A Wild Idea (English Version)
Catalogue Number: TVP003
Producer: Video Project, Inc.
Subject: Anthropology, Documentary, Environmental Justice, Environmental Studies, Global Issues, Science, Social Sciences, Sociology
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin: United States
Copyright Year: 2011
Running Time: 26
A Wild Idea explores Ecuador's unprecedented proposal for fighting global warming and preserving a large area of pristine rainforest from oil development – called the Yasuni-ITT Initiative.
In exchange for compensation from the world community, Ecuador pledges to leave untouched a large oil reserve, the ITT block with over 850 million barrels of oil. If the proposal succeeds, it will protect one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth, respect the rights of two of the last nomadic indigenous cultures who live there, and avoid the emission of over 400 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Exploiting the ITT oil reserve seemed a logical step that Ecuador had to take, as a relatively poor country that depends upon oil for a large percentage of its revenue. But political changes have transformed the way the country views oil development.
The film takes the viewer to the Yasuní National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon, capturing the rainforest’s stunning biodiversity and profiling the tribes that live there. Through rich archival footage and commentary from government officials, environmentalists and others, A Wild Idea shows how the seemingly utopian ideal of keeping valuable oil underground turned into an official proposal. The political twists and turns that made the proposal possible could also threaten the success of this revolutionary idea.
A Wild Idea is a thought-provoking film that explores the complexity of contemporary oil development within a fragile ecosystem, and how creative, new approaches might be of significant local and global benefit.
"Editor's Choice. Highly Recommended. A great starting point for a group discussion on the politics of conservation and biodiversity. The facts are presented clearly and objectively....."
- Science Books and Films (AAAS)
"Highly Recommended. Compelling.... could be put to productive use in a variety of classroom settings. Its brevity, and the audacity and boldness of the proposal, provide an ideal way for instructors to begin discussions about the environmental challenges and tradeoffs involved in global economic development."
– Educational Media Reviews Online
"Valuable for students studying environmental issues.The Yasuni National Park in the Amazon region of Ecuador is one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world. Of special interest is the archival and contemporary footage of the people living within this region and their history of exploitation by Western institutions."
-School Library Journal
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