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During the last 30 years,
overfishing has become a real threat to the world's oceans.
Marine ecosystems are being destroyed
and certain species are becoming commercially extinct.
Yet, some small coastal communities that depend on fishing
for their livelihood manage to fish in a sustainable way.
One such community can be found on the other side of the world,
in South East Asia in a country called Indonesia.
Indonesia is made up of 17,000 Islands lying between Malaysia,
the Philippines and Australia.
One of the inhabited Islands is called Lembata -
a volcanically active island that, during a storm
faces the full force of the Indian Ocean.
On the south coast of Lembata sits a very small
and isolated village called Lamalera, a community
which is completely dependant on the ocean for their food.
Here, the fishermen favour traditional methods
and still use simple hand-made equipment
such as throw nets and harpoons.
This is known as artisan fishing
and seems to have a low impact on fish populations.
Therefore, it's considered sustainable.
It's the whaling season.
From May to October, men from the village scan the horizon
every morning hoping they'll be the one to shout...
Baleo! Baleo! Baleo!
Baleo! Baleo! Baleo! Baleo!
The whole village springs into action.
It's a race against time to get out to sea.
It's dangerous work
but opportunities don't come much bigger than this.
Everyone knows someone who has been killed or injured
on a whaling expedition.
Their challenge is to take on one of the world's largest marine mammals.
This sperm whale.
Measuring up to 20 metres long,
these powerful animals won't go down without a fight.
With simple boats and hands-made weapons, they seem ill-prepared.
The villagers can only harpoon the whale when it surfaces to breathe.
So they need to move fast.
Incredibly, they launch themselves on to the mighty giant
and drive their wooden harpoons into the whale's back.
This is the most dangerous moment of all.
To jump is to risk being killed by a flick of the whale's tail.
Harpooned, the whale can escape and the fight is on.
As the whale struggles to break free, another boat attacks...
..and harpoons the whale once more.
Dragging several boats, the whale is exhausted.
A fisherman jumps into the water
and a final fatal cut is made through the back bone.
It's been an epic eight-hour battle, but this time,
everyone returns safely home.
The death of a whale may seem sad and unnecessary to us,
but it's a lifeline for these villagers.
One catch can feed the people of Lamelera for months.
This small scale hunting is called subsistence whaling
and has little impact on the whale numbers in these oceans.
They only kill around six whales a year.
The meat is shared carefully amongst the villagers.
Nothing is wasted.
And the fishermen can trade with farmers from nearby villages
for other essentials.
Yet, recently, the villagers have noted that fewer
and fewer whales are passing by their islands
and are worried about the future of this vital food source.
As a community that depends heavily on fishing for their livelihood,
how will they adapt if whale stocks decline further?
The sea covers 70% of our planet's surface.
It's home to three-quarters of all life on Earth.
All the creatures found here are perfectly adapted
to thrive in the ocean.
All except one.
Humans are not evolved for a life aquatic,
but great opportunities await those who dare to venture into the water.
And an indigenous community living in the coral seas
of Indonesia are a perfect example.
Travelling over 10,000km from the UK,
we arrive at the Indonesian Archipelago.
An archipelago is a group of many island in a large area in the ocean.
The Sulu Archipelago is a smaller cluster of volcanic
and coral islands lying between the Philippines, Malaysia and Borneo.
And among the warm waters are scattered indigenous communities.
One such community is the Bajau Laut.
And it's their deep understanding of the ocean that sets them apart
from any other culture on Earth.
The Bajau are a nomadic community that relies solely
on the coral reefs of the Sulu Archipelago.
A nutrient rich ecosystem.
Yet, years of industrial fishing using dynamite
and cyanide has taken its toll on the coral reefs.
Many are damaged and several species that live along the coral
have since become endangered.
The Bajau understand the fragility of the coral
and as a result, they are constantly on the move
searching for a healthier reef
giving damaged coral time to recover.
Living off shore, the Bajau children have adjusted to an aquatic life.
The ocean is their playground.
They spend so much time in the sea that amazingly,
their eyes have become physically adapted.
