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A green Quest to save the planet

By Producer Deborah Rivers
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(CNN) -- This month's Quest is all about 'going green.' Richard goes on a journey to meet those who are saving the environment. From California to Cameroon to the Congo basin, he assesses the plight of Planet Earth -- and those who occupy it.

Richard travels deep into central Africa in search of endangered species and to witness the destruction of the world's second largest rainforest.

Along the way, he stumbles across an enormous silverback gorilla, watches black and white Columbus monkeys at play in the tree tops and is charged by an angry elephant.

During a visit to a primate sanctuary in Cameroon, Richard meets a baby chimpanzee called Miko. The primate's friends at the sanctuary are mostly orphans from the commercial bush meat trade.

Richard tracks down a former poacher turned gamekeeper and asks him why wildlife is hunted so voraciously -- and what's being done to stop it.

To better understand the destruction of the world's rainforests, Richard links up with the World Wildlife Fund in Cameroon. He meets the owners of a commercial logging firm striving for sustainable forestry management.

But, after seeing truck after truck carting logs off to the marketplace, he wonders how long it will be before the world's rainforest are completely ravaged. Richard also meets some of the indigenous Baka Pygmies whose livelihoods are threatened.

Back in Blighty, Richard persuades the world-famous natural history presenter, Sir David Attenborough to reflect on his five-decade long career.

The legendary broadcaster has written and presented eight major television series, covering nearly every aspect of life on Earth. More than 500 million people tuned in to his latest series.

Richard discovers that what Sir David doesn't know about woodpeckers, earwigs, gorillas or bowerbirds just isn't worth knowing.

In California, Richard meets with celebrity eco-warrier Daryl Hannah. The Hollywood actress has caused much controversy with her conservation efforts -- including being arrested for 'tree-sitting' to protest plans to turn a green area into a building site.

Politicians too are vocal about the planet's woes. Richard chats to former U.S. vice-president Al Gore about his passion for green issues and why he's supporting Sir Richard Branson's latest initiative to reward scientists who find a way to extract carbon dioxide from the environment.

Finally, Richard reflects on what individuals, including himself, can do to make a difference. It involves baby Miko. To find out how, watch this month's 'Quest' for the Environment.


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Quest and new friends during this month's trip to central Africa.

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