Slash and burn farming is a dangerous and unsustainable method of clearing trees to make room for agriculture. It can prove catastrophic for rainforest ecosystems containing some of the world’s most remarkable species.
But it’s not just animals and plants that these destructive practices affect. Billions of tonnes of carbon are released into the atmosphere, and the damaged soil left behind means that farmers struggle to support themselves from the limited crops they can produce. More than 150 acres of rainforest are now lost every minute of every day, and experts estimate that the last remaining ones could be destroyed within 40 years.
In the face of this desperate situation steps Mike Hands, one of the many people trying to turn things around. Through decades of research and the ongoing work of his charity The Inga Foundation, he’s found a method that could help rainforests to recover and the farmers who work in them to sustain themselves.
The Inga Foundation from Adam Wakeling on Vimeo.
If you watch only one nature documentary this week, make it the award-winning Up in Smoke, now streaming on the Love Nature app. But if you have time, why not also have a look at the fresh new shows we’re premiering this week, only on Love Nature.
ON THE APP
Up in Smoke
Slash and burn farming generates more carbon emissions annually than all air and road travel put together. It is one of the biggest contributors to deforestation and global warming. It sits at the crossroads of two of the greatest threats to global stability: accelerating climate change and diminishing food security. Up In Smoke follows British scientist Mike Hands, who has laboured for 25 years to find a solution to replacing slash & burn agriculture in equatorial rainforests.
And he’s found it.
World’s Worst Venom
Which animal produces toxic venom that is deadliest to human beings? Travel around the world to see how these aggressive animals use their biological weapons to defend and attack and learn how researchers are collecting data in the hopes of reducing the risk of the next a fatal bite or sting.
Saving the Chimps
The veterinarians and caretakers at the world’s largest chimpanzee shelter are dedicated to giving the primates under their care the best quality of life possible. Having been subjected to traumatic biomedical testing for years, these chimpanzees have since been liberated from their confined and isolated cages and moved to open, natural spaces where they can be free to live a quiet life of comfort.
Chasing Wild Horses
On a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia lies Sable Island. Living on this long, isolated strip of land are herds of wild horses that are strictly protected from human interference. Only under special permission is world-renowned photographer, Roberto Dutesco granted a rare chance to capture images of these majestic animals in the wild.
Underwater: Roatan—Part 2
Nature Scenes are an immersive, ultra HD, Slow TV viewing experience—unencumbered by words—showing our world at its most beautiful. An hour of uninterrupted Bahamas landscapes. One half hour of uninterrupted reefs and marine wildlife in the Roatan, Honduras.
Want to watch these documentaries for free right now? Subscribe to Love Nature and start your 30-day free trial of the best on-demand natural history documentaries out there.