BBC - The First Eden: The Mediterranean World S01E04: Strangers In The Garden (1987)
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IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 (50 votes)
The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man is a BBC documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the UK from 8 March 1987.
Here Attenborough focuses on the cradle of Western civilization, tracing the life of the Mediterranean from salt bed to lush paradise and its ultimate exploitation. History, natural history and archaeology come together in a narrative that portrays the changing attitudes of mankind toward the environment. He surveys early plant and animal life, discussing climatic and seasonal changes. The domestication of the horse opened the doors to wars and migration. Attenborough chronicles the movements in both directions from the Huns to the Crusaders and, finally, looks at more recent despoliation and areas of preservation. It was one of the shorter series that followed the phenomenal success of The Living Planet.
It comprises four programmes, each of 55 minutes' duration, which describe man's relationship with the natural habitats of the Mediterranean, and is a glorious portrait of the landscape, wildlife and plants of the Mediterranean. From the earliest human settlements to the cities of today, from the forests of the North African shore and the Middle East to Southern Europe, this series tells the dramatic story of man and nature at work.
Episode 4. Strangers In The Garden
Suez Canal proposal and construction.
Invasive marine animal and plant species move from Red Sea to Mediterranean over 100 species and growing.
North American aphids moved to France and attack grapevines.
1940s Jacques Cousteau invention of scuba mask opens a whole new under water world.
Increased fishing led to overfishing.
Trawling for fish.
Increasingly big and expensive boats throw away 70% of their catch.
Pollution of water by oil and untreated sewage.
Fish nursery grounds.
Seagrass meadow community dying due to sewage and sediment.
By the 1970s it was clear that the Mediterranean was dying and in 1985 a multinational conference outlawed oil dumping and established over 200 pollution monitoring stations - more needs to be done.
Lands maltreated since Roman and Grecian times, rich farming lands wrecked by deforestation and erosion.
Egyptian dams evaporate one third of water and remove fertile silt from water, chemical fertilisers used as a substitute and in conjunction with pesticides may cause extinction of birds such as the Bald Ibis.
Israeli cultivation of desert land.
Forest destruction by fire.
Draining of wetlands.
Tourism on the southern coast of France.
Loggerhead turtle egg laying affected by human population.
Tunisian lake birdlife and development pressures.
Original European forest remnants in Yugoslavia and Greek river delta.
Final piece to camera.
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