting extraordinary change.
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2016 The New Environmentalists: From Peru to Tanzania
Destiny’s Bay | United States - Destiny Watford organized her classmates to prevent construction of the nation’s largest incinerator in a Baltimore neighborhood less than one mile from their high school.
Forest Sentinel | Cambodia - Leng Ouch risked his life when he went undercover to expose illegal logging and government corruption that was rampant in Cambodia.
The Decree | Slovakia - Public interest lawyer Zuzana Caputova spearheaded a campaign to shut down a toxic waste dump that was poisoning her community. Her efforts took her all the way to the Supreme Court.
Water Song | Peru - Máxima Acuña, a subsistence farmer in Peru’s northern highlands, stood up to the giant Newmont Mining Corporation over the development of a gold and copper mine on her property.
The Pastorialist | Tanzania - Edward Loure organized his Masaai community and lobbied to claim land titles for Tanzania’s indigenous tribes, thus securing their stewardship of more than 200,000 acres of traditional lands.
The Last Resort | Puerto Rico - Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera led a successful campaign to establish a nature reserve in Puerto Rico’s Northeast Ecological Corridor, a critical nesting ground for the endangered leatherback sea turtle.
2015 The New Environmentalists: From Myanmar to Scotland - For the Educational Digital Download please click here.
Haiti – Jean Weiner is reviving his impoverished country’s drastically depleted marine life by restoring the coral reefs and by planting over a million mangrove trees to combat deforestation and coastal degradation.
Myanmar - Facing heavy government scrutiny, Myint Zaw, an accomplished photojournalist, launched a series of art exhibits to halt construction of the Myitsone Dam on the treasured Irrawaddy River.
Honduras - Bertha Cáceres rallied the indigenous Lenca people to wage a grassroots protest that successfully pressured the government and their corporate ally to withdraw from building the Agua Zarca Dam.
Kenya – Phyllis Omido stood up to her employer when she learned that lead emissions from their smelting factory were contaminating the air, water and soil resulting in horrific illnesses and deaths in the nearby community.
Canada - A former tribal chief, Marilyn Baptiste led her native community in defeating proposed gold and copper mines that would have destroyed Fish Lake—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for her people.
Scotland – Howard Wood, an amateur diver, put an end to destructive scallop dredging in order to restore the marine ecosystem by establishing the first community-developed Marine Protected Area in Scotland.
2014 The New Environmentalists: From Ithaca to The Amazon - For the Educational Digital Download please click here.
Home Rules | New York | Attorney Helen Slottje helped towns across New York state protect themselves from fracking, when she utilized a clause in the state constitution that empowers municipalities to make local land use decisions.
Dirty Business | India | With a small internet café as his headquarters, Ramesh Agrawal organized indigenous people to demand their right to information and succeeded in shutting down one of the largest proposed coal mines in Chhattisgarh, India.
Corrupting Nature | Russia | An internationally recognized zoologist, Suren Gazaryan led protests and social networking campaigns exposing Russian President Putin’s illegal use of federally protected forests near the Black Sea.
Eagle Eyes | Peru | Overcoming a history of traumatic violence, Ruth Buendía united the Asháninka people in a powerful campaign against large-scale dams that would have uprooted indigenous communities that were recovering from Peru’s brutal civil war.
Habitat for the Endangered | Indonesia | A biologist by training, Rudi Putra is protecting the habitat of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino by dismantling illegal palm oil plantations that are destroying northern Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem.
A Segregated Environment | South Africa | Desmond D’Sa rallied south Durban’s diverse and disenfranchised communities to successfully shut down a toxic waste dump that exposed nearby residents to dangerous chemicals and violated their constitutionally protected right to a safe and clean environment.
2013 The New Environmentalists: From Chicago to The Karoo - For the Educational Digital Download please click here.
South Africa | Jonathan Deal is leading a concerted campaign against fracking that threatens the Karoo, where sparse desert and majestic mountains converge to create an agriculture heartland and flourishing wildlife reserves.
Iraq | The Mesopatamia Marshes had been a vital life force for centuries until Saddam Hussein destroyed them. Azzam Alwash has taken on the challenge of restoring the wetlands to their original splendor.
