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tv   Global 3000  PBS  February 16, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PST

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>> it is a blame game that the member states of the european union are playing when it comes to the refugee crisis. it's always the others that are to blame for everything that's going wrong. the refugee crisis is putting the european union to the test and may cause it to unravel entirely. time to look at the eu from a completely different perspective. welcome to this edition of "global 3000." here's what we have coming up for you. robots to the rescue. taking care of elderly japanese style. how going organic is opening up new markets for zanzibar's spices. and, how huge areas of rain
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forest in guatemala get destroyed to make space for agriculture. japan is robot country. it was several hundred years ago that the first mechanical dolls were manufactured there. decades ago, robots were put to use in industry, and these days, they provide support in shopping centers, hospitals, and as of recently, also at schools. with his cute face and moveable body, this robot called nao has a somewhat human look that has helped him to conquer japan's schools and universities. the little white plastic creature speaks several different languages, and although it comes at a steep price, nao is a big seller in japan. yet, he is not the only robot used in everyday situations in japan. here in our western culture, we may find technical gadgets with a human look and feel a bit creepy, but in japan, that is very different. >> welcome, says the woman at the reception desk in japan's
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first robot hotel. she tells guests how to register with their credit cards and name -- not very different from the automatic check-in at the airport. the female robot just looks on. but the guests seem enthusiastic when a robot looks after their baggage. the hotel near nagasaki is popular. there's also a reptile at reception that can speak english. the robots save 30% on staff, says the hotel owner. we're in a country that loves robots. we visit mihoko aida in tokyo. the 85-year-old widow lives alone and keeps house for herself, but she lavishes all her love on a robotic dog.
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she bought it 15 years ago. she affectionately calls it bobby, bobby-chan. but bobby-chan is broken, and the sony company, which sold robotic pets like this in the aibo series, no longer services aibos. she used to have a real dog, but the robotic one is a perfect surrogate for her. he's cute, the quick-witted elderly lady says, and i can mother him. bobby-chan is being picked up. mihoko aida saw a television broadcast about an aibo repair service. so she's sending him there. kasama in the ibaraki prefecture is a sleepy provincial town. a workshop here run by two elderly men is the last hope of many owners of ailing robotic dogs. both men used to be engineers at
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sony. they improvise with whatever they can use. nobuyuki norimatsu fully appreciates the owners' emotional ties to their small robots. >> in the japanese mentality and religion, even a paintbrush or a needle has a soul. so we can really make friends with a robot. unlike the west, we don't see anything threatening about robots. >> he tells us that the aibos marked a tipping point, moving away from robots as household appliances towards those that evoke emotions. robots like these are family members, clean and safe. hopefully, mihoko aida's bobby-chan really can be repaired here. we'll have to wait and see. in a retirement home in sendai in miyagi prefecture, we meet pepper, japan's latest robot designed to trigger an emotional
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response. it's been on the market since 2015. thousands have been sold to private homes for the equivalent of about 1700 euros. here in this home for the aged, the robot entertains the residents. nursing care is still provided by staff. pepper has no practical abilities, but he's fun. pepper's cameras and sensors enable him to recognise emotions. and he makes conversation. japan is thrilled with the humanoid robot. here he's doing a bit of math with a resident. >> it's like therapy with pets. pepper is a communicator in geriatric care. he's like a little boy for the residents. >> in 1963, a cartoon series on
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japanese television began with the death of a little boy in an accident. to replace him, his father puts together an android called mighty atom. also known as astro boy, it was incredibly popular, reinforcing japan's belief in technological progress. robots are considered the great hope for japan's aging population. they're expected to make the lives of elderly people easier and replace personnel in geriatric care. in this care and rehab facility in tokyo, we're shown some initial approaches. a robotic mobility device developed by the carmaker honda is strapped onto a patient to support his paralysed leg. a computer applies gentle pressure and improves his walking patterns.
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>> this patient used to be able to take just 20 steps. now with the walk assist device, he can manage 500. >> this woman can't usually walk without a cane. but with the device, she says it's almost like being back to normal. the device has been used only in care facilities, but she'd love to have one at home. noriyuki yamazaki works with the more serious cases. technology makes his work easier. when he lifts patients onto their beds, a robotic muscle suit helps him. as soon as he exhales into the mouthpiece, the device bends over with him. when he inhales, the suit lifts him up. that saves 30% of muscle power.
