Former president of the United States Barack Obama is set to host an upcoming nature docuseries on Netflix. Called Our Great National Parks, the program aims to showcase the many natural wonders of the world, including its diverse animal inhabitants. And, to educate the public on why protecting our planet is more important than ever.
The five-part series – executive produced by Blue Planet II filmmaker James Honeyborne – will take viewers across five continents.
According to Netflix, Our Great National Parks “beckons us to get out and explore, create new ways for these wild places to thrive, and vigorously preserve them for future generations to come.”
Launching on the streaming platform gives the nature documentary a solid chance of reaching the masses; Netflix currently attracts more than 220 million paid memberships.
“A fish that can walk. Surfing hippos that want to catch the waves. Species found nowhere else on earth,” Obama says in the docuseries trailer.
“When humanity started to protect these wild places, we did not realize how important they would become. They’re a haven for endangered species and a hotbed for scientific research.”
“This is a journey through the natural wonders of our shared birthright,” he adds, inviting viewers to “join me in this celebration of our planet’s greatest national parks and wilderness.”
Barack Obama’s environmental efforts
Obama’s involvement in the series (as narrator but also executive producer) is apt, given his previous commitments to environmental protection.
The 60-year-old Democrat placed 548 million acres of habitat under protection during his eight years in office – more than any other president in US history.
He helped establish the two largest marine reserves on the planet, as well as the second largest desert reserve. And when Obama expanded the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by 12 million acres, he blocked oil and gas companies’ drilling operations.
Coral reefs, canyons, deserts, and mountains are some of the wild spaces that benefited from his presidency, as well as the countless species who live there.
Obama also issued the Presidential Climate Action Plan, which aimed to cut carbon emissions, promote more eco-friendly fuel sources, and increase research into the climate crisis. It also planned to build and improve hospitals and modernize infrastructure to better withstand the effects of climate breakdown.
However, the plan was revoked by Donald Trump in 2016 on his first day as president, naming it “unnecessary.”
All five episodes of Our Great National Parks will be available to stream on Netflix from April 13, 2022.