Environmental TV series receives praise, commendation from Senate

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A unique 13-part environmental documentary TV series on Bermuda, which comes to an end this evening, has been given a commendation by Senators.

The half-hour 'Enviro Shorts' shows hit the airwaves last October and have appeared on a fortnightly basis, with each show repeated during the week in between.

Originated and presented by news broadcaster Sangita Iyer, the shows covered a wide range of topics from marine wildlife, to pollution, native species, underground caves and coral reefs.


A unique 13-part environmental documentary TV series on Bermuda, which comes to an end this evening, has been given a commendation by Senators.

The half-hour 'Enviro Shorts' shows hit the airwaves last October and have appeared on a fortnightly basis, with each show repeated during the week in between.

Originated and presented by news broadcaster Sangita Iyer, the shows covered a wide range of topics from marine wildlife, to pollution, native species, underground caves and coral reefs.

The series aimed to educate the public about their environmental surroundings and wider issues including how to protect the environment and reduce Bermuda's impact on global warming.

Its impact has now been highlighted by Parliament's upper house. In a letter of commendation, Senate President Alfred Oughton said he and his fellow Senators wanted to "send congratulations to the Bermuda Broadcasting Company and to you (Ms Iyer) on your excellent 'Enviro Shorts' series of programmes highlighting Bermuda's varied and complex environmental energy concerns.

"The Enviro Shorts series is very educational and interesting for viewers and serves to inform Bermudians on our future energy needs and the environmental impact of the major economic and residential development ongoing in Bermuda."

It is intended all 13 shows will be released on DVD later this year, to be distributed to schools and libraries and for sale to the public.

The Bermuda Audubon Society was key to helping make the show possible by putting its name to the project.

On hearing of the praise for the shows from Island leaders, Audubon Society past president Andrew Dobson said: "We're thrilled to have been associated with the series and by the feedback we have had in terms of support and interest from the public.

"Many people are looking forward to getting the DVDs when they are available, and the series has generated a great amount of awareness in people who were not aware before what was going on in the environment.

"We're very grateful for the companies who put in sponsorship and to the hard work that Sangita put in to the project, driving it forward and making it happen."

Mr. Dobson also thanked the local specialists in conservation, marine sciences and environmentalists who contributed and said he was pleased to see many Bermudians involved in those areas.

He added that unlike previous one-off environmental documentaries, this was the first time he could recollect there ever being a comprehensive series on the subject in Bermuda.

The shows cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce, made possible through title sponsor Bank of Bermuda Foundation, and the backing of Butterfield and Vallis, ACE Foundation, Belco and Bermuda Waterworks.

Ms Iyer, a news reporter and ZBM TV news anchorwoman who formulated the series from its inception and pulled together the necessary resources and sponsors, said: "I'll feel my mission has been accomplished if people take the information from the shows and apply it to their lives.

"Although Bermuda is a tiny speck in the Atlantic, it has the power to move and influence the world."

She urged Bermudians to open their eyes and see what is happening in the world around them such as the impact rising sea levels will have on all Island nations.

"I hope people will do things like turning off the lights when they don't need them, replace their incandescent light bulbs with energy saving bulbs, recycle," she said.

"Politicians, church leaders, schools and the media can use their influence. Politicians can legislate and phase out incandescent bulbs; to church leaders who worship God, I say every creature on the planet is God's creation and I challenge them to protect them."

As for the media, Ms Iyer said often environmental stories are relegated to the bottom of the news pile or not aired at all.

With the series ending she thanked her boss, Bermuda Broadcasting Company's CEO Rick Richardson, for allowing her to pursue the project, and the professionalism of those she worked with, especially editor Larry Bucher and cameraman Wayne Astwood.

She welcomed the acknowledgement from the Senators and the public and thanked the Audubon Society and sponsors, adding: "The show is now going to be documented on DVDs and schoolchildren are going to be able to see it again. This is the legacy that will remain behind when I leave Bermuda."

The final show can be seen at 8.30 p.m. on channel TV 9. What did you think of the series? E-mail sneil@royalgazette.bm

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