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for decades, japan has dreamed of a robot that can lend a helping hand to anyone, but that success is still a long way off. >> in geriatric and nursing care, the machines have to be able to deal with people physically. we are not that far yet. such robots in these areas are still in the experimental and laboratory stages. >> mihoko aida is excited. bobby-chan is back home again. but will he work? an intelligent woman in love with a machine. worldwide press reports about robots in japanese geriatric care tend to be exaggerated, but this robotic dog quite touchingly satisfies a need for
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emotional contact. even when he lifts his leg. >> if you believe that everything has a soul, that's a comforting thought. let's move from the mechanical world of robots to something organic now. pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and of course, cloves. spices which you will find in many people's kitchen, including in mine. they're readily available even though they come from far away places where climatic conditions are ideal for them, like for example, an island off the coast of east africa -- zanzibar. once, zanzibar was one of the world's biggest producers of cloves, but then, prices dropped and it became unprofitable to cultivate them. but now, zanzibar's spice farmers have found a profitable niche. >> nutmeg. >> you can find almost any spice you can think of on zanzibar. but the times when people got
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rich from them are long past. >> before all the farmers in the , area used to be dependent on tourists. if no tourists came to the farm, it was hard to survive. a lot of them had to gave up and looked for other jobs. >> together with his neighbors, spice farmer patrick maganga has managed to capture a new market. he's considered an expert among zanzibar's spice farmers. everyone goes to him to buy new seedlings. >> i think that's because i use cow dung and choose the plants very carefully. >> maganga founded a cooperative with 30 other spice farmers. since then, they've shared everything -- their tools, their labor, and above all, their knowledge.
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together, they've found a way to expand. now, they are growing cloves on a large scale. maganga's neighbor ali foum explains how they did it. >> we decided to be certified organic. and when we sell to our customer as organic, the price is increase from 15 to 20,000 t-shillings. >> the cooperative found a young company located in stone town that was looking for organic products from the island. at zanji spice, all the spices are sorted by hand and then sent to europe. farooq mussa is very satisfied with the close cooperation with the farmers. >> nowadays, they have a market. they know exactly where they can sell their stuff. so even the production is a little bit higher and last year it was about 500 seedlings for cloves newly planted.
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so probably after two years, they will harvest 500 new plants. >> patrick maganga has already been able to build a new house with the extra income. and his wife is very happy with the improvement in their lives. >> i'm very proud of him. life isn't as hard as it used to be. >> more and more people are now coming here. it's the only way to make good money here in this area. >> his eldest son now has his own family. patrick maganga plans to use the profits from the next harvest to build a house for him. >> bold, brave, action-oriented -- such are the qualities that the world economic forum looks for when it selects promising individuals as young global
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leaders. one of them is eric kacou of ivory coast. he focuses on economic re-construction, especially in post-conflict situations. following the genocide in rwanda, eric led a program to help revitalize the rwandan economy. eric is convinced that businessmen and their entrepreneurial spirit have the power to help a country attain prosperity. he also thinks that there's a lot which europe could learn from his continent, africa. >> people in africa look at europe in two different ways. i think for some people it's a place that almost looks like paradise. it's a place where you can have a job. you can get good health care. you can actually study, etc. but for others, it's also a place of very little
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opportunities. i think what has happened in greece is at least a very good example. the world has changed and some of the ways in which things had been being done hasn't been updated. it's a really leadership challenge for the europeans to really think very hard about to make the continent sustainable again. and i think its going to be difficult because most people are used to the comfort. my name is eric kacou and i'm co-founder and ceo of entrepreunerial solutions partners which is an advisory and investment firm looking to use entrepreneurship to create prosperity in africa and the caribbean.
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what i would wish for is for europe to think about africa as an equal partner because africa has something to contribute. i would really invite the europeans -- try innovate through learning. and the way you learn is you visit africa, you visit india. you visit other parts of the world that are doing better in certain areas. if you look at what's happening around the greek crisis or every time there has been a crisis, it's basically it's one country that feel that almost feels singled out.
