NAAEE says that World Environment Day 2021 was all about ecosystem restoration, and documentaries are a great way to express the range of what that can look like. It says that, from rainforests in India to the island of Wasini, here are six powerful short films to watch with your students. A recurring theme throughout is the desire to conserve nature for future generations.
– A Dream of Trees Follow passionate wildlife biologists Divya Mudappa and TR Shankar Raman in this half-hour documentary as they restore degraded tropical rainforests in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats, India.
– Boy-zshan Bi-den As we see in many of these documentaries, ecosystem restoration frequently includes the restoration of rights and cultural ties to the land. This eight-minute documentary covers the welcoming of buffalo back to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming after an absence of over 130 years, through a partnership between the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the National Wildlife Federation
– Diwata What does it take to protect a forest? In the Philippines, a lot of courage. Diwata tells a 7-minute story of a small group of women on the island of Palawan who are fighting against mining and logging companies for their rights, for their families, and for future generations.
– The Last Bears of Italy This six-minute short documentary featuring adorable Marsican brown bears in Italy might just become the talk of your school. Learn how human settlements have limited the natural habitat and migration routes of bears, and how Rewilding Europe is working to restore a landscape that allows for the peaceful coexistance of humans and wildlife in Europe.
– The Reef Builders Cement and the ocean. That doesn’t quite sound like ecosystem restoration…or does it? As featured in this eight-minute short documentary, entreprenurial Sanura and Nazo are defying cultural norms to protect coral reefs off of the island of Wasini in Kenya. By building a nursury sanctuary out of concrete, Sanura and Nazo are ensuring that future generations can experience the same, or a better, Wasini.
– The Seed Saver Ecosystem restoration can start small—and by that, we mean seeds! With beautiful shots and fun animations, this 10-minute episode from PBS will intrigue even the most disinterested student in Namu Farm.