From the great city of Angkor to the waters of Lake Turkana, UNESCO World Heritage sites represent some of the most spectacular places on earth. Now, meet the unseen heroes that protect these great wonders of the world. Our cameras go behind the scenes - with local conservationists and researchers from around the globe - to reveal the epic lengths they must take to preserve these delicate sites. Using new technology and plenty of elbow grease, these passionate men and women must race to ensure these sites stand the test of time, tourists, and the elements… to preserve our precious world heritage for future generations.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites are testaments to the ingenuity of human civilization and the beauty of our natural world. These diverse sites range across the globe, presenting the astounding highlights of our environment and our culture. But with this great honor comes great risks… tourism, climate change, and the sands of time threaten to erase the features of these sacred places. Every UNESCO site faces its own unique set of challenges and perils. Unchecked, these threats could destroy our most valued heritage. To maintain this coveted status, conservationists must work endlessly to preserve the greatness of each site.
Each of our hour-long episodes will highlight what makes a particular UNESCO site so very special, and follow the men and women that must balance the pressures of preservation with the responsibility of making these places accessible to the world. We give our viewers a window into the mission of these caretakers, to understand and explore the unique challenges they face… from restoring the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat, to preserving the delicate balance of pristine wildlife in the Everglades, to maintaining the unique structure of the Sagrada Familia. Our cameras will capture the day-to-day operations, the special conservation projects and the dedicated lifestyle of these eco warriors. Through site managers, scientists, guides, gardeners and devoted experts, our viewers will have an all access pass to the most amazing places on earth… and gain a whole new appreciation for what it takes to preserve these site for generations to come.The strong programming line-up includes:
- October 2014: Panasonic Presents The World Heritage Special: Access 360 Venice
The city of Venice attracts millions of tourist each year with its rich historic and artistic heritage. Behind the beautiful and vibrant facade, lies a city in grave danger. The Adriatic Sea that brought fortune and glory to the city is also a threat to Venice and its lagoon. When the sirens go off, Venetians brace themselves for an incoming attack. The tide rises, floodwater rushes into the city and destroys every artwork or architecture in its path. Expert teams of Engineers, Scientists and Conservators are determined to save this UNESCO World Heritage site from vanishing beneath the waves.
- December 2014: Panasonic Presents The World Heritage Special: Access 360 Galapagos
The famed Galapagos Islands teem with fantastic wildlife found nowhere else on earth. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the living laboratory that inspired Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The animals that could survive the long journey and harsh climate thrived in an isolated sanctuary. But that isolation left them vulnerable to the threats of the outside world. The arrival of humans changed the balance, threatening their survival. Now - on land and on the sea - the islands’ guardians are using latest technology to reveal the hidden patterns of these endangered creatures, and gain the critical insights needed to save them.
- February 2015: Panasonic Presents The World Heritage Special: Access 360 Lake Turkana
In Northern Kenya’s unforgiving desert landscape, Lake Turkana’s shores are home to the oldest-known fossil remains of our human ancestors and to one the world’s largest breeding grounds for Nile crocodiles. Over the years, Turkana’s already parched land has faced an environmental catastrophe – the Lake is drying up. But even in the face of adverse climate change, scientists and experts have been relentless in their quest to protect this remarkable land, with its unparalleled fossil beds and its numerous species of bees, for the sake of understanding our human story and perhaps to save our future. Fortunately, hope is within reach for Turkana: giant aquifers are set to provide Kenya with water for well over half a century.