One of every five bird species could be extinct within the next century. Whether it’s down to the shiny glass office blocks materialising all over cities or the trawlers sailing ever-further out to sea to feed our growing population, our birds are seriously under threat. This episode looks at two particular successes when it comes to helping the world’s feathered friends: how Toronto has become a world leader in making cities bird-friendly, and how a group of enterprising conservationists has almost eliminated the deaths of albatrosses as a result of deep-sea fishing.
Presenter: Tom Collls
Producers: Harriet Noble and Sam Judah
Image: Pair of albatrosses
CORRECTION: In this programme we say that two buildings in Toronto where bird collisions were high lost court cases and had to be adapted. In fact they did not lose the court cases. The charges were dismissed but as a result of the trial bird-safe markers were applied to sections of the buildings.
Recycling Chewing Gum Litter to Clean Our Streets
More than $20bn is spent on chewing gum around the world each year. A lot of that gum will end up stuck to the streets. That's why gum is the second most common kind of street litter after cigarette materials. In the UK councils spend around £50m each year cleaning up the mess.
But British designer Anna Bullus had an idea - what if the sticky stuff could actually be recycled and turned into useful objects?
Presenter: Harriet Noble
Reporter: Dougal Shaw
Photo caption: Shoe sole made of chewing gum
Photo credit: BBC
How to Talk to Potential Extremists
Social media and messaging apps play a role in the extremist “radicalisation” of individuals. Tech companies have tried to get better at identifying extremist content and taking it down, but some specialists advocate an alternative approach – to use these platforms to engage with extremists one-to-one, to confront them and talk them round.
Last year, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London organised hundreds of conversations on Facebook messenger between activists and those expressing extreme Islamist and far-right sympathies. World Hacks has been given exclusive access to their report.
This experiment raises many moral and practical questions. Do those posting extreme views online still have a right to privacy? At what point do we judge someone as suitable for this kind of intervention? And what exactly is the best way to start a conversation with an extremist?
Presenter: Elizabeth Davies
Producer: William Kremer
Photo credit: Colin Bidwell (BBC)
CORRECTION: In this programme, we say that counter-conversations were part of Facebook’s Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI). It was in fact a separate project, also funded by Facebook.
Putting Forgotten Pills Back to Work
An app in Greece is helping people donate their leftover drugs to people who can't afford to buy them. So far the system has helped to recover and redistribute 13,000 boxes of medicine. Donors use the software to scan a unique code on the side of their boxes of unwanted drugs. The app automatically uploads details of the medication to a central database. They're then taken in by the country's network of social pharmacies where they're then given out to unemployed and homeless people.
Reporter: Nick Holland
Presenter: Harriet Noble
Improvising Your Way Out of Anxiety
You’re standing on a stage, blinded by a spotlight trained on your face, knees weak, hands sweaty. Someone from the audience calls out a random word and you have to immediately react and come up with an amusing sketch or skit. This is improv, the unscripted theatre form that seems like it would cause rather than cure anxiety. But across North America people with the mental health condition are signing up for special “Improv for Anxiety” courses where the techniques and practices of the stage art are used to boost confidence.
Producer: Harriet Noble
Presenter: Tom Colls
Photo Credit: BBC