The youngsters can actually focus better than you or I
while swimming underwater.
More importantly, the Bajau have developed their traditional
fishing methods to suit this particular ecosystem.
This is called artisan fishing.
Silbin, an underwater hunter is living proof
of just how far the Bajau have adapted.
He's out fishing for his supper, and like so many of his forefathers
before him, Silbin takes one final breath and plunges into the depths.
Completely focused and calm,
he descends 20 metres down to the sea floor.
His heartbeat slows to around 30 beats per minute.
He's done this so many times that his body can cope
with the intense physical pressure of being underwater.
The pressure at these depths crushes his chest
and squeezes his lungs to one third of its usual volume,
so even without weight, he's heavier than water.
This means that Silbin can stride quite comfortably
across the sea floor.
He spots a fish.
Silbin can go even deeper than this
and stay down for up to five minutes.
But he's got what he came for. So it's home for supper.
However, the Bajau are living in difficult times.
Many of the traditional practices are being abandoned
as the younger members of the community head inland
in search of work.
Living so close to highly endangered coral reefs, where there is
a pressing need for improved protection and conservation,
means the Bajau's way of life is under increasing scrutiny
by various conservation agencies.
How can they maintain their way of life against new pressures
to reduce fishing and conserve the reefs on which they completely rely?
In South America, floods can be so huge that the entire year
must be spent preparing for them.
In the Amazon Basin, a community has adapted to this natural phenomenon
and know how to survive the annual floods
when food becomes very scarce.
Brazil is the largest country in South America
and has a population of over 170 million.
The northern region is dominated by rainforest
and the second longest river in the world - the Amazon.
The Negro is a tributary - a smaller river that flows into the Amazon.
In the Amazon region, the climate is tropical
and much of the landscape consists of dense rainforests.
Being on the equator, it's always hot here,
and the high rate of evaporation results in very heavy rainfall.
During the wet season from October to March,
it rains continually raising the height of this mighty river
by around eight metres and flooding nearby forests and villages.
The fish disappear into the flooded forests to breed
and sourcing food becomes difficult for the communities
who live on the banks of the river.
But they are well adapted and build their homes
and schools high up on stilts.
Even the school run is done in wooden boats.
It's the dry season and there's plenty of fish in the river.
Meet Jarnia and her family.
They live on the banks of the River Negro.
But they know that within six months,
the fish will have disappeared again so they need to prepare early
and nurture another natural resource - turtles.
Jarnea and the villagers are out collecting turtle eggs.
During the dry season, the yellow-spotted river turtles
lay and bury thousands of eggs in sandy banks.
Turtles become a reliable source of food when the fish disappear.
However, having relied for many years on this natural resource,
the number of turtles have fallen dramatically.
In an attempt to sustain and boost their numbers,
the villagers have established their own turtle conservation project.
The eggs are then reburied in a turtle nursery.
Here, Jarnia and the villagers will ensure that they're safe from harm.
It's mid-March and 3,000 eggs have hatched. It's release day.
Despite the villagers' efforts,
only 10% of the turtles will ever reach maturity.
The big question is - will enough of them
survive to feed the villagers during the floods?
The floods have come.
The river has risen by seven metres and Jarnia's village is transformed.
Life has moved up into the tree tops leaving Jarnia
and her family marooned by the colossal flood.
With no fish around, Jarnia
and her sister, Dora, decide to go hunting for hurtles.
It's only now that they'll discover
if their turtle breeding has paid off.
Jarnia spots something.
Jarnia is happy
and the conservation project seems to be working.
Today she'll be able to feed everyone in her family.
The turtle seem to be going down a treat.
Jarnia and the villagers have sourced a sustainable supply
of food that's unique to their environment.
By trying to conserve and boost the turtle population,
they have successfully managed
to feed their families during the greatest seasonal flood on Earth.
The Mongolian steppe -
an enormous and open expanse that covers most of Mongolia
and home to a community of wandering horse herders.
These people have survived here for a very long time,
maintaining their culture and ancient traditions.
This is the life of a nomad.