Italy | An elementary school teacher began a public education campaign about the dangers of incinerators in his small Tuscan town that grew into a national Zero Waste movement that is spreading across Europe.
West Timor | When Indonesian marble mining companies began to exploit the pristine mountains surrounding her homeland, Mama Aleta Baun organized villagers in a peaceful weaving protest that halted the mining.
Chicago | A mother of three led local residents in a successful campaign to shut down two of the country’s oldest and dirtiest coal fired power plants — and is now transforming the troubled sites into community parks.
Colombia | Unfazed by powerful political opponents and a pervasive culture of violence, Nohrah Padilla organized marginalized waste pickers to make recycling a legitimate part of Bogota’s waste management system.
2012 The New Environmentalists: From Kenya to the Arctic Circle - For the Educational Digital Download please click here.
The New Russia | In the face of rampant political corruption, Evgenia Chirikova is mobilizing her fellow Russian citizens to reroute a highway that would destroy Moscow’s Khimki Forest.
The Mothers of Ituzaingo | Sofia Gatica’s infant daughter died as a result of pesticide poisoning. Now she’s organizing local women to stop the indiscriminate spraying of toxic agrochemicals on the soy fields surrounding their barrio and across Argentina.
The Arctic Garden | Caroline Cannon, an Inupiat indigenous leader, takes aim at the threat of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Sea which threatens her people and the region’s biodiversity.
Voice of the Voiceless | Father Edu Gariguez, a Catholic priest on the Philippine Island of Mindoro, lead a courageous hunger strike to try to halt construction of a dangerous nickel mine.
Home to Turkana | Ikal Angelei returned to her homeland in Kenya to lead an effort to stop construction on a $60 billion dam that would seriously threaten Lake Turkana and the people whose survival depends on it.
Supply Chain | Ma Jun created a website to mobilize the Chinese citizens to challenge the corporate sources of some of the world’s worst air and water pollution.
2011: The New Environmentalists - From the Americas to Asia - For the Educational Digital Download please click here.
Germany | Community activists respond to the Chernobyl nuclear accident by creating the country’s first successful, cooperatively owned, renewable power company.
Texas | An entrepreneur returns home to his environmentally damaged coastal community to fight a major industrial polluter.
Zimbabwe | When the rhino population in his homeland is threatened by heavily-armed poachers, a visionary bush pilot moves the animals hundreds of miles to safety.
El Salvador | Courageous farmers are paying with their lives as they stand up against a transnational gold mining corporation to protect their fragile water resources.
Indonesia | A charismatic teacher leads the cleanup of the Surabaya River from a flood of industrial chemicals and sewage that are causing severe health issues.
Russia | On an island off the coast of Siberia, a dedicated activist fights to protect endangered wildlife and the region's biodiversity from oil and gas development.
2010 The New Environmentalists - Global Focus VII - For the Educational Digital Download please click here.
Michigan is the homeland of Lynn Henning, a courageous family farmer, who has boldly exposed the polluting practices of livestock factory farms in her area, gaining the attention of the EPA.
Cuba has shifted from chemical dependence to organic practices of sustainable farming, thanks to Humberto Ríos Labrada, a visionary scientist, and his collaboration with farmers to increase crop diversity.
Costa Rica is ground zero for the brutal and environmentally catastrophic practice of shark-finning, which drove Randall Arauz to spawn a powerful movement to stop the senseless slaughter.
Cambodia was once the setting for the notorious “killing fields.” Tuy Sereivathana, a survivor of the genocide, has introduced creative solutions for protecting both the rural farmer’s fields and the endangered Asian elephants who try to eat the crops.
Poland was in danger of losing its most precious ancient forest until Malgorzata Górska, a young activist, successfully led the fight to stop a major highway that would have jeopardized the wildlife and vegetation in the pristine Rospuda Valley.
Swaziland is one of the few remaining monarchies in Africa. Thuli Makama, the country’s only environmental attorney, is spearheading a 20-year battle between private game park owners and the indigenous people who they have evicted, brutalized and even killed for mere suspicion of poaching.
