The Grand African Green premiers on National Geographic this Weekend

Documentary depicts how 100 million hectares of land across Africa are being restored

Johannesburg, 24 May 2021: National Geographic’s Planet Possible Campaign gets into full swing this World Environment Day Weekend, with the premiere of The Grand African Green Up, a documentary special that celebrates the remarkable, leading work of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) being accomplished on the continent.

Premiering on both National Geographic (DStv 181, StarSat 220) and National Geographic Wild (DStv 182) on Friday 4 June at 18:00 (CAT), with a repeat on 5 June at 18:10 on National Geographic, The Grand African Green Up profiles the mission of the AFR100, as they strive to restore at least 100 million hectares of land by 2030. Showcasing the on-the-ground work being done in Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Ghana and Senegal, the documentary special features poetic narration by the iconic Kenyan environmentalist and activist, Wanjira Mathai, with breath-taking visuals of the continent’s most awe-inspiring landscapes and vistas, all set to a rousing soundtrack.

With deforested and degraded landscapes being a key environmental issue facing the continent, The Grand African Green Up introduces the people directly affected by the deteriorating state of their land, as well as the local heroes who are working to make a difference. Interviewees from across the documented countries showcased include a singer, a bishop, a student researcher, an environmentalist and a journalist, all giving their first-hand perspective on how this issue has impacted them and their communities, the work being done to restore productivity to the land, and what the future holds as a result.

The Grand African Green Up was directed by Safi Graauw and produced as a collaboration between AFR100 and Justdiggit, an organisation that aims to restore nature and to become the illuminating light of nature-based solutions.

“Something always happens when you tell a story of our continent. What’s so amazing about this documentary is you’re in a place where no competition exists because there is space for anyone willing to contribute to the African Restoration Movement. The documentary film made us realize just how precious Africa’s landscapes are. It refuels us to do more” said Mamadou Diakhite: Acting Head of Environmental Sustainability at AFR100.

“This is only the beginning. We at Justdiggit believe that the true power of regreening lies in powerful storytelling which brings people and organisations to join forces to reverse climate change. By combining simple techniques, strong communication and mobile technology is where the magic of regreening happens. By applying this approach, we can potentially scale beyond sub-Sharan Africa within the coming 10 years” says Wessel van Eeden, Global Marketing Director at Justdiggit.

The Grand African Green Up is a perfect complement to Planet Possible’s call to action, and we hope that this television event will not only enlighten our viewers but also inspire them in their own personal discovery of ways they can help make a difference,” says Evert van der Veer, Vice President, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company Africa. “The film is authentically African, celebrating incredible work being done on the continent and is a wonderful showcase and message, exquisitely told and thoughtfully produced.”

Launched in April on Earth Day, Planet Possible is National Geographic’s new multi-platform, multi-year initiative aimed at empowering people to live more lightly on the planet. As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, the goal with Planet Possible’s storytelling is to inform and encourage consumers to build on the scientific and environmental gains of the past year through content, products and experiences, all aimed at enabling people to discover what they can do to help, to understand the threats to our planet and to imagine new possibilities.

The Grand African Green Up premieres on both National Geographic (DStv 181, StarSat 220) and National Geographic Wild (DStv 182) on Friday 4 June at 18:00 (CAT), with a repeat on Saturday 5 June at 18:10 on National Geographic.

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