Picturesque Easter Island is most famous for its hundreds of giant statues carved from stone. But what many don’t know is that this bare, isolated island was once a lush paradise with a thriving culture that nearly vanished. Original settlers, known as Rapa Nui, would eventually cut down every tree on the island depleting it of all wood. The society essentially destroyed itself by over-exploiting its own resources. Very few Rapa Nui remain, but there are attempts to preserve their past while preparing for the future.
CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs explores the island paradise’s past and future.