A few weeks ago, I wrote about Discovery Channel’s reluctance to air the climate change episode of the Frozen Planet series–an episode they helped fund. I asked that we label this act ‘unsustainable nature filmmaking’ because Discovery had failed to use its bully pulpit to protect the species that feature heavily in its films. An opinion piece in the journal Science this week, penned by Oxford geography professor Paul Jepson and colleagues, takes this argument one step further and asks that broadcasters like Discovery make direct monetary contributions to protect the ‘stars’ of wildlife films:
We ask whether it is time..[for] media corporations
producing and commissioning nature-based
programming…[to] adopt PES [payment for ecosystem services] principles.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of ‘payment for ecosystem services’, this is basically the idea that the many benefits provided to us by nature have a monetary value and that corporations profiting off of those services should give a percentage of profits back to conservation efforts.