As thousands of people are moved in the evacuation of the area around the Taal volcano in the Philippines, Ecuador - which has more than 20 active volcanoes - is looking at how to protect people there.
A scientist based in Quito has designed a system to forecast dangerous activity. The Red Cross is working closely with him, so they can now warn people of potential disaster further in advance - giving a bigger time window in which to move themselves and livestock, and get medical backup in place.
It is part of a radical rethink in the way humanitarian aid is delivered, using forecasts to give people more warning and help them prepare before nature strikes. But funding a project like this means asking donors to donate cash to a disaster which may never happen.
Reporter Jo Mathys
(Photo credit: Red Cross)
The pharmacists fighting high drug prices
If you had a rare disease and the only drug that could help you suddenly shot up in price how would you feel? What if your health service or insurer decided it was too expensive and they wouldn’t fund it any more? This is the problem facing some patients in the Netherlands.
In order to encourage pharmaceutical companies to invest in developing drugs for rare diseases, the EU allows them to have a 10-year monopoly. The number of these drugs has risen as a result, but the way the rules are written has created a problem. Pharma companies have been able to re-register old drugs that were used for other diseases and then, with their legal monopoly, raise the price significantly.
While some countries might accept the price rise, the Netherlands hasn’t, and small-scale pharmacists there are stepping in. They’re making small quantities of some of the drugs themselves and giving them to patients, at a fraction of the cost.
People Fixing the World hears from the patients, pharmacists and big pharma companies who are trying to find a way forward.
Reporter: Charlotte Horn
(Photo Credit: Marleen Kemper)
How to move the Earth
Using lasers or asteroids to move our planet away from the sun may sound extreme, but a few scientists have come up with plans to do just that.
The sun’s power is slowly increasing. Over the next billion years or so, the extra energy is going to boil off the oceans and make the earth inhospitable.
Given the timescales involved, you might think this is someone else’s problem. But such is the human enthusiasm for problem-solving, potential solutions have been found - from shooting asteroids past the Earth to creating a gigantic solar sail.
We meet the scientists who are trying to figure out how to save the planet from the sun.
Presenter: Kat Hawkins
Reporter: Tom Colls
Image: The Earth in space. Credit: Getty Images
Checking in with the problem solvers
Catch up with the goats fighting forest fires in Spain and discover where else in the world they’re being used. This programme looks at what happened next to some of the people and projects we have featured in past episodes. We also revisit a scheme in Greece that’s helping people give their leftover medicines to those who can’t afford to buy them. And we check in with Majd Mashharawi who had found a way of creating brand new concrete blocks using ash and the rubble from old buildings.
Image credit: Getty Images
Making your deliveries greener
We look at four clever ways to reduce carbon emissions from deliveries. Shops, offices, restaurants and homes all get lots of them every day, and this so-called “last mile” in the logistics chain can be responsible for up to 50% of our goods’ shipping carbon footprint… so what can we do to reduce it?
While technology may provide part of the answer, there are also ways to radically reorganise the flow of stuff into cities. William Kremer looks at four innovative projects which attempt to solve the problem by grouping parcels together more intelligently.
There are things we can all do about this problem too - William also has some tips for you to reduce the carbon cost of your deliveries.
Reporter: William Kremer
Picture: Getty Images