The Island President
Jon Shenk’s The Island President tells the story of former President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, who must grapple with the daunting prospect of his country fighting for physical survival and his citizens becoming ‘environmental refugees.’ After bringing democracy to the Indian Ocean nation following 30 years of despotic rule, Nasheed now faces an even greater challenge: rising sea levels that threaten to submerge the Maldives' nearly 2000 islands. The Island President captures Nasheed’s first year in office, culminating in his trip to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit, where the film provides a rare glimpse of the political horse-trading that goes on at such a top-level global assembly. Nasheed leverages the Maldives’ underdog position as a tiny country, harnessing the media’s power and overcoming deadlocks by appealing to other developing nations for unity.
People’s Choice Documentary Award Toronto International Film Festival 2011
Recognising that environmental conditions are inextricably linked to the realisation of essential human rights—including the rights to life and health—Human Rights Watch documents and exposes the human implications of environmental degradation. Though at an early stage in this work, Human Rights Watch has succeeded in bringing environment-related human rights violations to light, and has pressed decision-makers to amend abusive policies and practices. Human Rights Watch also monitors and documents repressive measures that governments take to address the social and economic consequences of environmental abuse, including brutal tactics they employ in resource-rich countries to quash local community protests against companies accused of environmental degradation.