Mongolia is a land-locked country in central Asia lying between China
It's a country that's on a high plateau
with an average elevation of 1,500 metres.
It has an extreme climate
and geography that greatly affects the way people live.
The Mongolian steppe covers much of eastern Mongolia
extending, in a narrow band, all the way to the west.
These nomadic people are self-sufficient
and depend on their livestock for food and other necessities.
Their lives revolve around their animals.
As their ancestors did before them,
the people of the steppe will travel many miles across the semi-arid
or partly dry environment in search of good pastures and fresh water.
The exact time and destination of the movements are determined
by the animals' needs to find better grazing.
This way of farming is called pastoralism
and is practised in environments where finding adequate
and sustainable supplies of food and water is a constant challenge.
Today, approximately half of Mongolia's population still roam
these vast plains,
living in portable, traditional tents called yurts.
Mongolia is the land of the horse.
There are more wild horses here than anywhere else in the world
and the nomads depend heavily on them.
Today, the herders are trying to capture wild female horses or mares.
Firstly, they must catch a foal using a lasso.
This will force the mare to stay close.
But it's not that easy. The foal is pretty strong.
Once the foal is caught, they must place a strap,
a halter on it before it tries to escape.
It's the first time they've felt the touch of a human hand.
They can now move to the mares. This is the real battle.
Lively mares are strong creatures with attitude
and things don't go according to plan.
After two exhausting hours, the men begin to get the upper hand.
Haltered and with its legs tied,
this mare has finally been subdued and left to calm down with her foal.
Only with her foal suckling will the mare surrender her milk
and surprisingly for us,
perhaps, this is the sole purpose of today's effort.
The nomadic herders drink the horse's milk.
It's an excellent source of protein.
And what they do next makes the sugary milk even tastier.
They ferment it into airag - a slightly alcoholic yoghurt.
The yoghurt bacteria turns the milk into a nutritious summer food.
Pastoral farming succeeds here because generally,
it's a way of life that's efficient and well-suited
to semi-arid regions.
To the outside world, such a lifestyle may seem challenging,
but over the centuries, these people have developed a strength
and resilience which is essential for surviving
on the Mongolian steppe.
21st century farming methods allow agriculture to take place
in the unlikeliest environment and on a massive scale.
Welcome to the Australian outback.
Australia is over 15,000km from the United Kingdom.
It's in the southern hemisphere where the hottest temperatures
are in December and the coolest in June.
It's a country with six major states and territories,
one of which is the Northern Territory,
a sparsely populated state.
Its capital is Darwin and 200km south is Maryfield Cattle Station.
The Northern Territory of Australia -
a vast land where few people live beyond the towns.
Like many regions of tropical grassland,
temperatures are high all year around and the soil is poor.
Growing anything here is difficult.
Here in Australia, supersized ranches across the country
can hold up to 30 million cattle.
The farmers manage these grasslands by pastoral farming -
a sustainable farming method where cattle are allowed to move
freely from place to place to graze on fresh grass.
This avoids overgrazing.
It's the wet season, which lasts from November to April.
There's good grazing now
and the cattle have spread out across hundreds of acres of land.
So knowing the whereabouts of your livestock
can prove to be a bit tricky.
But the Australians have a hi-tech solution - the flying cowboy.
It's the mustering season where farmers start rounding up
their cattle ready to be sold.
This is Ben Tapp. He owns an enormous cattle station.
Today, he must bring in 2,000 of his best cattle,
but first he has to find them.
His cattle are out there... somewhere.
Scouting for livestock as a muster pilot saves a lot time and effort.
There's a fair few. There's about six or seven of them along the way.
In the past, it used to take at least ten men on horse back
up to a month to gather this number of cattle.
But not any more.
A farmer in a helicopter takes just one day.
He'll need all his flying skills, his ability to read the cattle
and his mate, Rankin, if he's to succeed.
He must herd the cattle through deep water pools
to get them closer to his yard.
The helicopter keeps on their tails until they rush through the water.
Clipping any tree could be fatal.
Look out, look out!
It's a dangerous job.
Every year about ten muster pilots are killed.
