Skip to content

CLIMATE REFUGEES

15/04/2011

According to the UN, by 2050 some 150 million people could be forced to relocate because of climate change. Since 2004, the French Argos collective of photographers has been seeking out the first victims of this phenomenon to help give faces to these global problems. Below are some of the results from their report.

The objectives of the work is to give voice to those who already suffer the consequences of these climate changes, and help start a discussion about solutions and bring attention to the urgency of the situation of those populations that are threatened by rising sea levels, the advance of the desert, earthquakes, the intensification of hurricanes or the melting of glaciers.

Crowded apartments, noise and pollution.With 90,000 people living on 1.9 sq. km., Malé, the capital of the Maldives, is one of the mostly densely populated cities in the world. The hope is to move 2 km away, to the artificial island of Hulhumale.

A villager of Pankhali washes herself in the water. The villagers build Mud homes which can collapse in the monsoon floods. This is totally normal for the people of Pankhali. Rising sea levels keep threatening the delicate balance of the area.

Pankhali Village wood taken from the mangroves now replaces the traditional fuel of cattle dung as the rice paddies have been replaced by prawn farms.

Because of global warming, the ice pack arrives later in the year and melts earlier. And the ice is thinner and thinner.

Since 1926, Langeness has been linked to the continent by a breakwater on which a little railway, the Lore, runs. Fiede Nissen takes it every morning to carry the mail.

The house where Mina Weyiouanna grew up, abandoned long ago, has just fallen over onto the beach. “I still remember playing dominoes with my grandfather,” she says with dignity. “Then, the house was still more than a hundred yards from the shore”.

Every Spring, storms sweep sand from the Gobi Desert to Longbaoshan and then Beijing. For days on end, the Chinese capital is covered in a dense fog and experiences dangerous peaks in pollution.

Every Spring, storms sweep sand from the Gobi Desert to Longbaoshan and then Beijing. For days on end, the Chinese capital is covered in a dense fog and experiences dangerous peaks in pollution.

A dried up section of Lake Chad near the village of Bol. Chad, May 2005.

Fishermen working in the deepest part of Lake Chad, which is now only 2 metres. Once the 4th largest lake in Africa, Lake Chad has lost 80% of its surface area over the past 30 years with the weakening of the monsoon. Chad April 2005.

In January 2007, abnormal heavy rains fell on the Maldives, in the middle of the dry season. Dengue, which ordinarily appears in June and July, broke out. And for the first time, the Chikungunya virus also appeared. The already saturated ground was unable to absorb the rains. The resulting puddles were a breeding ground for the mosquitoes.

Fishing is the 2nd largest industry in the Maldives. It is still practiced with traditional methods to protect the resources of the country. But the health of the fish depends on the coral which is threatened by global warming.

There are 2,000 islands in the Maldives archipelago, of which only 200 are inhabited. Far from the capital, Malé, and its protective sea walls, they are threatened by the rising sea levels and related erosion. The people from these islands will be the first climate refugees of the Maldives.

Afzan is 13. He lives in Thudi, on the island of Gan, in the southern Maldives. He lives with his mother and his seven brothers and sisters. His mother, Aminath, works as a cleaning attendant at the hospital in Thudi.

In the afternoon, Afzan sometimes helps her gather cowries, the little shells that once served as money. It takes Aminath several hours to collect one kilogram, which she will sell for one euro to a middleman. In Malé, the capital of the Maldives, a kilo of cowries sells for 100 euros to tourists.

With its 35.8 million cu. m. of water threatening to pour down into the valley of Khumbu, Imja, at an altitude of 5,010 m, is the most dangerous lake in Nepal.

Funafuti AtollFunafala Island is the extension of Funafula, this small atoll is at the mercy of the effects of global warming: more violent cyclones, erosion, rising sea levels.

Funafuti Atoll Fongafale Island – The lagoon is a like a living room without walls where people gather to chat in the evenings.

Funafuti AtollFongafale Island– Resigned to the coming changes to their environment, some Tuvaluans say they are ready to leave their island as soon as possible. Others want to stay as long as they can while some don’t exclude the possibility of drowning with their islands.

.

Source: French Argos Collective

.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: