The presenter’s latest documentary, Wild Caribbean, draws attention to a part of the world whose ecology is often overlooked.
“I’m my own competitor,” says Liz Bonnin. “The harder it gets, the more up for it I am.”
The BBC’s natural history presenter likes a challenge. During her career she has campaigned against single-use plastics and tried to chronicle the effects of climate change on California.
Most famously, in a Blue Planet Live broadcast that went viral, she maintained her composure when a seagull swooped down and made off with one of the soft baby turtles whose halting progress to the sea she was attempting to chronicle. Before she felt the call of wildlife, she even briefly attempted to be a pop star.
Her latest series, the four-part Wild Caribbean (BBC Two), presents another kind of challenge: how to draw attention to a part of the world whose ecology is often overlooked, but which is especially threatened by climate change. The series is her most personal to date. Bonnin’s mother was from Trinidad, her father from Martinique, and she spent many childhood holidays on those islands, which helped inspire her to study biology. Though the debate rumbles on as to whether Caribbean countries should receive climate reparations, Bonnin gives a more boots-on-the ground view: she says she was glad to be able to “give voices to brown people that often don’t get much airtime”.
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