As the pilot gathers the groups together,
they build in numbers and hundreds become thousands.
With herd mentality, the cattle follow the first runner.
Joined by a ground team of men on horseback and quad bikes,
they steadily drive the cattle forward.
Finally, the helicopters push all 2,000 cattle
into Ben's very large holding pen.
Today, this hi-tech approach musters half of the cattle in Australia.
That's 15 million livestock rounded up by helicopter each year.
This is an example of a modern farming method, which allows
farmers to manage the Australian grasslands effectively
while being able to stock a large number of cattle to keep up
with the huge global demand for beef.
Rivers that flow through cities can always pose a dangerous threat.
But more economically developed countries otherwise known as MEDCs
can afford ingenious ways to deal with extraordinary river conditions.
5,600km from the UK, across the Atlantic Ocean, is Canada -
a country that has a land area of nearly 10 million square kilometres
making it the second largest country in the world.
Close to the border between Ontario
and Quebec states lies Canada's capital city - Ottawa.
The city is in the grip of winter.
At this time of year, temperatures can plummet
to minus 30 degrees centigrade - colder than your freezer at home.
It's a deep freeze.
This Rideau River is one of Ottawa's main waterways.
It winds its way through the city before reaching central Ottawa
at Rideau Falls.
At this time of year, the river is frozen solid.
Spanning across the Rideau River is a low footbridge,
which has caused a solid wall of ice to build over the waterfall.
Bridges can often cause a problem as they interfere
with the river's natural flow.
It's the spring thaw.
Further up river, ice has started to melt
and is travelling down the river.
But because of the wall of ice caused by the footbridge,
the water can't get through.
The ice has created a natural dam
causing the river's water level to rise,
threatening to flood nearby homes and business premises.
Flood damage could run into millions of dollars.
The Rideau River is now public enemy number one.
A city-sized threat needs a spectacular solution.
Here come the ice dam busters.
Here in Ottawa, a sure sign that spring is coming
is the annual effort by the city workers to clear the ice.
Thousands of tonnes of ice, up to a metre thick,
sit behind the bridge forming a solid and impassable barrier.
The team need to break it up to keep the river flowing
and prevent flooding.
Using special ice saws and shovels,
they begin to cut the ice into long strips.
These pieces are still too large to flow under the bridge,
so the team have the ultimate weapon -
Hundreds of kilos of explosives are placed
in specially drilled ice holes.
Then the ice is blasted high into the air.
Slowly, the ice and water at the top of the falls begin to shift
and the first of the ice strips crash over the frozen falls.
Flooding has been averted and winter's grip has finally eased.
The centre of Ottawa is safe for another year at least.
Preventing disaster is an expensive and noisy and disruptive business.
Although necessary in order to keep the capital city of Canada
safe from this unique force of nature.
Humans living in MEDCs,
short for More Economically Developed Countries,
are in the grip of consumerism,
as we increasingly purchase much more than we ever need
As a result, we throw away a lot of rubbish.
In the UK alone,
refuse trucks deal with 85,000 tonnes of waste everyday.
And most of it is food.
Rubbish doesn't simply vanish when it is thrown away.
We often transport this waste to the edges our cities.
In this film, we travelled to the Southern Hemisphere
to the continent of Africa.
With over a billion people,
Africa accounts for about 14% of the world's human population.
It has 61 countries - one of which is Kenya.
Currently, Kenya has a lucrative tourist industry,
but still deals with high levels of unemployment,
crime and poverty, and the city of Mombasa is no different.
Like the Western world, waste also occurs in many of the world's LEDCs,
which is short for Less Economically Developed Countries.
On the outskirts of Mombasa, there is a massive rubbish dump,
known as Kibarani.
It's in this man-made environment
that all the rubbish from Mombasa ends up
and among the mountains of waste,
thousands of people survive trying to make a living.
Tonnes of fuming refuse from more than four million city dwellers
is discarded daily, creating a toxic and hazardous environment
exposing the Kibarani residents to persistent illness and danger.
Most Kibarani people end up living here
after migrating from surrounding rural areas and not being able
to find a job in the city.
