Wild Recovery | earthrise | Al Jazeera

This is the first programme of the latest series of earthrise which I exec’d from a hotel room in Doha, Qatar, during the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions on movement in place around the world, this was a tough one to produce. But, working with brilliant teams in eight countries, we pulled it off and have five cracking programmes to prove it.

This one explores what we can do to help prevent future pandemics. COVID-19 is just one of many illnesses that have spilled over to us from wildlife as we, quite frankly, plunder the natural world and come into closer contact with the viruses found there. Three out of four emerging infectious diseases come from animals and, incredibly, one surfaces every 4 months.

The exact origins of COVID-19 are unknown but investigations have been carried out into a number of animals including bats and pangolins. Some species of these mammals are amongst the one million plants and animals threatened with extinction. We look at efforts to save them before it’s too late. In southern India, locals are safeguarding the only remaining home of one critically endangered bat. And Vietnam we meet the conservationists rehabilitating trafficked pangolins.

Luckily, restrictions in Qatar had lifted in time for me to be able to film some presenter links to tie the stories together for this programme and others in the series.