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tv   Global 3000  PBS  January 13, 2015 7:30pm-8:01pm PST

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>> we're all in a flutter on this week's edition of "global 3000," and that's because we are playing host to royalty. butterfly royalty, that is. what you're seeing on your screen are swarms of monarch butterflies on their way to mexico. we'll be finding out what makes this migratory journey unique shortly. but first, welcome to the program, and here's a quick look at what we have in store. the butterfly effect -- how the well-being of millions is connected to the survival of one particular species. sherpas' struggle -- nepal's courageous mountain guides fight for safer working conditions. and dwindling catch -- the role of trout in tempting tourists to morocco's atlas mountain.
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back to butterflies. this handsome monarch butterfly weighs no more than half a gram, and yet its importance to the various ecosystems in which it interacts is immeasurable. the monarch butterfly begins its life-cycle in north america, but as summer draws to a close and the leaves begin to fall, large swarms of these regal insects gather, ready to make the long journey south. mexico is their destination. and one theory is that they make their way there using an internal magnetic compass, similar to that used by birds. the arrival of the butterflies in mexico's pine-oak forests is a sight so impressive that multiple myths have grown up around it -- not to mention entries into guide books. >> there's something miraculous
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about the monarch butterfly. >> even if you don't believe in god, the phenomenon of the monarch butterfly makes you start thinking about what god is all about, because it's just magical. its colors, the sound of the wings beating. it's profoundly soothing. >> gloria tavera has been in charge of the monarch butterfly biosphere reserve in michoacan, mexico for years. but even so, the annual arrival of millions of butterflies still astonishes her. they have a journey of over 4000 kilometers behind them. >> the migration spans three countries -- canada, the u.s. and mexico. the monarch butterfly is the only insect to cover such a vast distance in such a short space of time. it raises many questions.
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how is it they always come to the same place, although they've never been there before? they're the offspring of the offspring of the butterflies that laid their eggs in spring. that's what's so extraordinary about the phenomenon. no butterfly ever does the journey twice. >> the monarch butterflies are obviously beautiful, but do they actually matter to the ecosystem? they certainly do. a pilot project sponsored by germany and organized by the international climate initiative is designed to back up their relevance with statistics. >> the monarch butterfly is a symbol. for locals, it's a natural jewel. but it also plays a role in the trees' absorption of co2, the nutrient cycle, the regulation
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of water, and many other natural processes underway in the forests and mountains. >> its economic value is obvious. the monarch butterflies are a major tourist draw. >> it's just amazing to learn that they can fly such distances. >> it's wonderful to be here and to see the butterflies in their habitat. >> it's magical, like a fairytale forest. >> tourism provides the communities close to where the monarch butterflies winter with an income. protecting the forests therefore amounts to protecting their livelihoods. but as far as other local communities are concerned,
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there's no financial gain in leaving the forest untouched. >> to us, the butterflies are a natural spectacle. when they arrive every year the children come to see them. but unfortunately they don't help us earn a living. >> unless that changes, the monarch butterflies might find their winter quarters under threat. >> for now, the cost-benefit ratio doesn't make sense. the local population shoulders the costs of conservation, forfeiting work and income by leaving the area untouched.
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that's what we call opportunity cost. people in the region are losing out on intensive forestry opportunities and they need to be compensated. for now, this isn't happening. >> some people, meanwhile, benefit greatly from the conservation of the forest. even if they don't realise how much, and certainly don't pay for the privilege. but they get to enjoy fresh water that comes from the forest, for example. >> the water doesn't come out of the tap, it comes from the mountains. people use it for farming and the people in the cities use it too, even in mexico city. their drinking water comes from here. >> so the monarch butterflies play a key role in generating income and within the ecosystem,
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and also help put food on people's plates. not just in mexico. >> pollination serves a vital function. it's the cornerstone of agriculture in the great plains of the u.s. it's a process that humans will never be able to replicate. it cannot be automated. we need to realize this. there are natural phenomena we will never be able to simulate, however much we spend on trying to. >> it is hard to put a price tag to something irreplaceable. but that's exactly what the german aid agency giz is trying to do, determine the actual value for north america of the "services" provided by the butterflies. ultimately, this will mean that the beneficiaries of the monarch butterfly phenomenon will pay their fair share.
