A five part documentary series about environmental-related projects developed in partnership between the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism (MENT) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It was an important challenge for us, not only due to the logistical complexity.
The field mission lasted two and a half months, in which we had to move around four permanent team members and two backup personnel, filming in 30 different locations throughout the country. This was also a challenge due to the volume of work required to complete the deliverables equivalent to half an hour each to be broadcast on BTV.
Botswana is a country with a surface area similar to that of the entire Iberian Peninsula but with less than 3 million inhabitants, making it difficult to create and maintain energy distribution networks. However, it is also the largest livestock producer in Africa, with millions of cattle grazing freely. Why not use the cattle’s manure to produce gas in small domestic reactors that can be scaled up to allow electricity production and guarantee a supply of energy in rural areas?
Lake Ngami is one of the largest bodies of water in the Kalahari, periodically drying up the areas that emerge are invaded by Prosopis juliflora, an invasive species whose proliferation is due in large part to the deterioration of the soil layers due to extensive livestock farming. For years, research has been carried out on how to contain the plant, and as a result of this research, a program has been launched to eradicate them and convert them into charcoal. Besides, this provides a livelihood for the villages adjacent to the lake that cannot fish during the low water season.
With a high economic, motor pool, and industrialization growth, generation of waste from used synthetic oil lubricants has become a major concern for the country due to a lack of recycling and waste treatment infrastructure. With the realization of the need to collect and treat this waste, Tshole Trust, involving all stakeholders in the supply, usage, and disposal chain, in partnership with UNDP and the Ministry of Environment, has developed a program designed to advocate for proper handling of the waste as well as collecting and managing it in various parts of the country.
With one of the largest declared and protected landmasses, wildlife tourism has become a major driver of currency and economic growth for Botswana after mining and a symbol of national pride. However, the protection of the extensive land tracts creates conflict with local communities. This is further aggravated by the need for migratory corridors for several species between protected areas, where close contact between wildlife and human settlements is discouraged. The need for alternative solutions that redress this conflict includes viable conservation tourism-related livelihoods pioneered and encouraged by UNDP and stakeholders.
The loss of fertile topsoil is a serious problem for Botswana, a country with extensive semiarid land tracts. One of the main reasons for soil degradation is the extensive cattle industry, where free grazing depletes native species, introduces foreign invasive plant life, and weakens the topsoil through erosion that is further compounded with shifting rain patterns and landslides. with the guidance from development committees, paramount leaders and government initiatives, communities around the country have presented solutions to these problems, restore fertile topsoil, mitigate and prevent erosion through reforestation, advocacy, and infrastructure activities and guarantee a sustainable approach for soil use and preservation.
We film for two months and a half, during which we covered more than 10.000Km and visited dozens of locations, included main national parks and game reserves. We took more than six terabytes of footage with five different cameras, and about fifty interviews were conducted. We established an edition room in the basecamp to deliver partial pieces of the documentary to be reviewed and supervised by UNDP and MENT personnel to contribute to the final deliveries.
Pedro Ramírez Paz
5 TV broadcast videos (23′)
Research & scriptwriting
Production & filmmaking
Editing & post-production
Graphic design, editorial design