Join host Seth Larson as he interviews experts on some of the biggest environmental issues affecting people and our planet, including climate change, habitat loss, endangered species, and more. Learn something new about nature in every episode. This show is produced by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
COP28 Countdown: 5 Things to Watch at This Year’s Climate Summit, and How AI Might Help Save Mangroves
COP28 kicks off on November 30 in Dubai – that’s the annual UN summit where national governments come together to assess global climate efforts. Today’s episode is a two-part preview for this year’s summit. In Part 1, you’ll hear from Liz Georges, WWF’s senior director for climate communications. Liz is going to tell us what it’s like to be at a COP (2:15) and break down the top 5 issues and activities that we’ll be watching heading into Dubai (8:35). Then, in Part 2, you’ll hear from Shaun Martin, WWF’s vice president for climate change adaptation, about ManglarIA, an exciting new initiative that WWF will be showcasing at COP28 aimed at deploying AI to protect and restore mangroves (25:45).
WWF at COP28
WWF-BCG Report: Building a Nature-Postive Energy Transformation
America is All In
Local Climate Action Summit
ManglarIA web story
Liz Georges bio
Shaun Martin bio
Can “Blue Foods” Help Feed the World?
The term “blue foods” refers to any food that comes from an aquatic source – whether that be the ocean, a river, or the like. These foods represent a staple for the diets of billions of people around the globe. Blue foods also matter against the backdrop of climate change because they produce far fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to land-based food production. But in some situations, harvesting blue foods can upset delicate marine ecosystems. And, as global stocks of sought-after food items like tuna and cod become more scarce, we’ve increasingly seen competition for blue foods lead to conflicts between nations. In short, as much as we need blue foods to serve as a low-emissions food source for Earth’s growing population, we also need to root out practices that harm freshwater and marine ecosystems, and global security. Joining the show today to talk about these issues are Johan Bergenas, WWF’s Senior Vice President for Oceans; and Melissa Ho, WWF’s Senior Vice President for Freshwater and Food. You’ll hear Johan and Melissa talk about the role of blue foods in the context of global food systems (1:55), which factors are driving international conflict around blue foods (4:30), and how we can reduce that conflict by improving predictive capabilities (10:42) and scaling up practices like aquaculture to bolster food security (15:12).
WWF Food Page
WWF Oceans Page
Oceans Futures Initiative
Johan Bergenas bio
Melissa Ho bio
Why are Snow Leopards Called “Ghosts of the Mountain”?
Snow leopards are among the hardest animals to find in the wild, both because of how rare they are, and because their coats are adapted to provide camouflage that makes them hard to see against the rugged mountain landscape they call home. That’s why they are sometimes call the “ghosts of the mountain.” With an estimated 4,000-6,500 snow leopards remaining in the wild, conservationists have been working in snow leopard range countries across Asia to build a more stable future for these big cats. And recently, Bhutan reported some good news: the population of snow leopards in that country has increased by nearly 40% since 2016. In this episode, you’ll hear from Dechen Dorji, Senior Director for Asia on WWF’s Wildlife Conservation team. He talks about the many characteristics that make snow leopards unique (5:07), the threats that have caused snow leopard populations to decline (13:01), and what we can learn from Bhutan’s recent success to help snow leopards thrive across all 12 range countries they call home (17:52).
WWF Snow Leopard page
Press Release: Bhutan National Snow Leopard Survey
Dechen Dorji bio
Restoring the Plains Bison with Native Nations (Plus a special message from Ken Burns about “The American Buffalo”)
Most of us know the bison as one of the iconic American species. In fact, it’s the official US National Mammal. These animals once numbered in the tens of millions across North America, and they held a sacred place in the lives and traditions of Native Nations across the continent. But by the late 1800s, barely 500 bison remained. In this episode, you’ll hear from Dennis Jorgensen, WWF’s bison program manager; and Monica Rattling Hawk, WWF’s Native Nations liaison. They discuss the history of the Plains bison and its relationship with Native Nations (6:48), the threats that drove bison to the brink (11:35), and the work WWF and many others are still engaged in today to ensure that the bison have a vibrant future (16:15). Be sure to stay tuned until the end of the episode for a special message from Ken Burns about his new documentary, “The American Buffalo,” which premiered on PBS this week (33:03).
WWF bison page
Story & Video: 100 Bison Find a New Home with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Dennis Jorgensen Bio
Monica Rattling Hawk Bio
The American Buffalo, a film by Ken Burns
Young People are Fighting for a Safe Climate Future
Much of the climate progress we’ve secured in the last few years has been spurred by the urgent calls to action from young people who are already living with the consequences of decisions that were made by older generations. For this episode, we spoke with one person who has been at the forefront of youth climate organizing and activism. Alexia Leclercq is the winner of WWF’s 2022 Conservation Leadership Award, which is given out annually to recognize exceptional young leaders in the environmental space. Alexia is a grassroots organizer, educator, scholar, and artist who recently received a graduate degree from Harvard University. They co-founded the Colorado River Conservancy in 2020 to protect the stretch of that river that runs along their hometown of East Austin, Texas. And they co-lead Start:Empowerment, a non-profit that aims to bolster climate justice education. In this episode Alexia talks about what motivated them to become involved in the climate movement (1:48), the importance of organizing as a tool to build “people power” (9:20), and their advice for the next generation of climate leaders (17:45).
2022 Conservation Leadership Award Announcement: Alexia Leclercq
WWF Magazine: “Activist Alexia Leclercq is changing how—and what—students learn about climate change”
Alexia Leclercq homepage
2023 Conservation Leadership Award Announcement: Charitie Ropati
How HP & WWF Are Working Toward a Forest-Positive Future – Live from Climate Week NYC
This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at the NEST Climate Campus in New York, where WWF hosted two days of programming for Climate Week NYC – an annual showcase for the latest in climate policy and activism on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting. Our guests for this special event were Sheila Bonini, WWF’s Senior Vice President for Private Sector Engagement, and James McCall, Chief Sustainability Officer for HP Inc. Sheila and James spoke about how companies can complement the work of governments to address the global climate and nature crises (6:23), how WWF and HP are working together to protect and restore forest ecosystems in critical areas around the world (15:05), and what’s surprised them most about partnering with each other on these issues (27:53).
WWF & HP Partnership Page
James McCall Bio
Sheila Bonini Bio
NEST Climate Campus
Climate Week NYC
YouTube Livestream Recording