Seasonal wetlands occur naturally on every continent. Within the space of a few days, waters saturate the ground and transform the landscape. These periodic wetlands comprise a great diversity of ecosystems. Among them, grassy marshes and inlets, wet meadows, and vast temporary lakes.
Today, wetland protection is a conservation policy priority. Just as rainforests are often referred to as the “lungs of the Earth”, the wetlands, which filter water and replenish a significant part of the planet’s freshwater reservoirs, can be called its “kidneys.” But human activity and climate change are threatening to destroy the delicate balance of the world’s wetland ecosystems. To protect and restore these transitional zones that perform significant environmental functions, scientists, forest rangers, and indigenous communities are working together to find on-the-ground conservation solutions.
This 4-part series takes us from Brazil to Australia via the United States and Spain, where we discover the inhabitants, species, and environmental challenges of four unique biotopes, subject to dramatic seasonal change. As it charts the stories of indigenous groups and scientific communities, including naturalists, biologists, and geologists, the series will explore the vital but often little-known functions performed by wetlands.
Direction: Sarah Laîné, Alizée Chiappini & Stephane Jacques
Production: ZED for ARTE with the support of UNESCO
Delivery: End of 2024