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>> it will only work if the benefits and yields of this ecosystem are redistributed. by an environmental fund or via fees, for example. >> but the symbolic value of these butterflies is priceless. >> i always say that we should all be more like monarch butterflies. they brave dangers, they work together, they can look after themselves, form teams, make group decisions about their survival, and their stamina is inspirational! >> i'm going to make a mental
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note to self here -- be more like a butterfly. in the meantime, however, it's time for global living rooms, the part of the show where we get to take a sneak peek into the living rooms of people all around the world. this week it's the turn of eri katayama, a student from the japanese capital, tokyo. tokyo is divided up into 23 different wards, and eri's ward, ota, is to the south of the city. >> hello! welcome! please come in.
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my name is eri. this is my living room. this is where my family and i sit down to eat. breakfast, lunch, and dinner. the television and my piano are in the room next door. [piano music] aregato. when i don't have to go to school i like to drink a cup of coffee with my mom. >> i have a hobby. i like to make things out of beads.
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[jazz music] >> normally, the balcony would be full of flowers. when the weather's good you can see mount fuji in the distance. today it's a little too cloudy so you can't make it out. i'm glad you could visit! it would be great to see you again next time you're in tokyo! bye bye! >> mount fuji may have been shrouded in mist there, but we can promise you a glimpse of north africa's fabled atlas mountains, which spread out over
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more than 2000 kilometers across morocco, algeria, and tunisia. it's a region which has been hard hit by extreme weather events recently ranging from floods to unexpected heat waves. as a result, the intergovernmental panel on climate change is predicting an almost 50% drop in agricultural yields over the next 10 years. already, moroccan highlanders are casting about for new ways of earning a living. >> more than 100,000 people live in the region around the bin el ouidane reservoir lake in the atlas mountains. life here is hard. many would like to move away if they could.
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people like this farmer. his fields overlook the reservoir, some 1000 meters above sea level. idris bakur could no longer make a living farming, so he decided to become a fisherman, like his father before him. >> i wouldn't want my son to become a farmer like i did. it's too hard. at least fishing provides us with more of an income than we used to have. >> bakour is the spokesman for a local fishing cooperative. it's joined forces with the moroccan forestry authority to launch a campaign against people moving away. the initiative is supported by the german aid agency giz.
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members meet regularly to discuss issues such as fish stocks and fishing quotas. >> we started out by completely reorganizing the fishing industry because it wasn't regulated at all. people would just go out in their fishing boats, but now they've founded a collective. the organization has a hand in combating poaching. it sets out rules for when people can go fishing, taking spawning season into account. when it's spawning season for the black bass, for example, the fishermen aren't allowed to catch them. >> the reservoir was built in the mid 1950's. it used to be a small mountain lake with two inflows. the plateau used to be home to a range of far greater biodiversity. over the years, heavy rainfall and flooding uprooted the area's
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vegetation. the rivers narrowed, and in time, fish stocks dropped dramatically. the nearby fishery went to rack and ruin. >> trout functions as a biological indicator of the health of its environment. once climate change set in, trout started to disappear from the region. >> the fishing collective's project includes a fish breeding station down in the valley. trout and carp are bred here on the edge of town. once they're a few weeks old, they're released into the reservoir. that's what idris bakour is going to do today. he'll be releasing about 100 fish into the lake.
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the point is to boost the diversity of fish in its waters. >> i am so glad that we have a fish breeding station here. it's a great help because fish stocks in the reservoir are on the decline. >> the closer one gets to rabat, morocco's capital, the more modern everything looks. nearly half the population still lives from agriculture. staff at the environment ministry in rabat are learning how to go about raising money for environmental protection initiatives. morocco desperately needs funds for environmental conservation efforts in the atlas mountains. even the minister herself takes part. >> morocco is very vulnerable to climate change. we are seeing temperatures climb
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so we're fighting drought in many parts of the country. further problems include desertification, erosion, and natural disasters. >> the harvests in the valleys of the atlas mountains are increasingly scant. there are few young people left in the region. most of them head to the cities as soon as they can. the fishing project based at the reservoir is also looking to boost tourism. for now, only about 100 visitors make it to the remote mountainous region per year. fishing tourism is hardly lucrative. not least because there's no infrastructure to support it. gregory senecot is an intrepid tourist from france. he's a huge fishing enthusiast and comes here regularly. he loves the beauty and tranquillity of the atlas mountains. >> this carp here weighs about 5 kilos and would have been swimming at a depth of about 7
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meters. i used corn as bait. i love it here, it's very relaxing. the sun is great, it's lovely here. >> he also appreciates the traditional moroccan hospitality. locals even help him pitch his tent. but for the time being at least, there isn't enough tourism to improve the locals' standard of living. the situation might improve once fish stocks have been replenished and can provide locals with a livelihood. then they'll be less likely to move away. and then, hopefully, more visitors will come to explore this beautiful but troubled corner of morocco.