Penniless, Kibarani becomes their only option.
There's no clean water,
sanitation, schools or houses. Life here is pretty grim.
Every day, trucks dump Mombasa's rubbish here
and the people pick through the waste looking for plastic
or metal, which they can either use for themselves
or sell on for money to buy food and fresh water.
Some are so hungry that whenever something edible is found,
It's very hot and humid along on the coast of Kenya.
As a result,
the rubbish rots quickly leaving an indescribable stench in the air.
How anyone can live here is difficult to imagine.
Yet, for Asha and her family, the dump is home.
They are modern day hunter gatherers who have adapted to survive
this unique man-made environment.
A refuse truck arrives and the race is on.
Asha's husband, Ali, has to be quick in order to get the best scraps.
There's a lot of competition.
You need to be fast and nimble to get there first.
It's every man for himself.
This really is life in the extreme.
Finding food for your children
in and around a city's discarded rubbish.
And yet, bizarrely, the poor can be the rest recyclers in the world.
Nothing is wasted. But surely they should have some alternative?
A cleaner way of earning a living without having
to endanger their lives?
With so many of us rich and poor living in the urban environment,
if we continue to use up the Earth's resources and generate
the waste as we do, the future for the human planet is bleak.
Here in the urban jungle, humans are the masters.
In towns and cities across the world,
we drive out what we don't want and ship in what we need.
We don't have to hunt or grow our own food
and we demand fresh or out of season produce right away.
We've been clever at using nature, but as modern consumers, buying
and enjoying such produce - are we really aware of the consequences?
In order to satisfy the demand,
some foods are travelling thousands of miles.
This is known as food miles.
The larger the distance,
the greater the damage caused to the environment.
Fossil fuel transport running on petrol, diesel or gas, contributes
to a product's carbon footprint and is gradually warming our planets.
However, in some of the world's major cities,
people are reconnecting with nature in more traditional ways.
5,500km from the UK across the Atlantic Ocean
is the United States of America.
To the north, it borders with Canada. To the south - Mexico.
New York State lies in the north-east
and a largest city in this state - New York.
This is Union Square Market in New York.
It sells produce that's grown locally,
often on the roof tops of New York's tower blocks.
Andrew is a guru of high-rise bee keeping
and a third generation bee keeper.
keeping bees was considered too dangerous in a built-up area.
The practice was illegal. But that didn't stop Andrew.
Yes, Sir, 10.
Would you like a bag?
'The problems that we encountered were keeping our bees
'out of the public eye.
'We didn't want to be found out and caught.
'Mostly because we didn't want to lose our bees.'
Andrew's mission is to bring New Yorkers back to nature.
Over in Long Island City, one of the roughest neighbourhoods
in New York, Stefanos is on the same assignment.
I think one of the last things you'd expect to see is some semblance
of nature and perhaps least of all, beehives.
When this was illegal, rooftops like this one were the only place
bee keepers could keep bees and not get caught.
It's no longer illegal to do this in New York!
Call off your men!
At least the New York Police are now on their side.
This one is perfect. Couldn't be better.
Today is a special day for Stefanos
because he's harvesting his first batch of honey.
Oh, man, this is going to be so good.
Oh, my God.
That's just quality control.
It's been a small step to legalise bee keeping in New York,
but with big results.
There are now near ten million bees kept on New York's rooftops
and it is not just about the honey.
Bees pollinate the flowers of New York's many urban parks and gardens.
They are essential to the future of the city's plant life.
But more importantly, they keep New Yorkers in touch with nature
whilst producing food that has almost no carbon footprint.
The bee keepers are contributing in their own small way
to the city's green revolution.
The Earth is a place of limited room and resources.
We can't survive without nature providing for the inhabitants
of the urban jungle.
So the challenge for the future is to design cities that are more
sustainable and in balance with the natural world.
The bees of New York City are a small step in that direction.
The rainforest is nature at its most mysterious, intense and competitive.
It may appear plentiful as plants grow well in the damp heat,
but for humans, this can be a very hostile environment.
The jungle refuses to be tamed
and it will punish those who don't live by its laws.
