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Jane Goodall: The Hope headlines National Geographic 'Earth Day' programming

JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE, premiering Wednesday 22nd April, at 6.30pm AEST on National Geographic, commercial free.

In April 1970, millions of people around the world mobilized to demand protection of the planet we call home. That historic day gave birth to the modern environmental movement known as Earth Day, and 50 years later it’s become the planet’s largest civic event, with more than a billion people participating each year. On this momentous occasion, people worldwide would normally step outside to help clean up our planet, plant trees and restore the beauty of Earth. But this is not a normal year; this year is different — very different. While most of the world is stuck indoors, National Geographic is bringing the natural world inside to inspire hope and awe for the planet. At a time when people around our interconnected world needs hope more than ever, National Geographic commemorates Earth Day with a slate of global, emotionally evocative specials that inspire hope for our dynamic planet, love for its animal inhabitants and actions of stewardship for this generation and those to come. Beginning at 6.30pm Wednesday April 22 on National Geographic, the two-hour documentary special JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE takes viewers through chapters of Dr. Goodall’s journey, highlighting how she inspires future generations. The sweeping film highlights Dr. Goodall’s vast legacy of four decades, having transformed environmentalism, nonhuman animal welfare and conservation through her innovative approaches, and becoming a worldwide icon. This special depicts the formation of the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI’s) “Tacare” community-centered conservation approach and Roots & Shoots youth-empowerment program; her remarkable advocacy and leadership on behalf of chimpanzees and humanity; and the next chapter for generations to come. This singular story is of one remarkable woman who not only hoped for a better world — she achieved it! “Being out in the forest of Gombe, I had a great sense of spiritual awareness; I began to realize that everything is interconnected,” said Goodall. “Since then, every day, it’s become clearer that climate change is an existential threat to our natural world, and if we destroy this world, we destroy our own future. Each day, every single person has the chance to make an impact through small, thoughtful choices, and when billions of people make the right choices, we start to transform the world. Don’t give up; there’s always a way forward.” Picking up where National Geographic Documentary Films’ 2017 award-winning JANE left off, the two-hour special follows Goodall throughout her constant travels, capturing her relentless commitment and determination to spread a message of hope. The film offers an intimate perspective of Goodall’s pivotal transformation from scientist to inspirational activist and leader in holistic conservation. The documentary illustrates how her passion for wildlife and unshakable drive has persevered, making her one of the most important figures in wildlife conservation and someone who has galvanized future generations to create lasting change. Expanding upon Goodall’s past and highlighting the ways in which she has changed the world, the film features The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, who has been a leader in conservation and global environmental issues, and presents exclusive interviews with James Baker, former U.S. secretary of state, who received the first JGI International Conservation Award for his work with chimpanzees. JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE is produced by Lucky 8 for National Geographic in partnership with Dr. Jane Goodall and the staff of JGI. For Lucky 8, executive producers are Kim Woodard, Greg Henry, George Kralovansky and Isaac Holub. The special is produced and directed by Kim Woodard and Elizabeth Leiter. For National Geographic, executive producer is Tracy Rudolph Jackson, senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering, and executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment is Geoff Daniels.

Also premiering in Earth Week, join National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore on his quest to photograph some of the most interesting animals in the world in PHOTO ARK: RAREST CREATURES (Tuesday April 21, 6.30pm). Then following at 7.30pm (Tuesday April 21, AEST), peer behind the camera to see what it takes to capture wildlife in their natural habitat with National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Beverly and Dereck Joubert in OKAVANGO: RIVER OF DREAMS – Divine Journeys.

National Geographic: Earth Week Schedule

Monday 20th April Before the Flood (6.30pm AEST) From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.

Tuesday 21st April Photo Ark: Rarest Creatures (Premiere, 6.30pm AEST) RARE is a three-part natural history series that follows National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore on his globetrotting quest to photograph some of the rarest animals in the world. These arresting, studio portraits of over 5,000 species go into the Photo Ark, Joel's 25-year-long project to document the world's animals before they go extinct. By looking these animals in the eye, we begin to care about them and understand their importance to the health of our planet. When we save these species, we're actually saving ourselves.

Okavango: River of Dreams: The Divine Journey (Premiere, 7.30pm AEST) This fourth episode of Okavango: River of Dreams provides a unique insight into how this series came to life. Closely following in the footsteps of wildlife filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, we learn how underwater sequences in a river full of crocodiles can be filmed without fatalities. We experience the first-hand magic of drone shots that provide an overview over a vast terrain, over sceneries unfolding below – following a pride of lions on the hunt, accompanying elephants on their strenuous journey through marshland, or capturing mesmerising images of zebras and their shadows which resemble Fata Morgana-like illusions. On this ‘Divine Journey’, we get a glimpse of what it’s like to film in the vast Okavango region over the course of many years, where life goes on either way – be it drought or flood, danger or peace.

Wednesday 22nd April Jane Goodall: The Hope (Premiere, 6.30pm AEST , commercial free) The film begins with this critical transformation and follows Jane through three decades of advocacy work. Jane knew she must take action to protect chimps and other animals living in the wild, to improve the well being of chimps in captivity and to inspire a young generation of change makers for this vital work to continue. Our cameras capture Jane as she travels over 300 days a year, meeting with everyone from schoolchildren in Zanzibar to Silicon Valley tech giants to Prince Harry, using wisdom, heart and humor to spread a message of hope and show that every individual has the potential be a catalyst and create lasting change.

Thursday 23rd April Sea of Shadows (6.30pm AEST) A looming disaster in one of the most spectacular environments on Earth sparks a rescue mission unlike any other in SEA OF SHADOWS, a riveting new documentary with the intensity of a Hollywood thriller from National Geographic Documentary Films and winner of the Sundance audience award. SEA OF SHADOWS follows a team of dedicated scientists, high-tech conservationists, investigative journalists and courageous undercover agents as well as the Mexican Navy as they put their lives on the line to save the last remaining vaquitas and bring the vicious international crime syndicate to justice.

Friday 24th April Save This Rhino (6.30pm AEST) Save This Rhino follows the desperate efforts in South Africa to save the critically endangered rhinoceros. 80% of the world’s rhinoceros, whose population is now hovering below 25,000 at the hands of poachers hunting for the highly sought-after rhino horn, live in and around South Africa. Cricket legends Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Smith and Outback Wrangler Matt Wright join forces in an expose on the rhino crisis and the new technologies and strategies to combat it.

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