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>> to the nepalese himalayas now, a landscape built on another scale entirely. the highest peak in the atlas mountains, by the way, rises 4,165 meters above sea level. mount everest is over twice as high. it's a dizzying 8848 meters, making it the tallest mountain on the planet. this year, however, the himalayas made the record books for another, darker reason. 2014 was the year in which more people than ever before lost their lives whilst climbing there. amongst the dead were 16 nepalese sherpas, who specialise in guiding visitors across the mountains. >> surendra baudel is a rescue pilot. he makes a living from other people who are in trouble -- climbers who have misjudged the dangers of the himalayas. surendra and his colleagues are the first crew in nepal who can retrieve injured people with a rescue line, known as the "longline," a skill which they learnt from the swiss. >> in 2012 in august, i was there for longline training and mountain flights. they're much more systematic in switzerland. and we are picking up, we are trying to get in the swiss
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format of doing rescues. >> i'm doing further training for advanced training. i've not been doing the longline rescue here in nepal, so after i go for training in switzerland i will come here and do longline rescue. >> during the peak season for mountain climbing, surendra and his team take off on rescue operations five or six times a day. they reach altitudes of up to 5500 meters. today the men are going on a training flight to practise search and rescue. after 30 minutes in the air, surendra discovers the man they need to rescue. but he can't land the eurocopter here. the ground is too steep. 3 kilometers away they manage to land. the rescue rope is fastened to the helicopter and used to lower one of the mountain rescuers down to the casualty. >> you have a good chance to rescue him? >> yes, my concern is about the
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weather, as you can see now. the fog is moving so fast, so before that we need to grab him up from there. >> but in reality, assistance usually arrives too late. the region of mount everest is the highest adventure playground in the world. 8848 meters high. to date, more than 4000 thrill-seekers have managed to climb the highest mountain in the world. climbing everest costs about 50,000 euros. this goes to nepal's government and the organisers for the climb. even if you don't reach the summit. the last disaster happened on april 18, 2014 at khumbu icefall. sherpas wanted to build a bridge over the deep ice crevasses for the climbers just as an avalanche was triggered. 16 sherpas lost their lives. the accident sent shockwaves through nepal. the many tragedies that occur on mount everest are witnessed
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first-hand by the communities in the valley of kathmandu. a lot of sherpa families live here, including ang pasi with her son. her husband was a sherpa who led foreigners up to the summit. the avalanche on april 18 claimed his life. his widow and son found refuge in a small room at her brother's house. >> the death of my husband changed my whole life. i just need to see how my baby and i can get through it. my best option is to emigrate. >> the young widow received the equivalent of nine thousand euros in compensation -- almost two years' wages -- from the nepalese government. mount everest -- a blessing and a curse. more than 9000 sherpas and their families make their living as porters and guides. since the summit was first
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reached in 1953, they have been helping mountain climbers find their way, as well as carrying equipment, food, and oxygen cylinders. they are well paid for this job. but they are poorly insured. >> in kathmandu we meet the sherpa pamba ongchhu. one of the most experienced mountain climbers in nepal. he survived the catastrophe on april 18 but one of his friends lost his life. he and his friend's widow commemorate the victims in the large sherpa temple. >> after the catastrophe, we couldn't just keep climbing. we brought the bodies to the families and then we went on strike. it was the first time that the sherpas had gone on strike. we demanded higher life insurance and a professional mountain rescue service. >> that's exactly why surendra's team are training today. they want to be as efficient as their colleagues in switzerland. one of them is being lowered down to the casualty on the rescue rope. on the ground, the man is tied
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securely to a rescue net. with the rescuer safely fastened to the rope, the pilot flies into the valley. a distance of ten kilometers at an altitude of 200 meters. until they reach a hospital. all too often, surendra and his men are called out too late because payment hasn't been clarified. travel agencies and insurance companies in nepal prefer to avoid the expenses for rescue flights. surendra baudel wants to change that. along with other experts, he wants to establish a mountain rescue service in nepal based on the swiss model. after a ten-hour working day, the pilot returns to his wife and daughter, in their little house on the edge of town.
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>> i am so proud of him. when he saves somebody's life, i'm very proud. and when he returns back safely, that is the most happiest moment for me. >> the rescue pilots like to pray to the gods every time they return home unharmed. and of course, they pray for the victims. >> and if you want to find out more about sherpas in nepal, tune into dw's radio programme "worldlink" this weekend. there will be no pictures, but there will be a great radio show. we are online too. thanks for watching, and for those of you celebrating, we wish you a happy and peaceful christmas. goodbye. [captioned by the national captioning institute which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ññññññ
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