Who would have imagined that some of the boldest and freshest thinking tackling major global issues would come from two little countries in South America? David Suzuki sets off on an "Andean Adventure", to see first-hand the places that just may represent the cutting edge when it comes to taking on the world's energy, climate and economic crises.
UPDATE: Unfortunately in August 2013, Ecuador cancelled the pioneering conservation plan that attempted to raise funds from the international community instead of drilling for oil in a pristine corner of the Yasuni national park. Drilling is set to commence in 2016. Read more
From Ecuador comes a revolutionary proposal to not dig for oil. Below what may be the most biodiverse place on Earth lie oil deposits worth billions of dollars. But Ecuador has promised the world that with some help, it will leave that oil in the ground, to combat climate change, for the good of nature and humanity. It's a bold conservation plan and, as the President of Ecuador personally explains, also a challenge to the world.
Ecuador's new Constitution is also the first in the world to grant Rights to Nature. David Suzuki is there as two determined US residents of Ecuador stand up for the rights of a river, and take a provincial government to court, on behalf of Mother Nature.
Bolivia's remarkable salt flats hide the world's largest reserve of lithium.
Over in Bolivia, the country is embarking on a high-stakes gamble to develop the Earth's largest reserves of lithium, the "green gold" found within the country's spectacular salt flats. The plan is that in a few years Bolivia will produce not only tons of lithium for the growing electric car market, but the actual lithium batteries that power those cars, too. From salt desert to booming industrial zone, in a few years, and largely on their own-it's an audacious plan that could pay off big time. That is, if it succeeds.
Both Ecuador and Bolivia are carrying out radical experiments, forging new paths towards what they call "Living Well". Inspired in part by the indigenous peoples of the Andes, these new paths are an enormous undertaking, with enormous consequences for both countries and for the world.
From the alien landscape of the world's largest salt flats, to the rich biodiversity of the Yasuní forest, to Ecuador's Presidential Palace, David Suzuki's Andean Adventure is a beautiful and inspiring trip through two countries that aren't afraid of thinking differently. Written, produced and directed by Roberto Verdecchia.