Ushuaïa TV, TF1’s cable channel dedicated to the discovery and preservation of the wild beauties of the world, has commissioned Paris based independent TV production company Pernel Media to produce an hour-long feature documentary film exposing the illegal timber trafficking trade in Gabon.
Shot on location, ‘Green Eden’ is the story of an illegal trade that has existed for many years to satisfy the developed world’s ever-growing demand for wooden furniture and flooring.
With unprecedented access to the work of renowned American environmental activist Mike Fay, director of Gabon’s nature reserve Lee White and the police force patrolling the forest, ‘Green Eden’ explores the human stories at the very heart of an unfolding environmental catastrophe.
Gabon, being 85% covered in forest, is particularly vulnerable to timber trafficking and with wood being the country’s major natural resource, today it is a booming business. Using machetes, chainsaws and bulldozers to plunder 100-year-old trees, a criminal system threatens not only the planet’s equilibrium, but also the destiny of Gabon’s human population and hundreds of animal species.
It is a global problem. In different parts of the world organised wildlife and logging criminals often partner with militia or terrorist groups threatening peace and stability. Interpol says the illegal logging trade could be worth up to $100bn worldwide and estimates suggest around 20% of the EU’s timber imports are illegally sourced. Corruption, organised criminal networks and an uncoordinated police response are key essential components of successful timber trafficking. The trade is dangerous, with rangers, investigative journalists and villagers killed every year. Illegal wood is regularly laundered into the legal trade.
‘The timber trafficking mafia is a huge concern that is fraught with violence, threatening millions of people and a whole continent’s fragile forest ecosystem. It is an important story that we are telling from a human perspective and we are honoured to be able to produce it for Ushuaia TV” said Samuel Kissous, President of Pernel Media.
“The consequences of timber trafficking are devastating for forest ecosystems and their preservation is a goal that totally fits with Ushuaïa TV’s DNA. We are very proud to broadcast this documentary which will air in March 2018 coinciding with the International Day of Forests. It is a pleasure to collaborate with Pernel Media on this project” said Christophe Sommet, CEO of Ushuaïa TV.
Annabel Gain Head of Sales and Acquisitions for Ushuaïa TV commissioned the film and executive producer for Pernel Media is Samuel Kissous.