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Sustainable Development, the World Challenge
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Library Catalog
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Human Ecology
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1.

Chad [electronic resource]: Hydraulic Projects and Peace

Characterized as an LDC or Least Developed Country, the nation of Chad wrestles with drought, population growth, and resulting tensions between farmers and herders. This program investigates hydraulic projects and mediation initiatives that are fostering relationships between Chad's food growers and its nomadic, livestock-centered cultures. Overviewing the basic causes of Chadian land disputes and competition for water sources as well as failed modernization schemes proposed during the 1960s, the film explores new solutions based on recognizing traditional agriculture and natural migration routes. Viewers witness "sit-down" talks between farmers and herders that could help prevent regional conflicts from flaring up.
Online
2010; 2009
2.

Senegal [electronic resource]: Water Treatment and Distribution

Our most valuable treasure, is how residents of Dakar describe the Bay of Han. But pollution from both residential and industrial sources is destroying the body of water that has long supported fishing families in the Senegalese capital. This program reports on Western-aided efforts to restore the bay's ecological health and its viability as an economic resource. Specific challenges include the lack of plumbing services in many Dakar homes and harmful by-products from businesses-exemplified by waste from a local slaughterhouse. Solutions focus on improved piping and drainage, better sewage collection and infrastructure, and the construction of a new water treatment plant and waste discharge system.
Online
2010; 2009
3.

Laos [electronic resource]: Culture, Development, and Heritage Protection

In Luang Prabang, amidst the customary begging of Buddhist monks and the irksome giddiness of camera-wielding tourists, history lies waiting on street after street of traditional architecture. This program takes viewers into the heart of the Laotian city, where builders and bureaucrats contest the fate of land, houses, and public structures while traditional artisans and architects work to preserve an ancient heritage. Highlighting cooperation between the city planning office and French investment programs, the film examines the impact of illegal construction, colonialism, and new building regulations on the cultural landscape. A renovated hospital, a roof tile production center, and wetland development are among several specific topics.
Online
2010; 2009
4.

Brazil [electronic resource]: Urban Planning Challenges

A city shouldn't be a problem, says Jaime Lerner, the former mayor of Curitiba. "It should be a solution." This program explores innovative planning, engineering, and conservation at work in the Brazilian metropolis as it transcends many of the problems plaguing other South American cities. The film spotlights fully modernized public transportation and recycling systems, a "Citizenship Street" zoning pattern that reduces high-volume traffic, an oil collection program that transforms used cooking grease into biofuel, and other successful initiatives. But the need for a waste-for-food exchange program demonstrates that even Curitiba must still contend with poverty and other social challenges.
Online
2010; 2009
5.

Madagascar [electronic resource]: Agro-Ecology

Illegal deforestation, slash-and-burn practices, poverty, land disputes-these are among the many problems associated with farming in Madagascar. This program guides viewers through the real-world challenges of building sustainable agriculture in the country. Outlining reasons why many growers are unable or unwilling to leave outmoded techniques behind, the film visits community offices that support local farmers in organizing, obtaining microfinancing, and increasing efficiency. Erosion, soil management, irrigation and drainage, and the development of mixed farming-or combining crop cultivation and animal herding-are examined. Ecologists, agriculture experts, and a traveling veterinarian add commentary.
Online
2010; 2009
6.

China [electronic resource]: Sustainable Homebuilding

Having overtaken the U.S. as the world's biggest polluter, China is now responsible for 11 percent of all greenhouse gas production. Can the country reduce its carbon footprint without slowing its unprecedented economic growth? This program shows how that question is playing out in the Chinese construction industry, highlighting the creation and practical application of new homebuilding standards. Collaboration between French and Chinese experts has led to groundbreaking insulation techniques-illustrated here in conversations with architects, site managers, building residents, and instructors in the sustainable development program at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology.
Online
2010; 2009
7.

Congo Basin [electronic resource]: Sustainable Forestry

Among the largest, most pristine areas of tropical woodland on the planet, the Congo Basin forests could easily fall prey to shortsighted and exploitative commercial interests. This program looks at sustainable lumber production initiatives taking root in the region, with a focus on cutting-edge forestry management as well as economic growth through increased cooperation between local concession-holders. Viewers join a planning team and a chain-saw crew in the remote woodlands of Gabon as they take great care to preserve the fragile ecosystem, and another team of advisors as they set up meetings between small African foresters-who, despite initial skepticism, see a need for collective economic leverage.
Online
2010; 2009
8.

The Pacific [electronic resource]: Biodiversity and the Protection of Coral Reefs

Virtually every reef system in the world is endangered, and the island nations of the South Pacific provide some of the most troubling examples. This program examines the uncertain future of tropical offshore ecosystems using the French collectivity of New Caledonia as a case study. Viewers accompany lagoon protection crew members as they patrol fragile marine reserves by boat; an itinerant researcher who describes frequent legal conflicts between tribal interests and environmental regulations; and outreach personnel working with Kanak and Melanesian leaders to reduce traditional hillside burns, which lead to high sediment levels in lagoons.
Online
2010; 2009