Green Gold

It's possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems

Official film description

For more than 15 years, cameraman and ecologist John D. Liu has been working on his worldwide mission to green deserts and to restore biodiversity. The environmental film maker documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the enormous benefits for people and planet of undertaking these efforts globally.

It all started in 1995 when Liu filmed the Loess-plateau in China. He witnessed a local population who turned an area of almost the same size as The Netherlands from a dry, exhausted wasteland into one green oasis. This experience changed his life. From that moment on, Liu has been travelling all over the world to convince and inspire government leaders, policy-makers and farmers with his film material and knowledge. Liu diligently spreads the message that restoration of ecosystems is not only possible, but also economically very meaningful.

Rating from our film jury

By showing how degraded ecosystems can be regenerated, "Green Gold“ sends out a very positive message and treats a topic that has rarely been documented.

The film sees environment as an ecological basis and source of live and makes contexts clear. "Green Gold“ displays a good journalistic performance and a high documentation quality. However, the film doesn’t present the topic from different perspectives.

Taking into account the dynamical development of the earth’s system, „Green Gold“ highlights the impact of human activities on the planet as well as on our lives. The film contains many empirical examples but lacks to explain facts and figures in detail.

"Green Gold“ is not very inspiring: the film neither encourages us to take action nor does it raise our sense of responsibility.

The film is not very well structured and at some points even a little boring. Film editing, camerawork and soundtrack don’t stand out.

Further reviews

This video is not just a tale of hope, it’s evidence of hope — it’s proof that we do not need to give in to apathy, despair and an "eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" mentality. Instead, we see we have the simple solutions right in front of us. The only challenge is the people systems to make it happen — education and fostering collaboration. – Permaculture News

Technical information and screening rights...

Director(s): Rob van Hattum, John D. Liu
Production: Marie Schutgens, VPRO
Actors: John D. Liu, Geoff Lawton
Year: 2012
Duration: 47 min
Language (audio): English
Country of origin: Netherlands
Shooting Locations: China, Ethiopia, Jordan, Rwanda, Bolivia
Our age recommendation: 16

More information...

Links & documents


  • This film can be watched for free at the top.


Main topic(s): Permaculture
Secondary topics: regeneration forest water cycle
Mentions: permaculture ecosystems environment China Africa planet globalization mud sandstorms Ethiopia Rwanda climate change Jordan deforestation reforestation
Topic Page(s): Permaculture Positive Films



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Scientific & journalistic quality

Transfer of a momentum

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