Guest Editor: Gail Whiteman
Founder of Arctic Basecamp and Professor of Sustainability at the University of Exeter
Professor Gail Whiteman is an expert on global risk arising from the systemic changes occurring in the natural environment, the founder of Arctic Basecamp and Professor of Sustainability at the University of Exeter’s Business School (UK).
Here, Professor Gail Whiteman selects five RE:TV films which reflect her work and highlight how nature-based solutions can be powerful tools to restore nature and cut emissions to address the climate crisis.
She is the third of our guest editors; inspiring women drawn from across the world of climate solutions, science, art and activism who have curated essential-viewing playlists in the lead up to COP28. These films are stories of hope, optimism and positive transformation – showcasing signs of change and hope that others can learn from and scale.
This film aligns with a lot of the work we are doing with the Artic Risk Platform, where we are are committed to getting everyone talking about climate change, not just the scientists and activists. The film showcases Restor, a platform that is reinventing how and where we can access scientific data and resources by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to connecting people to scientific data, supply chains, funding, and each other - with the aim to increasing the impact, scale and efforts around the world, and getting more people involved in the movement!
The Indigenous voice and knowledge is essential in our climate conversations, as highlighted in this remarkable film which shows the skills, work and knowledge of the Ngarrindjeri people, who have lived for generations near Lake Albert (also known by its Ngarrindjeri name, Yarli) in Coorong National Park, South Australia. Degraded by intensive agriculture and climate change, the Ngarrindjeri are working with restoration specialists Cassinia to protect this sacred landscape through various nature-based solutions.
A wonderful film featuring Kainai knowledge-keeper Leroy Little Bear who explains the importance of reintroducing buffalo in their traditional heartlands, where they hold a central place both in the local ecosystem and the culture of indigenous people. The buffalo is a "keystone species": an eco-engineer which regenerates the soil, creating the conditions for other species like birds, insects and plants to develop in a rich, interconnected and biodiverse environment.
The Millennium Seed Bank is an underground collection of over 2.4 billion seeds from around the world stored in sub-zero chambers in Wakehurst, Sussex. Part of Kew's Royal Botanic Gardens, it not only protects biodiversity by preserving threatened species, but also conducts cutting-edge scientific research into potential new foods, medicines and other products inspired by nature.
This film really highlights the inspiring work of scientists across the globe who are leading efforts and driving awareness around the risks of climate change. I think the work taking place by the Rede de Sementes do Xingu is hugely important in preserving the Amazon's essential biodiversity while at the same time providing income and employment for rural women.