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Mongabay’s 10 most popular videos of 2023

  • Our top 10 videos for 2023 range from various Mongabay series, including “Chasing Deforestation,” “Consumed,” “Mongabay Sessions,” and “Mongabay Explains,” to engaging webinars and short documentaries.
  • The top three videos with the highest viewership focused on sustainable farming in different parts of the world.
  • Join us as we rewatch the most popular videos of the past year on Mongabay’s YouTube channel.

In 2023, Mongabay released a wide variety of videos, from in-depth investigative series and informative explainers to captivating short documentaries highlighting unique conservation stories from across the globe. And judging by our top three videos of the year, it’s clear that our audience has a keen interest in learning about sustainable farming.

As a token of appreciation for everyone who collaborated with the video team over the past year, we present Mongabay’s compilation of the top 10 videos from 2023.

1. This community rebuilt its farms with sustainable methods in the Philippines

After the devastating floods of 2004 in Kiday, Philippines, we follow the community’s journey to resilience as they rebuild their farms through the adoption of agroecology and agroforestry practices to restore and sustain their agricultural landscape:

This community rebuilt its farms with sustainable methods in the Philippines

2. Vietnamese farmers trying high-tech solutions to grow rice with less water

Rice farmers in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam are addressing climate change and water scarcity challenges through an innovative approach called alternate wetting and drying (AWD). AWD offers hope for farmers to continue rice production while conserving water and reducing greenhouse gas emissions:

Vietnamese farmers trying high-tech solutions to grow rice with less water

3. Meet the farmers in southeastern Spain fighting desertification

The southeastern region of Spain is experiencing the northward encroachment of the Sahara Desert, leading to reduced rainfall and soil degradation. In response, local farmers have adopted regenerative agriculture, making them better equipped to withstand prolonged droughts and intense rainfall, thereby safeguarding the longevity and sustainability of their agricultural heritage:

Meet the farmers in southeastern Spain fighting desertification

4. Mongabay Explains: Why you should care about bottom trawling?

This “Mongabay Explains” episode focuses on bottom trawling, a controversial fishing technique where a net is dragged across the seafloor to capture bottom-dwelling marine life. Objections to this method have been raised since the 14th century, initially by fishers using alternative gear and later joined by conservationists and scientists. This video delves into the complexities of bottom trawling and explores the reasons why it’s so contentious:

Why you should care about bottom trawling? #MongabayExplains

5. Consumed: What is the environmental impact of wheat?

Wheat, a staple crop cultivated for about 10,000 years, is the focus of this episode of Mongabay’s “Consumed” series. The video explores the environmental impact of wheat, shedding light on its implications:

What is the environmental impact of wheat? #Consumed

6. Mongabay Sessions: Meet the Oscars 2023 Best Short Documentary director, Kartiki Gonsalves

In this episode of “Mongabay Sessions,” Romi Castagnino speaks with director Kartiki Gonsalves about her Oscar-winning film, The Elephant Whisperers. The short documentary tells the story of an Indian couple dedicated to nurturing an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu, showcasing an extraordinary and unique family bond:

Meet the Oscars 2023 Best Short Documentary director, Kartiki Gonsalves | Mongabay Sessions

7. Chasing Deforestation: The truth about Cambodia’s Prey Lang sanctuary

Cambodia faces a severe deforestation crisis, particularly in Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, which has one of the world’s highest deforestation rates. In the latest episode of “Chasing Deforestation,” host Romi Castagnino sends Mongabay reporter Gerry Flynn on a mission to find out what’s happening inside the supposedly protected area:

The truth about Cambodia’s Prey Lang sanctuary | Chasing Deforestation

8. Mongabay Webinar: Investigating Supply Chains & Products

This Mongabay webinar panel features journalists and data experts focused on monitoring and reporting on the supply chain of global market commodities. This webinar is for those interested in pitching a story idea to Mongabay:

Investigating Supply Chains & Products | Mongabay Webinars

9. ShortDoc: Rice as a peace offering in India’s human-elephant conflict capital

Assam state in northeastern India faces a high rate of human-elephant conflict as both sides contend for space and resources. The nonprofit organization Hati Bondhu is working with farmers to foster a more peaceful coexistence. This documentary by Mongabay and Mongabay India, in collaboration with One World Media, captures Hati Bondhu’s efforts to address this complex issue by dedicating specific fields to growing rice for elephants:

Rice as a peace offering in India’s human-elephant conflict capital

10. Shorts: Migrating orangutan males imitate locals to learn about food

This short video delves into how male orangutans relocating to a new area exhibit a behavior called “peering,” where they imitate the actions of a local individual to enhance their chances of survival:

Migrating orangutan males imitate locals to learn about food

Banner image: 66-year-old Virginia Nazareno, a farmer-leader and activist with Kiday Farmers Community Association and nonprofit MASIPAG, is among the leading agroecology advocates in the Philippines. Image by Keith Anthony S. Fabro for Mongabay.

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