Yet, even today, there are people who call these unforgiving forests "home".
12,500km from the United Kingdom is the Indonesian Archipelago.
The largest province in Indonesia is West Papua
also known as Irian Jaya.
It is an island that was divided in two for political reasons.
It is habited chiefly by Papuans living in hundreds of tribes
each with their own language and customs.
One of the tribes is the Korowai.
The West Papuan jungle - hot, humid and inaccessible.
But the Korowai tribe who live in the Island's low lands
are one of the very few communities in the world
that truly understand how to live in such challenging surroundings.
Today, the Korowai are busy cutting
and collecting wood for a very special reason.
It will ultimately allow them to survive in an environment
vulnerable to flooding and full of unfriendly plants,
animals and insects.
The Korowai understand that building a house on the jungle floor
isn't the wisest move, so the tribe build their homes high up
in the trees in the jungle's canopy.
The first step is to assemble a ladder leading
to the top of a tree or crown.
The Korowai display great resourcefulness as all the materials
they use to build their tree houses are found
in and around the surrounding jungle.
It's a very sustainable way to live.
Even the raffia rope is made from palm trees.
The Korowai are exceptionally strong
and possess incredible climbing skills, but in other ways,
people are the same all over the world.
As one of the group's strongest climbers,
Wyo is the foreman overseeing the most dangerous jobs.
Wyo's right, it's a long way down.
Falling 30 metres to the ground would mean certain death,
but teetering in the tree tops is second nature to the Korowai.
Thinning the branches ensures that the house
won't shake apart in strong winds.
As the house gradually takes shape, more trees come down,
but they have to make sure that the trees fall in the right direction.
Again, the Korowai's understanding of the environment
is second to none.
The whooping is to warn other people that trees are falling.
These tree houses are built around the strongest trees in the jungle -
The tallest trees in the rainforest are called emergents.
Building tree houses is not only a way to protect themselves
but is a symbol of the mastery over the environment.
The higher the house, the greater the prestige
and with this one, they're really making a statement.
The roof is made of sago palm leaves,
while rows of tree bark are used to make the floor and walls.
The floor needs to be strong as a family of up to a dozen
will live here.
In 2 weeks with 42 workers, countless felled trees,
30 bundles of palm leaves, 16 rolls of bark and 5km of twine,
the new house is complete and all sustainably sourced from the forest.
It's time to move in.
Everything has to be carried up, even the family pets.
And it's a long way back down if you forget something.
The first fire is ceremonially lit.
It's an interesting way to bless a wooden tree house,
but health and safety regulations have yet to reach these parts.
Incredibly, parents seem very relaxed as their children
explore the limits of their new home.
This fantastic towering piece of architecture is a perfect
illustration of the Korowai's incredible knowledge,
skill and ingenuity, demonstrating their unique ability
in adapting to a demanding jungle environment.
Forests contain a unique and rich range of plants and animals,
but it's the trees themselves that are most in demand
all around the world.
Consequently, these biodiverse ecosystems are under
significant threat due to heavy logging.
Yet, there are a few places where its effects
are far less destructive.
India lies in South Asia, bordering with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
It has a population of one billion,
making it the second most populous country in the world.
North-east India is home to the last remaining rainforests
of the country.
The forests here include one of the most valuable resources
known to man - timber.
The demand for timber throughout India
and neighbouring Bangladesh is relentless.
The wood here is predominantly teak, one of the strongest
and most valuable hardwoods in the world
and is mainly used to build homes, doors and furniture.
To meet this demand for teak, the forests have been heavily logged
over the years and have steadily deteriorated.
This commercial exploitation of trees is one of the greatest threats
facing the world's rainforests,
but it doesn't always have to lead to their total destruction.
The indigenous people who live in this jungle are attempting
to control some of the environmental devastation caused by logging.
It's a very sustainable, forest-friendly solution
and done by harnessing the raw power of one of nature's
mightiest animals of the jungle.
It's all about elephant power.
This is Rampresad.
A six-tonne Asian bull elephant and its handler, Samir.
