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Series focusing on foreign affairs issues

Crossing Continents BBC

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Series focusing on foreign affairs issues

    The Man Who Died for Trees

    The Man Who Died for Trees

    Romania's forests are the Amazon of Europe - with large wilderness areas under constant pressure from loggers. For years, corrupt authorities turned a blind eye to illegal felling. But now a series of killings in the woods has intensified demands across the continent to end the destruction. Six rangers - who defend forests from illegal cutting – have been killed in as many years. Two died in the space of just a few weeks late last year. The latest victim, Liviu Pop, father of three young girls, was shot as he confronted men he thought were stealing timber. But the men weren’t arrested. They say the ranger shot himself. And in the remote region of Maramures, where many people are involved in logging, that version is widely believed. Locals are afraid to talk about what happened. Is the lucrative logging business protected by powerful interests who turn a blind eye to murder? And are rangers sometimes complicit in the rape of the forest? For Crossing Continents, Tim Whewell tries to find out exactly how a young man employed to protect nature met his death. And he asks how Romania can save its wilderness when more than half the trees cut down are felled illegally?

    Reporter: Tim Whewell
    Editor: Bridget Harney

    • 28 Min.
    Indonesia: Not cool to date

    Indonesia: Not cool to date

    Saying no to dating is part of a growing ultraconservative social movement in Indonesia being spread through Instagram and WhatsApp. “When I look at couples, I see my old self, how I used to be affectionate in public, holding hands, hugging,” says 23-year-old Yati, “and now I think that’s disgusting.” When Yati broke up with her ex, she didn’t just swear off dating; she joined Indonesia’s anti-dating movement - Indonesia Without Dating. Its leaders say dating is expensive, gets in the way of study, and - most importantly - is against religious teaching. For Crossing Continents, Simon Maybin discovers it is part of a wider youth-led surge in conservative Islam in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country. Opponents see the phenomenon as a backwards step for women and a threat to Indonesia’s religious pluralism.

    Presenter: Simon Maybin
    Producer: Josephine Casserly
    Editor: Bridget Harney
    Music at the end of the programme was Tubuhku Otoritasku by Tika and The Dissidents.

    • 28 Min.
    Ayahuasca: Fear and Healing in the Amazon

    Ayahuasca: Fear and Healing in the Amazon

    Growing numbers of tourists are travelling to the Peruvian Amazon to drink ayahuasca, a traditional plant medicine said to bring about a higher state of consciousness. Foreigners come looking for spiritual enlightenment or help with mental health problems like trauma, depression, and addiction.

    But not everyone is happy about Peru’s booming ayahuasca tourism industry. A group of indigenous healers are fighting back against what they see as the exploitation and appropriation of their cultural heritage by foreigners - who run most of the ayahuasca retreats popular with tourists. This coming together of cultures has thrown up another serious problem too: vulnerable women being sexually abused while under the influence of charismatic healers and this powerful psychedelic.

    Reporter: Simon Maybin
    Producer: Josephine Casserly
    Editor: Bridget Harney

    If you would like information and support with sexual abuse, details of relevant organisations are available at bbc.co.uk/actionline, or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 0800 077 077.

    • 28 Min.
    Belarus: The Wild World of Chernobyl

    Belarus: The Wild World of Chernobyl

    Ninety year old Galina is one of the last witnesses to the wild natural world that preceded the Chernobyl zone in southern Belarus. 'We lived with wolves' she says 'and moose, and elk and wild boars.' Soviet development destroyed that ecosystem. Forests and marshland were tamed and laid to farmland and industrial use. But when the Chernobyl reactor exploded in 1986, the human population was evacuated; their villages were buried beneath the earth as though they had never existed. A generation on, it seems that the animals Galina knew are returning. But how are they are affected by their radioactive environment? And what can we infer about the state of the land? Monica Whitlock visits the strange new wilderness emerging in the heart of Europe.

    Produced and Presented by Monica Whitlock
    Editor, Bridget Harney

    • 28 Min.
    Sierra Leone - The Price of Going Home

    Sierra Leone - The Price of Going Home

    Fatmata, Jamilatu and Alimamy all see themselves as failures. They’re young Sierra Leoneans who risked everything for the sake of a better life in Europe. Along the way, they were imprisoned and enslaved. They saw friends die. Eventually, they gave up. Now, they’re home again - facing the devastating consequences of what they did to their families before they left, actions that have left them ostracised by their nearest and dearest. Who will help them to survive back home? Can they rebuild their lives, and achieve any reconciliation with their parents? And if they can’t, will they be tempted to set off again, to seek their fortunes abroad?

    Produced and presented by Tim Whewell
    Editor, Bridget Harney

    • 28 Min.
    Iceland: The Great Thaw

    Iceland: The Great Thaw

    Iceland's glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate, with scientists predicting that they could all be gone 200 years from now.

    How is this affecting the lives of local people, and the identity of a nation that has ice in its name?

    Maria Margaronis talks to Icelandic farmers and fishermen, scientists and environmental activists about their (sometimes surprising) responses to climate change, and asks why it’s so difficult even for those who see its effects from their windows every day to take in what it means.

    Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith
    Editor: Bridget Harney

    • 31 Min.

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