TV shows highlight Bermuda's many environmental successes

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On a scale of one to ten, Bermuda is probably only a four when it comes to looking after her environment and being aware of conservation issues, according to a prominent figure in the Bermuda Environmental Alliance.

But bank chief Philip Butterfield is optimistic that will improve with the help of the environmental group's newest venture four documentaries that will air on TV next week.

The Bermuda Environmental Alliance (BEA) will feel it has achieved a key goal if the Island's people can better appreciate and care for the environment as a result.

  • <b>Promoting environmental message:</b> World record-breaking weatherman Dave Devall is on the island to help promote the Bermuda Environmental Alliance's new series of TV documentaries, airing next week on VSB. He is seen here on the left meeting with the BEA's executive director Sangita Iyer, who hosts the shows, and BEA co-founder and CEO of HSBC Bermuda Philip Butterfield.

    Promoting environmental message: World record-breaking weatherman Dave Devall is on the island to help promote the Bermuda Environmental Alliance's new series of TV documentaries, airing next week on VSB. He is seen here on the left meeting with the BEA's executive director Sangita Iyer, who hosts the shows, and BEA co-founder and CEO of HSBC Bermuda Philip Butterfield.


On a scale of one to ten, Bermuda is probably only a four when it comes to looking after her environment and being aware of conservation issues, according to a prominent figure in the Bermuda Environmental Alliance.

But bank chief Philip Butterfield is optimistic that will improve with the help of the environmental group's newest venture four documentaries that will air on TV next week.

The Bermuda Environmental Alliance (BEA) will feel it has achieved a key goal if the Island's people can better appreciate and care for the environment as a result.

Dave Devall, the longest-serving broadcast weatherman in the world as recognised by the Guinness Book of Records has been visiting the Island to help make that happen.

The BEA's four half-hour documentaries 'Bermuda Nature's Jewel' start Monday and will air on VSB Channel 11 at 7.30pm on consecutive nights.

"The world is getting smaller and we are running out of resources so we have to conserve. The only way we can get the message across is to vigorously pursue a course of education. But education is more effective when it's entertaining and positive," said Mr Devall, who worked as a TV weatherman for Toronto-based CTV for 48 years before retiring in 2009.

Mr Devall has a keen interest in the welfare of animals and the environment, and through his long-standing work as a meteorologist is concerned about climate change. He welcomed the opportunity to help raise greater awareness of environmental issues through the BEA's documentaries, which will look at Bermuda's caves, roof water catchment techniques, and the conservation efforts involving the rare cahows.

Four short documentaries produced by the BEA have already been shown on the Discovery Channel (Canada). The BEA's co-founder Mr Butterfield, who is also president of HSBC Bermuda, said: "I'm excited by what we have been able to accomplish through the visual medium. It is a great way of advancing learning, and we are using it to make people aware of the environment."

Mr Butterfield feels Bermuda still has some way to go to improve its environmental efforts. He said he was more disciplined in his environmental approach when he lived in other countries where, for instance, refuse was segregated to ensure maximum recycling possibilities, than he is here.

"There is more that we can do," he said, adding he felt the BEA was helping to raise the awareness level.

"The BEA has come a long way in a short time and it has exceeded my expectations the evidence of that comes when we go out to inform potential donors and sponsors and always get a positive response."

The organisation has attracted sponsorship from companies that include Bacardi, BF&M, Allied World, Kitson Group, Butterfield Bank, HSBC Bermuda, Alterra and Crystal Caves, as well as the Department of Tourism.

Former Environment Minister Arthur Hodgson, a BEA director, said: "Education has always been about the environment. In the past we have made decisions based on our need for instant gratification but we need to start thinking long term. In other words we want to know not only what is going to happen immediately as a result of our behaviours, but also what's going to happen in the future."

Former Bermuda TV news journalist Sangita Iyer hosts the documentary series and is the BEA's founding executive director. She said: "The best way to get people to engage and understand the value of our planet and its natural resources is through education by using visual and social media. It is my privilege to bring some of the most successful conservation stories through passionate Bermudian conservationists."

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