2009 The New Environmentalists - Global Focus VI - For Educational Digital Download please click here.
Maria Gunnoe | USA – where a fifth generation Appalachian native put herself at risk by battling Mountaintop Removal coal mining that was destroying her family’s valley.
Yuyun Ismawati | Indonesia – where a woman helped solve Bali’s waste management crisis by organizing and training poor communities to start profitable recycling businesses.
Wanze Eduards & Hugo Jabini | Suriname – where two indigenous leaders organized their communities against logging on native lands, leading to a landmark ruling to control resource exploitation.
Rizwana Hasan | Bangladesh – where an environmental lawyer won a decisive victory against her country’s powerful “ship breaking” industry for decades of ecological and worker abuse
Olga Speranskaya | Russia – where a scientist has created a massive educational network to help identify and eliminate the Soviet legacy of toxic chemicals in the environment.
Marc Ona | Gabon – where a crusader stood up to the government at the highest level to help save a majestic waterfall and rainforest from an iron mine.
'Global Focus' illustrates how ordinary people are affecting extraordinary change. The New Environmentalists employ a formidable array of weapons to wage their battles. Picket signs, GPS devices, legal briefs, chemistry labs, the press, spirituality, traditional dance and sheer determination are among their many resources.
2008 The New Environmentalists - Global Focus V - For the Educational Digital Download please click here.
Belgium, where a naturalist raised 90 million Euros and used a unique model to conceive, design and run his country’s first and only national park.
Mexico, where a farm leader helps his people use ancient technology to grow their traditional crop, while preserving water and preventing erosion.
Siberia, where Bikal, the world’s oldest and deepest lake, is being vigorously protected by a local biologist who is also helping to save its rare biodiversity.
Ecuador, where two men, a lawyer and a local activist, are forcing a huge multi-national oil company to clean up 20 years of environmental damage.
Mozambique, waterborne disease is being attacked by a local musician though his music and his success teaching sustainable sanitation practices to the country’s poor.
Puerto Rico, where a local housewife organized and galvanized her greater community to fight air pollution and regain a lost natural marshland legacy.
2007 The New Environmentalists - Global Focus IV - For the Educational Digital Download please click here.
North America | Sophia Rabliauskas, 47, Canada: Working on behalf of the Poplar River First Nation, Rabliauskas succeeded in securing interim protection for the boreal forest of Manitoba, effectively preventing destructive logging and hydro-power development while calling on government and international agencies to permanently protect the region.
Africa | Hammerskjoeld Simwinga, 45, Zambia: In Zambia’s North Luangwa Valley, where rampant illegal wildlife poaching decimated the wild elephant population and left villagers living in extreme poverty, Simwinga created an innovative, sustainable community development program that successfully restored wildlife and transformed this poverty-stricken area.
Asia | Ts. Munkhbayar, 40, Mongolia: Munkhbayar successfully worked with government and grassroots organizations to shut down destructive mining operations along Mongolia’s scarce waterways. Through public education and political lobbying, Munkhbayar has effectively protected Mongolia’s precious water resources from additional unregulated mining.
South & Central America | Julio Ricardo Cusurichi Palacios, 36, Peru: In the remote Peruvian Amazon, Cusurichi secured a national reserve to protect both sensitive rain forest ecosystems and the rights of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation from the devastating effects of logging and mining.
Europe | Willie Corduff, 53, Ireland: In the small farming community of Ross Port, Corduff and a group of fellow local residents and landowners successfully forced Shell Oil to halt construction on an illegally-approved pipeline through their land.
Islands & Island Nations | Orri Vigfússon, 64, Iceland: With business savvy and an unwavering commitment to reverse the near-extinction of North Atlantic wild salmon, Vigfússon brokered huge international fishing rights buyouts with governments and commercial interests, helping bring to an end destructive commercial salmon fishing in the region.
Produced by Mill Valley Film Group
10 Episodes on 3 DVDs
Disk 1 2007-2010
Disk 2 2011-2014
Disk 3 2015-2016
26-27 Minute Episodes.