The National Geographic Channel (NGC) recently partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to distribute 20,000 fruit-bearing trees to farmers in the Isabela province of the Philippines. The reforestation project should work to curb the effects of climate change.
WWF and its supporters have been helping farmers in Isabela since 2009, planting more than 25,000 trees and revitalizing 210 hectares of land to date. NGC has just distributed an additional 20,000 saplings to Isabela farmers. "We have taken National Geographic Channel's goal of inspiring people to care about the planet to heart in our efforts to promote agroforestry with WWF," said Fox International Channels Vice President and Territory Head Jude Turcuato.
Agroforestry is a unique approach to reforestation, allowing the balanced intercropping of trees, shrubs, and crops to create more sustainable plots of land. "Agroforestry allows crops and trees to coexist, maximizing benefits. This increases land productivity, improves water recharge, and minimizes erosion," said WWF's Edgardo Tongson.
Illegal logging, swidden farming, and land clearing have threatened Isabela's farms in recent years. However, the reforestation efforts of NGC and WWF will help retain the nutrient-rich sediments that are otherwise washed out to rivers and shield the landscape from the intense storms caused by climate change, ultimately restoring the livelihoods of Isabela's farmers.
For more information, read Ellalyn De Vera's report at the Manila Bulletin.
In the fall of 2010, Twentieth Century Fox's X-Men: First Class began filming on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The scenes called for a massive crashed air-craft, a beached submarine, hundreds of non-native palm trees, and fires burning in the background--no small demand on the delicate eco-system of Jekyll Island's quiet beaches. Yet, in spite of these challenges, the X-Men: First Class team was able to completely restore the beach and preserve native habitats and wildlife.
When filming began, the local community voiced their concern that such a high-impact production would leave their beaches damaged and run-down. "Considering that an individual could be issued a citation and fined for driving a small car on the beach or pulling a handful of sea oats from the dunes, it's astounding that... [local authorities] would allow this activity to proceed," wrote David Kyler, the Executive Director of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, in an Op-Ed piece for the Atlanta Constitution.
The production team was highly sensitive to these issues. X-Men: First Class location manager Maida Morgan led the efforts to restore the beach after filming concluded, giving presentations to local authorities and seeking counsel from sustainability experts. "I give a lot of credit to Fox," Morgan told Producers' Guild magazine Produced By. "Their head of sustainability, Lisa Day, was involved in the restoration plan from a very early stage. She and the head of production, Mike Hendrickson, said they really wanted to 'get this right.'"
Morgan worked with Mike Demell and his team from Environmental Services in Savannah to bring the appropriate sand to re-sculpt the beach, diaper all hydraulic and fuel lines to prevent oil spills, re-plant more than 30,000 plans, install a sprinkler system to ensure their growth, and clean up the Styrofoam and plastic debris that remained after the set was torn down.
Local authorities say that the team left the beach in even better condition than when they found it. "It was a challenging project," Demell said. "But Fox really met that challenge... This was unusual for a studio to make that commitment on the front end, knowing what it would cost on the back end. It was very classy!""
For more information on X-Men: First Class and its filming on Jekyll Island, check out the September/October issue of Produced By.
On Saturday, October 19th, the Environmental Media Association announced the winners of the 23rd annual Environmental Media Association Awards at a ceremony in Burbank, California. Last Man Standing, the Twentieth Century Fox Television production starring Tim Allen, won in the Television Episodic Comedy category for its episode on fracking.
Last Man Standing beat out fellow TCFTV production Modern Family and IFC's Portlandia for the Television Comedy Prize. Fox Searchlight's eco-terrorism thriller The East was also nominated in the Feature Film category.
"This is quite an honor," said Ed Yeager, who accepted the award for Last Man Standing. "We have a lot of fun on our show, and... [we're grateful] we can get political and show both sides of an issue."
Several Fox feature films also received the EMA's Green Seal for environmentally sustainable productions: Animal Rescue, Baggage Claim, Black Nativity, The Book Thief, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Enough Said, The Internship, Maze Runner, and The Wolverine.
For the full list of EMA winners, photos from the event, and a complete video of the ceremony, check out the Environmental Media Association's official website.
For the 2012 fiscal year, 21st Century Fox businesses, formerly part of News Corporation, have been commended by CDP--an independent not-for-profit organization--for the transparency and thoroughness of their corporate sustainability program. The company ranks in the top 8% of all companies in the S&P 500 and among the top 10% of all companies in the Global 500, placing it on the "Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index." The former News Corp. is the highest ranking media company in both groups, and this is the fifth consecutive year that the company has placed on the CDLI.
CDP is a voluntary reporting system that assesses the greenhouse gas emissions management and public disclosure activities of companies around the world. Participating companies complete an annual questionnaire that addresses total energy use and carbon emissions across their operations, as well as strategy and governance in assessing and managing risks and opportunities from climate change. 68% of S&P 500 companies and 81% of Global 500 companies participated this year.
The Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) scores companies' performances on a scale of 0 to 100, based on the level of disclosure of carbon emissions measurement techniques and subsequent public disclosure. The Carbon Performance Band grades companies' overall response to climate change. Companies are classified in Bands A through D, with "A" being the best overall grade and "D" being the worst. For 2013, the former News Corporation received a score of 97 on the CDLI and a Carbon Performance Band grade of A-.
Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, comments: "US Companies that score highly enough to be included in the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index are responding to the call for greater corporate climate accountability. They have demonstrated leading practice on the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, and transparency of their climate change strategy."
The company has disclosed its emissions and carbon reduction strategy with CDP since the launch of the Global Energy Initiative in 2007. The complete S&P 500 and Global 500 reports can be found at CDProject.net.
Life of Pi was one of the most inspiring films released in 2012, and thanks to Fox's partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, the film is continuing to have a positive impact.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment partnered with WWF, the leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species, to create the "Help Save Tigers" campaign around the release of Life of Pi on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. The promotion included on-air and print public service announcements, social media outreach, and joint PR efforts.
Fox sent PSAs to more than 1600 TV and cable outlets, and the Twitter presence for the campaign garnered more than 863,000 followers. In addition to its initial $50,000 donation, Fox donated twenty-five cents from every Blu-ray, DVD, or download bought from the release on March 12 until June 30, 2013, ultimately totaling $100,000.
"Stories like Life of Pi are inspired by nature and its magnificent wild species," said Ang Lee, Academy Award winning Director of the film, in a press release. "While film has the power to make us believe in the unbelievable and beautifully capture a tiger's graceful presence, in reality, the tiger's world is far from magical. Their true story is one of fighting for survival...
"Partnering with WWF allows us to align around a shared passion - ensuring wild tigers have a permanent home so we can all continue to appreciate these animals, not only on the big screen, but in the wild where they will hopefully remain for generations to come."
Check out the PSA above and visit WWF's website to learn more.