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World’s first broadband environmental TV channel

World’s first broadband environmental TV channel launches today: UN agency

The world’s first broadband TV channel dedicated to environmental issues – called ‘’ and developed with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – is being launched today, aiming to become a “one-stop shop” of broadcast information on the environment covering everything from climate change to children’s stories on wildlife.

UNEP said would also go live today as a podcast on iTunes as well as having a front-page listing, courtesy of Apple computers. It will carry films from around the world produced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community filmmakers, public sector bodies and companies with a firm interest in protecting the environment.

“ is a truly innovative project which will no doubt influence the field of environmental film-making and research. It will eventually offer a comprehensive ‘one stop shop’ for environmental TV programming – something that has so far not been available,” said Eric Falt, Director of UNEP’s Division of Communications and Public Information.

“ has the potential to become a broadband reference point or benchmark in this field.”

It will have seven channels covering: air, land, water, climate change, people, species and technologies, in each of which there will be a feature, a news item and a children’s story. With the look and feel of a global TV channel, will combine this with the best elements of the internet, giving users access to online chatrooms and the ability to watch video on demand, UNEP said.

Director/Producer Ade Thomas, who first thought up the idea, compared it to the popular Google search engine. “If you want to see a news item about climate change, watch a kids’ story about penguins or a feature about wind farms, go to and you'll be able to see some engaging and thought-provoking films about the environment, at a time when a greater understanding and awareness of these issues is critical,” the Director/Producer said.

On launch, the channel will show films from numerous environmental and other organizations, including UNEP, Friends of the Earth UK, Greenpeace International, the World Conservation Union-IUCN, Stop Climate Chaos, Barclays, Water Aid, and the European Environment Agency.

In welcoming, UK Environment Minister Elliot Morley said its hi-tech nature would give it great potential to spread the message at a time when increasing numbers of people wanted to find out more about the environment.

“There are more people using the internet than watching TV and we also know that there is enormous interest in environmental issues. I think has tremendous potential, bringing together new technology and innovation in terms of how we spread information,” Mr. Elliot said.

In a separate development today also related to the environment, the Natural World Museum is joining forces with UNEP to launch the Art for the Environment initiative, with the opening of the first exhibition at the UN Office in Nairobi.

One of the exhibits, called Trapped Inside, features a living African Greenheart tree on life-support designed by French artist J.C. Didier. UNEP said that species was chosen because it is under environmental pressure, and is also used for traditional medicine.

“Seeing this art will generate significant public awareness of environmental issues globally,” said UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer.

The next Natural World Museum exhibition will be housed at City Hall in San Francisco, United States of America in June, to commemorate World Environment Day 2006.

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