Forest corridors in Malaysian Borneo; concrete balls to boost reef ecosystems; and using coconuts to reduce erosion.
Corridor of Life
The orangutan and pygmy elephant, both endangered species, are struggling to survive as their forest habitats are cut down for timber and to make way for agriculture – particularly palm oil cultivation. A sustainable tourism cooperative set up by indigenous people in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, is creating a forest canopy ‘corridor’ to help boost their populations by reconnecting sections of jungle which have been cut off through deforestation. Steve Chao meets the indigenous community groups who have committed to helping revive the forest on which they, and Borneo’s abundant wildlife, have always relied.
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Coral reefs all around the world are dying, and it is estimated that 70 per cent will be destroyed by the year 2050. Not only are these reefs home to 25 per cent of all marine life, but around 500 million people rely on them for their food and livelihoods. After witnessing the devastation of a Cayman Island reef, Todd Barber gave up a six-figure salary as a marketing consultant, and made the decision to spend his life restoring the world’s reef ecosystems. He set up an NGO which creates ‘Reef Balls’, concrete structures that mimic the natural form of a reef and encourage growth of marine life. The foundation has already established 550,000 Reef Balls in 4,000 projects across 59 countries. Sinead O’Shea meets Todd Barber and learns how to make and install a Reef Ball.
The Philippines sits in a tropical zone that suffers some of the most extreme weather conditions in the world – super-typhoons, tropical cyclones, and annual flooding exacerbated by deforestation. The country is also one of the world’s largest producers of coconut products. A Filipino company is turning what would be worthless coconut waste material into a tough, biodegradable netting that anchors soil on sloping land and along riverbanks, to protect against erosion, flooding and landslides. Omar Khalifa finds out how they work.