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Back to Our Future

Episode 2

A 4-part global documentary series exploring climate and ecosystem restoration and how we can return the climate to a state in which all life can thrive

'Blue carbon on a blue planet'

 A conversation starter on the value of including Abu Dhabi's coastal mangrove restoration work

 in episode two of the global documentary series, Back to Our Future

Profiling UAE Coastal Ecosystems Restoration

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40% of the world's population live in coastal communities, and up to 1 billion people may be directly affected by increasing storm surges and sea level rise. 

Mangrove forests address both Climate Restoration (removal of historic CO2 emissions which otherwise remain in the atmosphere for millennia) and Ecosystem Restoration. They can be ten times more efficient than trees at sequestering carbon - most of the sequestered carbon remains in the roots and surrounding soil sediment.  They also act as a major natural defense against increasing storm frequency and intensity.

Current episode content:

  • Ocean systems and how they became depleted

  • Natural methods of sequestration through seaweed

  • Climate restoration via kelp cultivation

  • Climate restoration through sargassum

  • Imagining the future 

  • Funding and employment 

  • How nature used to fertilize oceans – Sahara dust & whales 

  • The key players on current research

  • Restoring fertile oceans

Integrating UAE Coastal Ecosystems Restoration

Covering the mangrove initiative could include the following elements:


  • The importance to UAE and the world of establishing major mangrove initiatives

  • Overview of the importance of mangroves and their role in climate repair

  • Example of other significant mangrove forests: e.g. Cispatá Bay Mangrove Forest, Colombia

  • Location recording of Abu Dhabi's mangroves

  • Interviews with Emirati or regional conservation specialists

  • Interviews with funding organizations - why this is an important initiative to fund

  • Interviews with global mangrove specialists 

Profiling UAE Coastal Ecosystems Restoration

Current episode elements


Based in Cancún, Mexico, their mission is to remove beached sargassum before it emits powerful methane, and convert it to products that replace petrochemical products.


Based in the UK and Puerto Rico, their mission is to work with sargassum while it is still at sea. Similar aims to CarbonWave, but on a different scale.

Climate Foundation

Based in Australia and the Philippines, their multi-mission agenda focuses on ocean permaculture and carbon capture. Winner of the XPrize competition, their system of kelp scaffolds in strong upwelling system is designed to capture carbon and support local coastal economies.

Puget Sound Restoration Fund

Based in Seattle, Washington State, their mission focuses on coastal restoration that promotes regrowth of major blue-carbon and storm-attenuation assets, such as kelp forests.

Ocean Iron Fertilization

Past experiments in 2008 by the Alfred-Wegener-Institute in the South Atlantic, and currently by the Scripps Institute and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, explore the viability of fertilizing areas of the oceans with iron - something that nature uses to remove CO2. Is it possible to accelerate the process at scale to help restore the climate?

Existing interviewees:

Professor Victor Smetecek

is a senior Hungarian/Indian marine ecologist in Germany who led early scientific trials on ocean iron fertilization

Dr. Jodie Toft

is a senior US marine ecologist discussing the value of ocean restoration and kelp forests as tools for CO2 sequestration

Prof. Durwood Zaelke

negotiated the Montreal Protocol on ozone, the world's most effective environmental treaty. He is a veteran Norwegian-US governance and policy strategist on the climate and pollutants

David Sivapradash

Is MD and partner at BCG, leading the firm's climate and sustainability work in SE Asia. He is a foremost authority on mangroves and their role in coastal resilience

Professor Sir David King

was the UK's chief scientist and climate negotiator for four successive administrations. Founder of the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University, Sir David is a recognized global climate risk authority 

Dr. Chris Tucker

is a geopolitical scientist and chair of the American Geographical Society. An expert on climate and sustainability risk and resilience, he is negotiating funding for scientific testing, upscaling and monitoring of marine climate removal technologies

Trailer Three: the children's trailer

Trailer Two: featuring Peter Coyote

Global distributor

Recorded on location across six continents, Back to Our Future explores the evolving science of nature-based climate restoration, and its relationship with ecosystem restoration. But it's never been just about the science.  In this documentary series, cutting-edge science meets wisdom to develop sustainable solutions, for a sustainable future for all.

Project status

Two thirds of the series has been recored, and post production is well underway. Episode one, an overview of the subject and a focus on methane as our most urgent intervention, will be completed by early June. 

Trailer One: presented at COP 27 





John Bowey



+1 360 712 9919

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