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City Life Series
Paradise Domain

Pacific islanders are not benefiting from digital windfall or World Wide Web.

A printer-friendly version of this page 27 minutes
Directed by Joost de Haas
Produced by Television Trust for the Environment
Directed and produced by Joost de Haas
Series Editor: Jenny Richards
Series Producer: Luke Gawin

What's in a name? To a tiny nation in the South Pacific, plenty. The country is Tuvalu, and thanks to the Internet domain name registry, Tuvalu looked as if it might be about to hit pay dirt.

Tuvalu is a string of coral rocks in the South Pacific: nine low-lying islands that make up one of the world's smallest, most isolated countries. Largely unknown to tourists, Tuvalu and its 9,000 people suffer from underdevelopment and a lack of jobs. It is a country so poor that four out of five fishermen are lost every year because they can not afford compasses for their boats. Other than fishing, people get by harvesting coconuts -- pretty much the only thing the soil will grow.

But Tuvalu had one valuable asset: its coveted domain name -- dot tv. In 1999, the prime minister determined to capitalize on this by selling the name to an American company -- in exchange for several million dollars and access to the new wired-up world. But who's benefiting most? -- the Tuvalu islanders themselves, used to a relaxed, Pacific way of life with few modern conveniences, or the US corporation?

The producer of this program has collected extensive resources at

The other titles in the series are:

1. City Life - Explores Sao Paolo in introduction to series examining the effects of globalization on people and cities.

2. The Long March - Community in Chengdu, China has organized to clean-up polluted river.

3. The Health Protestors - Health care advocates demand universal health care for the world's population at international convention in Dhaka.

4. Together Against Violence - Poor Jamaican community overcomes violence.

6. Pavements of Gold - Increase in urban poverty and population, caused by globalization, threatens Peruvians.

7. Doing the Right Thing - Porto Alegre, Brazil has benefited from urban revitalization.

8. My Mother Built This House - Large homeless contingent in South Africa has organized to build houses for each other.

9. Barcelona Blueprint - Barcelona today is a model of urban planning that may prove sustainable.

10. Gaza Under Siege - The Gaza Strip has been a virtual prison for Palestinians for over fifty years.

11. Waiting to Go - Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are denied human rights.

12. A Fistful of Rice - Protein deficiency threatens generations of children in Nepal.

13. Patently Obvious - International patent regulations only protect multinationals.

14. The Other Side - Poor Mexicans attempt perilous border crossing to US, often at the expense of family, traditional culture, and their lives.

15. The Miller's Tale: Bread Is Life - Efforts are underway in Egypt and Yemen to fortify flour with iron to wipe out needless malnutrition.

16. Brazil: Winning Against AIDS - Brazil has developed generic antiretroviral drugs to care for those afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

17. Missing Out - Anemia threatens the population of Niger and Tanzania.

18. Stop the Traffick - Investigates horror of child sex industry in Cambodia.

19. My Hanoi - Tour of rapidly urbanizing Hanoi, and the effect on citizens and culture.

20. Lines in the Dust - In revolutionary programs in Northern Ghana and India, gender roles are challenged, and illiterate adults educated.

21. Paying the Price - Pharmaceutical companies block generic drugs, threatening the lives of millions of Africans with AIDS.

22. Holy Smoke: Cambodians Fight Tobacco - Buddhist monks lead anti-tobacco campaign in Cambodia.

Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2002     Copyright Date: 2001
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-138-X     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-931-2

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Paradise Domain

Links (The producer's web site) (Producer's resources)

Developing World
Global Issues
International Studies
Pacific Studies


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