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International film crew traveled to continent's tip

BBC camera crew at Cape Horn

The BBC and the Discovery Channel will broadcast a documentary film about the Omora Ethnobotanical Park in Chile's Cape Horn archipelago. The film will discuss how the sun affects weather patterns, and how weather influences ecosystems and biodiversity.

Above, BBC camera crew in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve.

The Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, or SABCP, was formed in 2009 and dedicated to the integration of ecological sciences and environmental ethics for biocultural conservation. SABCP is a binational initiative between UNT and the Universidad de Magallanes in association with the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity.

The film is part of the BBC series 23 Degrees, which refers to the Earth’s tilt off the sun’s axis, the series features programs about the environment that range from the Canadian arctic to South America's Atacama Desert. The series is set to air February 2012 and will be hosted by the BBC's Kate Humble.

Cape Horn is globally known as a landmark for sailing and as the closest point of land to Antarctica, where hurricane force winds and torrential rains lash the coast year round. Thanks in part to the work of the SABCP, it is becoming equally known for its diverse climates and ecosystems.

Christopher AndersonThe film team visited two areas:

  • La Bandera Mountain, which showed the lichens and cushion plants that are adapted to the harsh conditions of wind, cold and ultraviolet light in the high Andean zones.
  • The western archipelago, where Christopher Anderson, right, assistant research professor of biology and former coordinator of the Sub-Antarctic Ecosystems and Biocultural Conservation research cluster, discussed the area's wet conditions.  

The show also will discuss the importance of Cape Horn as a world priority research site for un-polluted and virgin forests, as the sub-Antarctic ecoregion has nearly no air or water pollution and experiences extremely low impacts from modern human society.

Cape Horn camera crew at glacierLeft, BBC producer Charles Colville and camera crew film the Italy Glacier.

According to Anderson, “for years the sub-Antarctic ecoregion has been overlooked by researchers, conservationists and even documentary film makers."

"We hope to make real contributions to social wellbeing in the far south by promoting sustainable activities such as ecotourism that take into account these unique ecosystems and species that make the archipelago special on a global level," he says.

Recognition of SABCP includes the 2008 Science and Practice of Ecology and Society Award and second prize in the 2010 Raanan Weitz International Competition in Innovation in Sustainable Development

Below, Humble, left, and Anderson, right, during filming at Italy Glacier.

Christopher Anderson/camera crew in boat at Cape Horn 

(Photos courtesy of the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program.)

Posted on: Thu 05 January 2012

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