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it's really that sense of connectedness which makes society work because you think of solutions that are not only individualistic, but solutions which actually touch the community. there needs to be a return to the original idea of the community. i mean, it's called a community for a reason. i think africa can teach a lot to europe about how you build communities. literally in southern africa, they call it umbuntu. i am because you are. today, it's about how do we build walls which are very high. how do we screen refugees better? how do we sort of send them back to where they come from faster? and i don't think that's a solution. the solution is to really look at ways in which you make africa prosperous, because when that happens, then it's going to create enough growth for those
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refugees not to go. when we talk about prosperity, it's not just wealth. i think it's wealth, it's happiness, it's health care, it's security. it's like living a good life according to one's definition. when you start looking at it in a more comprehensive manner, it breaks the question. can you really make the case that the average european is happier than the average african? i don't know. >> guatemala, along with mexico and belize, is home to the biggest tropical rainforest north of the amazon. its history also makes this forest unique. more than 1000 years ago, more than 100,000 people are said to
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have lived in tikal, the ancient city of the maya. but for their descendants, life is difficult. there are only few jobs and not many opportunities. yet, the population is growing rapidly, and therefore, needs more and more space to cultivate their crops. >> the morning mist clears only slowly over the peten basin in the selva maya, the maya forest. the ruins of the ancient mayan city of tikal tower above the treetops like skyscrapers. the temples are evidence of an advanced civilization in the middle of the rainforest. tikal has been interpreted as meaning place of the voices. nowadays, the barks of howler
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monkeys dominate the forest. it's unclear what caused the downfall of the maya about 1000 years ago. there are many theories -- disease, wars, climate change. >> they had a culture for almost 2000 years. there's a lot of people, many people, and obviously they lived to some extent in harmony, and i think that is something we can learn from the past. >> jaap schorl is a biologist whose aim is to bring the rainforest into harmony with people today. together with local conservation organizations, he's developing sustainable concepts for protecting the forest. the breadnut tree -- the mayas used its seeds long ago.
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here they are called maya nuts and harvested twice a year. the people from the forest village of uaxactun go out to collect the seeds. the seeds had long been forgotten, but nowadays, they're being eaten and traded again. >> the forest means an income for me. if the harvest is good, our family alone can deliver up to 90 kilos a day, which means almost 50 euros a day for us. >> for dona magdalena and her family of 11, the maya nuts are an important source of income. the village has a permit. the villagers can use the forest with certain restrictions. but, sustainable management is an exception in guatemala.
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not far away, the rainforest has already disappeared. 70% of it has been deforested in just 20 years. now it's grazing and farmland. more and more people need food. the trouble is that the soil is very poor. anyone who wants to raise cattle needs large tracts of land. another disaster for the forest is drug smuggling. >> what happens is that the people that do the drug smuggling, they have a lot of money. it's black money and they want to whitewash the money, and what they do is they buy large tracts of land which has all been illegally deforested and they transfer it into cattle. but the forest is gone, and once the forest is gone, it's very difficult to bring it back. >> jaap schorl and his colleague victor ramos from the national
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council for protected areas have been monitoring the extent of deforestation in the region for years. with the support of the international climate change initiative, they record the disappearance of the rainforest. >> this is the forest in 2000. what you see in dark green and light green is forest, and what you see in light yellow is agriculture and cattle ranching -- 2000. this is 2007 and this is 2013. >> 3000 plant and nearly 1000 animal species, among them many birds, live here. the selva maya is rich in biodiversity. many species are unique to it. as the rainforest disappears, they lose their habitat. the guacamaya, once a symbol of the mayan sun god.
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the parrots in this breeding station are meant to provide offspring. there are only an estimated 300 birds belonging to this type of macaw living in the wild. >> the greatest threat to these macaws is loss of their habitat. after that comes illegal trade. the chicks are taken from their nests and sold on the black market at prices of up to $5000. >> until the parrots are large enough, they remain in the station. then, they're released into the wild. a macaw can live up to 80 years. whether the rainforest will exist that long is doubtful. back to the village of uaxactun, the seeds of the breadnut tree are processed in this facility turned into flour or ready-made biscuits. the project provides work for the women, led by a team from
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the german international cooperation agency and forest expert julio madrid. >> the nut fascinates me because it tastes delicious and it's very healthy. it contains many important nutrients. for example, lots of vitamins. >> some of the products remain in the region, but since a few years ago, most have been exported, mainly to the u.s. to date, there are eight communities that process and sell maya nuts. the proceeds provide an increasing source of income for the families. the forest also benefits because experience shows that most of the areas in the selva maya in which people live are in good shape. the inhabitants feel responsible for the trees and protect them. the areas that aren't inhabited often provide easy pickings for
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loggers. >> without the people, you cannot protect the forest, so you need people to protect the forest. and you need people to earn money from the forest in one way or another, otherwise it's a lost cause. >> guatemala means land of forests, but only when people's attitudes change can this natural paradise be preserved. >> that brings us to the end of this edition of "global 3000." do join us again next week for another edition of the show. until then, thanks for watching, all the best. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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