ZBM premiers unique look at our environment in documentary

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Bermudians are being urged to tune in to an in-depth 13-part environmental documentary series filmed entirely in and around the Island, and thought to be the first of its kind for Bermuda, that starts broadcasting on local TV this week.

And the makers of the series hope once viewers have sat back and enjoyed being immersed into the wonders and beauty of the Island they will be inspired to change some of their habits and take steps to protect Bermuda's natural wealth and beauty for the sake of their children and future generations.

It is also intended that once the shows, hosted by news broadcaster Sangita Iyer, have been broadcast they will be turned into DVDs to be distributed to schools and other organisations on the Island as an educational tool, as well as possibly being shown further afield.

  • <B>Broadcaster</B>Sangita Iyer holds one of Bermuda's sea turtles during filming of a new environmental TV series that starts airing this week.

    BroadcasterSangita Iyer holds one of Bermuda's sea turtles during filming of a new environmental TV series that starts airing this week.


Bermudians are being urged to tune in to an in-depth 13-part environmental documentary series filmed entirely in and around the Island, and thought to be the first of its kind for Bermuda, that starts broadcasting on local TV this week.

And the makers of the series hope once viewers have sat back and enjoyed being immersed into the wonders and beauty of the Island they will be inspired to change some of their habits and take steps to protect Bermuda's natural wealth and beauty for the sake of their children and future generations.

It is also intended that once the shows, hosted by news broadcaster Sangita Iyer, have been broadcast they will be turned into DVDs to be distributed to schools and other organisations on the Island as an educational tool, as well as possibly being shown further afield.

Kelly Symonds, an executive producer of the Bermuda Broadcasting Company series, said: "The series will open the minds of Bermudians to the environment — where we are at and what is happening to our open spaces and with global warming.

"It is very educational and I truly believe in the series. Sangita Iyer initiated the shows and is very passionate about the subject. The Bermuda Audubon Society embraced the idea and we also wanted to be part of it."

Ms Iyer filmed in caves almost 100ft underground, assisted a sea turtle tagging project, looked into the damage being done to the coral reefs that surround Bermuda, and highlighted the loss of green space from continual development.

The series, entitled Enviroshorts, also filmed the impact of invasive plant and animal life and made shows on the importance of taking charge of protecting the environment by cutting pollution, recycling and reusing.

The first show airs tomorrow evening at 8.30 p.m. on channel TV9 and will be repeated on Wednesday on TV7 at 6.30 p.m.

Mr. Symonds, who watched the pilot show that was broadcast last year and has seen the first of the new series, said: "I believe in Sangita and the message this project is going to give to the Island. It is a big series for the Island."

Bermuda Audubon Society past president Andrew Dobson said: "In the long term we are committed to producing a DVD of the programmes that will then be available to schools.

"We were approached by Sangita Iyer and we saw that the series fitted our mission with regard to environmental education.

"The main thing is to show how people can make a difference with regard to our small land area and limited resources and ask what can we do to preserve what we have.

"We hope people will sit up and think about their own environment."

The 13-part series is made up of half-hour shows covering two topics per episode

There is plenty for Bermuda to be justly proud about, from the sea turtle rehabilitation programme to campaigns to re-establish native and endemic species.

But there are many danger signs that reveal the negative impact we have had, and continue to have, on our surroundings.

Ms Iyer, who is also a news reporter and anchorwoman with ZBM TV News, undertook the side project of the environmental documentaries shortly after arriving on the Island in 2005, gathering together a group of well known conservationists and environmentalists and securing the support of the Bermuda Audubon Society, title sponsor Bank of Bermuda Foundation as well as backing from Butterfield and Vallis, the ACE Foundation, Belco and Bermuda Waterworks.

She said the series is the fruition of her own passion for reporting on environmental topics and a desire to give back to Bermuda something she hopes will help its people, and its children in particular, understand and appreciate the importance of looking after their tiny mid-Atlantic home.

"What has been attractive to people is that this will be a legacy. It will not just air once, but will go to DVD and be distributed to government, libraries and schools and become an educational thing," said Ms Iyer.

"I feel honoured that those people I met up with initially believed in me even though I'd only been on the island for four months. I believe everyone can play a role in helping the environment and stopping global warming."

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