The documentaries were a year in the making and chronicle separate investigations into whaling, illegal logging and the ivory trade, following clues and gathering evidence in countries as diverse as Iceland, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, China and Kenya.
• Hunt for the Whalers – Thursday, December 15 at 8pm GMT
Only a handful of countries still practice industrial whaling; Iceland is one of them, pursuing endangered fin whales in order to turn a profit. But rumours have persisted that there is a lack of demand for this whale meat in both Iceland and Japan, its main export market. With this in mind, EIA investigators pack their hidden cameras and attempt to locate and understand the driving force behind the trade.
• The Real Chainsaw Massacre – Thursday, December 22 at 8pm GMT
EIA’s undercover agents head to Laos and Vietnam for a new investigation into the notoriously dangerous timber trade. Vietnam is fast becoming a major global player in the timber industry but, with little of its own forest left, it is largely dependent on importing timber from other countries. EIA suspects much of this timber is being taken illegally from South-East Asia’s rapidly declining tropical rainforests and will stop at nothing to expose this devastating environmental crime which has the potential to affect us all.
• Blood Ivory Smugglers – Thursday, December 29 at 8pm GMT
The EIA team heads to Kenya, Hong Kong and China to investigate the world of elephant poaching and the international ivory trade. Following claims of an upsurge in poaching and ivory smuggling, EIA wants to establish firsthand what’s really going on. Visiting Kenya’s national parks, it documents the horrific reality of elephant poaching, and in China its covert investigations discover startling revelations about how the ivory smuggling underworld works.
“With powerful and haunting images, criminals caught in the act by hidden filming and courageous investigators operating on the dangerous front lines of environmental crime, these films dramatically show viewers just how much a small but tightly focused and endlessly dedicated organisation can achieve,” said EIA Executive Director Mary Rice, who leads the investigation in Blood Ivory Smugglers.
The three films premiered on Nat Geo Wild in the USA in September under the collective title of Crimes Against Nature. They are currently being shown on Nat Geo Asia and are expected to be rolled out in Europe and elsewhere next year.