Elephants are perfectly adapted to this landscape.
With incredible strength and surprising agility, they can drag
huge logs through dense undergrowth, over steep hills and across rivers.
They are an environmentally friendly alternative to logging machines.
They can reach places other machinery can't.
This allows the loggers to fell selected trees without
completely clearing the jungle.
Elephant power is far more sustainable.
There's little pollution, no need for expensive spare parts
and elephants run on 100% green fuel.
But unlike machines, elephants have minds of their own
and must be treated with respect.
That responsibility falls on the people who train
and look after them.
These are known as mahouts, like Samir.
Samir steers him by using over 100 different commands.
He can be operated in a number of languages
and even understands English.
And Samir's pretty good in elephant.
Along with many other elephants and their mahouts, Rampresad and Samir
reach the collection site in plenty of time to load the trucks.
Transporting logs to the sawmill is the only mechanised part
of the entire process.
But they're not out of the woods yet.
The truck is stuck in the mud.
Once again, elephant power proves superior.
Job done, it's time for a well-earned wash.
This way of logging is sustainable as long as the forests
are allowed to regenerate by quickly replanting the chopped felled trees.
Managing the forest in this way is done by the indigenous communities
that live in them and leads to a secure source of income.
It's through these partnerships with nature that people can better
At the top of our planet lies one of the most remote places on earth -
In winter, the region is frozen with little daylight for six months
of the year.
In the far north, there are no plants and no trees.
Humans weren't really made to withstand a landscape
as hostile as this and yet, four million people live here.
Humans can only survive here if they live sustainably using skills
that have been passed down from generation to generation.
These are the Inuit and they're pretty tough.
Over 3,000km from the UK is Greenland - a mountainous country
and the majority of the people who live here have a strong connection
with the Inuit in Canada, Alaska and Siberia.
Siorapaluk is a small settlement on the west coast
and most of the community here leads a traditional way of life.
The Arctic is the coldest place on earth
where humans live permanently
and Siorapulik is the most northerly settlement on the planet.
The Inuit people are able to survive here
because they've developed an intimate knowledge
of how animals in this unique environment exist and behave.
This is Magssannguaq Oshima
and every summer, he's treated to a spectacle.
Millions of birds called little auks are migrating.
They come to here to breed on the cliffs.
For Magssannguaq, it's good news - this is a summer feast.
But how will he catch them?
Thousands of years ago,
his ancestors worked out how to make nets out of sinew and driftwood.
They created the same hiding spots that Magssannguaq uses today.
On a good day, he can gather up to 500 birds.
But he won't eat them now.
Following ancient traditions,
he buried the birds underground ready for the winner.
The birds can be used to make kiviaq -
a dish to save for a rainy day.
The recipe is thousands of years old and it goes like this.
Take one seal skin.
Stuff as many little auks as you can inside - at least 500,
sew it up.
Make sure that you press all of the air out...
..And coat it with seal fat to keep out flies.
Finally, use a large rock to make sure that no more air gets in.
It won't be ready for three months,
but the frozen ground is a natural refrigerator.
Come winter, Magssannguaq and his family
will have a vital supply of food.
Later in the winter, Magssannguaq and his father are already breaking
into the stores of little auks they caught during the summer.
The birds have now fermented and have become the inuit delicacy
known as kiviaq.
It's easy to tell if it's ready by the smell.
It should sting the nostrils.
This is why it is always polite to serve kiviaq outdoors.
The flavour should resemble extremely intense gorgonzola cheese.
Nothing is wasted.
Everything is edible.
The Inuit of North Greenland love kiviaq so much
that it is the dish of choice for birthdays and weddings.
And it is nutritious.
Full of vitamins and minerals that will sustain people over
the very cold and dark winter months.
By using such ancient and sustainable hunting techniques,
the inuit are ensuring that their people can eat all year around
whilst maintaining sufficient food stocks for the future.
Linked to the KS3 geography curriculum, this programme looks at how humans have learnt to live with extremes and covers five themes: sustainable waters, sustainable pastures, sustainable cities, sustainable forests and sustainable arctic.