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The Compass

Podcast The Compass
Podcast The Compass

The Compass


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  • Walking the Iron Curtain: Wild lands reunited
    In May 1952 East Germany sealed its entire border with the capitalist west. Over the next 37 years 75,000 people would be arrested trying to flee the Communist East and hundreds would die in the attempt. Today the barbed wire and machine guns are gone and the old border has been transformed into a protected wildlife zone. It's a home to lynx, wolf and wildcat and a vital corridor for migrating birds and mammals. Mary-Ann Ochota begins her journey along the old border, meeting the people doing their bit to turn a birdwatcher's fantasy into the world's longest nature reserve. (Photo: Mary-Ann Ochota walks the route of the Iron Curtain through central Germany)
  • Life on the line
    Ladakh is a region at the centre of the 50-year-long border dispute between India and China, which flared up again in June 2020. Journalist and broadcaster Ed Douglas speaks to local village leaders whose communities are struggling to preserve their lives and livelihoods amidst perpetual military unrest. He also speaks to former politicians and political experts about the consequences of what happens here for the wider geopolitical stability of Asia’s two biggest countries, and those caught in between. (Photo: Himalaya monks. Credit: Dinesh Deokota)
  • Saving Asia’s water towers
    If the Himalayan glaciers melt, a billion lives and whole ecosystems will be at risk. Journalist and broadcaster Ed Douglas joins innovative community projects in Ladakh and Nepal looking to mitigate the impact of climate change now and in the future. Their success or failure will determine the future environmental security beyond their local region, to all of Asia. Presenter: Ed Douglas Producer: Clem Hitchcock Editor: Susan Marling A Just Radio production for BBC World Service (Photo: A valley in the Himalaya mountain. Credit: Ed Douglas)
  • High lives
    Spanning five countries, the Himalaya is home to peoples who have adapted to living in the harshest of conditions. Journalist and broadcaster Ed Douglas, author of the first major history of the Himalaya has been visiting these remote communities for 30 years. Now they are opening up to him about the challenges of living on the roof of the world. Ed's friends from the Sherpa and Rai groups in Nepal reveal how genetically and practically they have evolved to be able to live long term at such altitudes and how seismic political and economic shifts in lands far below are forcing fundamental changes in their way of life up above. Ed also reveals the often overlooked cultures and achievements of the diverse ethnic groups that make up this region including interviews with artists, musicians and record breaking athletes. Presenter: Ed Douglas Producer: Clem Hitchcock A Just Radio Ltd production for BBC World Service (Photo: A Nepali woman in the mountains. Credit: Dinesh Deokota)
  • Money, money, money: Power
    Do we still have faith in money? Trust expert and fellow at the Said Business School at Oxford University, Rachel Botsman, investigates the shifting power plays in the global management of money, gathering pressures towards decentralisation and optimism in the world of finance. Presenter: Rachel Botsman Producer: Frank Stirling and Leo Schick A Storyglass production for the BBC World Service (Photo: A man uses contactless payment with QR code in supermarket. Crdit: Getty Images)

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