Schools are first in line for environment DVDs

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If Bermuda's schoolchildren ever need reminding of how precious their natural surroundings are, and what they can do to protect the environment, they now have the information at their fingertips.

A locally-produced environmental TV series has been put onto DVDs and is shortly to be distributed to schools and other groups.

Youngsters can now watch again the mesmerising sight of sea turtles gliding through the waters off the coast of Bermuda or peak into the hidden world of the Island's caves.

  • The front cover for the EnviroShorts DVD series by Sangita Iyer.

    The front cover for the EnviroShorts DVD series by Sangita Iyer.


If Bermuda's schoolchildren ever need reminding of how precious their natural surroundings are, and what they can do to protect the environment, they now have the information at their fingertips.

A locally-produced environmental TV series has been put onto DVDs and is shortly to be distributed to schools and other groups.

Youngsters can now watch again the mesmerising sight of sea turtles gliding through the waters off the coast of Bermuda or peak into the hidden world of the Island's caves.

And they can ponder the damage done to Bermuda's birds, toads, plants and other wildlife through pollution and careless land management.

The award-winning 13-part EnviroShorts documentary series was created by TV news broadcaster Sangita Iyer for the Bermuda Broadcasting Company in partnership with the Bermuda Audubon Society and a host of key sponsors. It has been transferred onto high quality DVDs, which are to be distributed to schools and a number of environmental organisations on the Island in the coming weeks and are likely to also be put on sale to the general public.

The decision to turn the shows into DVDs was made to fulfill the wish that they become an educational tool and legacy for future generations of Bermudians to learn about their surroundings and how they can protect the fragile environment of the Island.

A reception to mark the launch of the three-disc DVD set was attended by Governor Sir Richard Gozney and Environment Minister El James and Education Minister Randy Horton.

Andrew Dobson, president of the Bermuda Audubon Society, paid tribute to the many volunteers and others who had helped make the project a success and said that two international conference he had attended this year had both highlighted global concerns about the environment.

"The theme was loss of habitat and protecting what we have left, and I think that message comes across in these DVDs," said Mr. Dobson.

"One of the main drives was that the DVDs would go free to all schools so that they can be used in science programmes."

DVD sets will also go to the Bermuda National Trust, the Bermuda Zoological Society, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Studies and the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

Mr Dobson said: "We are trying to get the DVDs to as wide an audience as we can." And of Ms Iyer, he added: "She was the inspiration. I was with her one day filming longtails and she was terrific and filled with enthusiasm.

"The whole project could not have happened without her and we have been very lucky to have had her here in Bermuda."

Education Minister Mr. Horton said he felt the DVDs "will do wonders in helping young people to appreciate and know what is around them," while Governor Sir Richard said: "The passion for conservation in Bermuda runs deep and with the DVDs going out to schools it will run much wider."

Environment Minister Mr. James said: "I have been impressed by Sangita's energy. The shows have given a new meaning to sustainable development and have inspired the environment department to do something similar."

The shows, which were commended by Senators earlier in the year, were sponsored by Bank of Bermuda Foundation, Ace Foundation, Belco, Butterfield and Vallis and Bermuda Waterworks.

Ms Iyer said: "They would not have been possible without the support of the Audubon Society.

"I sent out a bunch of emails to people and they all showed up with about ten topics each, I felt honoured by the response and I realised we had to do proper shows and I spoke to Rick Richardson (then CEO of Bermuda Broadcasting Company)."

Ms Iyer thanked those who had helped her complete the series and who had offered her support during the time, including her Bermuda god parents Tommy and Marion Squire who attended the DVD launch.

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