“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play.
Every individual makes a difference.”
— Dr. Jane Goodall
In April 1970, millions of people around the world mobilized to demand protection of the planet we call home. That historic day gave birth to the modern environmental movement known as Earth Day, and 50 years later it’s become the planet’s largest civic event, with more than a billion people participating each year. On this momentous occasion, people worldwide would normally step outside to help clean up our planet, plant trees and restore the beauty of Earth. But this is not a normal year; this year is different — very different. While most of the world is stuck indoors, National Geographic is bringing the natural world inside to inspire hope and awe for the planet.
At a time when people around our interconnected world need hope more than ever, National Geographic commemorates Earth Day with three global, emotionally evocative specials that inspire hope for our dynamic planet, love for its animal inhabitants and actions of stewardship for this generation and those to come.
Beginning at 18:00 CAT, simulcast on National Geographic and National Geographic Wild, the two-hour documentary special JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE takes viewers through chapters of Dr. Goodall’s journey, highlighting how she inspires future generations. Following this, peer behind the camera to see what it takes to capture Wildlife in their natural habitat with National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Beverly and Dereck Joubert in OKAVANGO: RIVER OF DREAMS – Divine Journeys. Join National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore on his quest to photograph some of the animals in the world in PHOTO ARK: RAREST CREATURES.
“The need to protect our planet has never been more urgent, and we’re using Earth Day 50th as an opportunity to inspire viewers through the wonders of our planet and its incredible species for viewers around the world,” said Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Global Television Networks. “With the Earth Day takeover across all of our networks and platforms, we are able to reach the largest audience possible to celebrate this momentous day and ensure that viewers fall in love with our planet and act to protect it.”
National Geographic’s Earth Day event also features the very best of natural-history programming, including recent feature documentaries such as Mystery Gorilla, Vertical Limit, Dark Heart of the Earth, and Fire & Ice, as well as fan favourites Hostile Planet, Wild, One Strange Rock and an array of Destination Wild natural history specials. Throughout the day, additional featurettes will showcase the National Geographic Explorers and photographers working around the world to protect and honour our planet.
This daylong Earth Day programming across National Geographic’s networks complements efforts by the company’s full portfolio. National Geographic magazine’s April issue is timed to Earth Day and explores broad issues affecting the planet today. It is the magazine’s first-ever flip issue, as two mini-magazines take an optimistic and a pessimistic vision of 2070. The issue can be found online at natgeo.com/earthday and on newsstands now.
A special “Save the Animals!” issue of National Geographic Kids magazine, on newsstands now, focuses on five previously endangered animals that have made a comeback and is packed with kid-friendly tips on how we can continue to save animals. An Earth Day Kids digital hub — natgeokids.com/EarthDay — offers family guides with resources and activities to raise awareness about and help Wildlife conservation. This fun site, available now, includes an exclusive “Which Comeback Animal Are You?” personality quiz.
“The life-long passion that conservationists such as Dr Jane Goodall, Joel Sartore and Beverley and Dereck Joubert have dedicated to their respective fields is nothing short of inspirational and remarkable. Through these special Earth Day airings, we hope that viewers across the continent will be equally motivated to become involved and play their part in conservation efforts close to their hearts” said Evert van der Veer, Vice President, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company Africa.
More information is available at www.natgeotv.com/za/earth-day.
ABOUT JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE (1×120)
Continuing the optimism of Earth Day is the two-hour documentary JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE, premiering at 18:00 on National Geographic and National Geographic Wild. The sweeping film highlights Dr. Goodall’s vast legacy of four decades, having transformed environmentalism, nonhuman animal welfare and conservation through her innovative approaches, and becoming a worldwide icon. This special depicts the formation of the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI’s) “Tacare” community-centered conservation approach and Roots & Shoots youth-empowerment program; her remarkable advocacy and leadership on behalf of chimpanzees and humanity; and the next chapter for generations to come. This singular story is of one remarkable woman who not only hoped for a better world — she achieved it!
“Being out in the forest of Gombe, I had a great sense of spiritual awareness; I began to realize that everything is interconnected,” said Goodall. “Since then, every day, it’s become clearer that climate change is an existential threat to our natural world, and if we destroy this world, we destroy our own future. Each day, every single person has the chance to make an impact through small, thoughtful choices, and when billions of people make the right choices, we start to transform the world. Don’t give up; there’s always a way forward.”
Picking up where National Geographic Documentary Films’ 2017 award-winning JANE left off, the two-hour special follows Goodall throughout her constant travels, capturing her relentless commitment and determination to spread a message of hope. The film offers an intimate perspective of Goodall’s pivotal transformation from scientist to inspirational activist and leader in holistic conservation. Featuring an extensive collection of photographs and footage that spans more than seven decades, the documentary illustrates how her passion for Wildlife and unshakable drive has persevered, making her one of the most important figures in Wildlife conservation and someone who has galvanized future generations to create lasting change.
Expanding upon Goodall’s past and highlighting the ways in which she has changed the world, the film features The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, who has been a leader in conservation and global environmental issues, and presents exclusive interviews with James Baker, former U.S. secretary of state, who received the first JGI International Conservation Award for his work with chimpanzees. It also features interviews with Dr. Richard Wrangham, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, who founded the Kibale Chimpanzee Project; Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who championed for the retirement of all government research chimpanzees from the NIH after speaking with Goodall; world-famous Dr. Robert Gallo, co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology, who co-discovered HIV, the cause of AIDS, in 1984; and many others.
JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE is produced by Lucky 8 for National Geographic in partnership with Dr. Jane Goodall and the staff of JGI. For Lucky 8, executive producers are Kim Woodard, Greg Henry, George Kralovansky and Isaac Holub. The special is produced and directed by Kim Woodard and Elizabeth Leiter. For National Geographic, executive producer is Tracy Rudolph Jackson, senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering, and executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment is Geoff Daniels.
ABOUT OKAVANGO: RIVER OF DREAMS – Divine Journeys (1×60)
22 April at 20:00 on National Geographic and 20:50 CAT on National Geographic Wild
Divine Journeys provides an amazing look behind the scenes – revealing the efforts and sometimes dramatic events during the production. It’s a very personal journey of Dereck and Beverly Joubert, who want to find the very heart and soul of this great river. Amongst other things, it leads them to an almost fatal incident with an injured buffalo that Beverly barely survived. This life-changing event is mirrored through the accident of Fekeetsa, the main character of the first episode: a lioness that was also wounded by a buffalo. The film takes a journey from the dramatic to humour and back, as an example of daily life on an expedition like this.
ABOUT PHOTO ARK: RAREST CREATURES (1×60)
22 April at 17:00 on National Geographic and 20:00 CAT on National Geographic Wild
Follow National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore on his globetrotting quest to photograph some of the rarest animals in the world. These arresting, studio portraits of over 5,000 species go into the Photo Ark, Joel’s 25-year-long project to document the world’s animals before they go extinct. By looking these animals in the eye, we begin to care about them and understand their importance to the health of our planet. When we save these species, we’re actually saving ourselves.
PHOTO ARK: RAREST CREATURES looks at factors driving extinction, including rising sea levels, deforestation, invasive species, pollution, and human development, which impact animals essential to the planet’s survival. Journey with Sartore across the globe as he seeks to save these creatures by getting people to “look these animals in the eye while we still have time to save them.”
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