Segments in this Video

Introduction: On the Brink (02:53)


Environmental inequity, terrorism, and violence threaten national security. This episode investigates the link between environmental issues and political instability. (Credits)

India and Bangladesh (05:12)

Calcutta's population of 13 million faces many hardships but the city remains a refuge for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a country of extremes. Over 100,000 people gather in Dhaka to celebrate Pahela Baishakh; two bombs explode.

Bangladesh: Environmental Stress (06:54)

Bangladesh experiences intense monsoon seasons. Despite seasonal flooding, the river system is dying. Many in rural areas move to Dhaka, but the government lacks necessary resources. Poverty and disease are rampant and violent demonstrations are common.

South Africa (08:11)

The legacy of Apartheid defines the country. Hundreds of rural villages have no significant job opportunities and people flock to Alexandra; Obed Bapela works to develop housing. The city has the ability to cope with environmental pressures.

Peru (08:19)

Tourism has brought about economic revitalization to Lima, but those living in the Andes highlands face hardships. Over 30 years ago, Abimeal Guzman leads the Sendero Luminoso in a bloody revolution until his capture. Over 4 million people live in shanty towns; protestors march against unfair housing regulations.

Haiti (06:03)

In 1804, the country becomes the first black republic. Today, Haiti is on the verge of environmental and economic collapse; residents are deeply spiritual. Workers struggle to restore deforested areas; charcoal use is the major cause of deforestation.

Haiti: Port-au-Prince (03:43)

Approximately 400,000 people live in the city's poorest slum. Poverty leads to instability and violence. Millions seek refuge in the U.S., but many return to deteriorating living conditions. The UN's attempt to intervene ultimately fails; human rights violations and corruption intensify.

U.S./Mexico Border (05:56)

A ferry crossing between Texas and Mexico has been in operation for decades; congestion occurs at traditional checkpoints. Thousands of illegal immigrants cross the Sonora Desert, hoping to enter the U.S.; many die.

Illegal Crossings (05:54)

Thousands in Agua Prieta wait until nightfall to attempt a border crossing; Border Patrol apprehends one in three people. Experts reflect on environmental refugees around the world, environmental stress, political instability, and places of hope.

Credit: On the Brink (00:57)

Credit: On the Brink

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On the Brink

Part of the Series : Journey to Planet Earth, Season 2
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This program investigates how severe environmental problems can lead to political crises and increased hostilities around the world. Topics include case studies that link national security with issues such as deforestation, soil erosion, water depletion, air pollution, surging refuge populations and global climate change. Locations include Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, North Korea, Mexico, Haiti and the United States.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL210599

Copyright date: ©2005

Closed Captioned

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