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Inside Volcano: A Journey in the Cent...
Reykjavik
By Steven Wassenaar
31 Jul 2014

Iceland: a journey in the center of the Earth

A journey to the centre of the Earth

Who has ever dreamt of exploring the centre of the Earth? In Iceland, this dream

came true. For two years, a team of mountain-climbers and engineers has

designed an open cable lift, which goes down inside volcano 130 meters deep.

Located an hour’s drive from the capital Reykjavik, the Thrihnukagigur is the only

dormant volcano in the world which has an old magma chamber, an

underground pool where the lava used to gush during eruptions (the last known

eruption took place 4,000 years ago), that can be visited. Discovered in 1991 by

the Icelandic spelunker Arni Stefansson, the ground space is equivalent to

almost three full-size basketball courts. The height is such that it would be easily

fit a 40-storey building. When Arni went to the bottom of the volcano for the first

time with a cheap rope and a motorcycle helmet, he never imagined finding such

a treasure, “No one had ever seen a place like this before. The magma chamber

is often referred to as the heart of a volcano. It’s there that the liquid rock waits to

find a way through the surface, causing a volcanic eruption. This volcano is a

rare exception because the magma seems to have disappeared.” Inside the lift,

secured by two cables tied up to the crater, the alighting starts. It is not suitable

for those who suffer from vertigo. After seven minutes, we begin the exploration

inside the bowels of the Earth. We are alone inside the world in a science fiction

setting. On the walls, sculpted by the lava, the yellow, black and red colors look

like Hell. Inside the Thrihnukagigur, the molten rock could reach temperatures

over 1000 degrees. The temperature is now more clement (8 degrees all year

long) but there is neither fauna nor flora, just a mineral chaos with basaltic rocks.

“During the last eruption, we assume that there was a huge landslide that

recovered the chamber and pulled the magma deep in the Earth”, Arni says. Has

the Thrihnukagigur revealed all its secrets? Most probably not. After an hour

visiting the volcano, it’s time to rise to the surface and dream that one day we

can go down deeper.

Islande : un voyage au centre de la Terre

Qui n’a jamais rêvé d’explorer le centre de la Terre ? En Islande, ce rêve est devenu réalité. Depuis deux ans, une équipe d’alpinistes et d’ingénieurs a mis au point un système d’ascenseur, permettant de descendre à l’intérieur d’un volcan. Situé à une heure de route de la capitale Reykjavik, le Thrihnukagigur (qui signifie les trois cratères) est le seul volcan au monde où il est possible de visiter l’ancienne chambre magmatique. Grâce à une nacelle qui descend à 130 mètres de profondeur, i lest aujourd’hui possible d’accéder à l’endroit où se formait la lave il y a 4000 ans, date de la dernière éruption. Découvert en 1974 par Arni Stefansson, un spéléologue amateur, la largeur du site équivaut à trois terrains de basketball et sa hauteur, à un immeuble de 40 étages. Lorsqu’il est descendu au fond du volcan pour la première fois, munit seulement d’une simple corde et d’un casque de moto il y a 40 ans, Arni Stefansson était loin d’imaginer découvrir un tel trésor: “On n’avait jamais rien vu de pareil. La taille de la chambre magmatique était immense. Ceci n’existe nulle part ailleurs sur Terre”, dit-il. A l’intérieur de la nacelle, arrimée par deux filins à l’entrée du cratère, la descente commence. Il ne faut pas avoir le vertige. Un gouffre noir, profond, silencieux, effrayant; voilà la première vision de cette exploration dans les entrailles de la Terre. Après sept minutes de descente, nous foulons enfin le sol volcanique sur lequel personne, auparavant, n’aurait imaginé marcher. Nous voilà seuls au monde dans un décor de science-fiction. Les parois rouges, ocres, jaunes les noirs temoignent de l’enfer qui régnait jadis à l’intérieur du Thrihnukagigur. En fusion, le magma pouvait dépasser les 1000 degrés. La température y est aujourd’hui plus clémente - 8 degrés toute l’année - mais aucune vie n’y subsiste : ni faune ni flore, juste un chaos minéral de roches basaltiques. « Lors de la dernière éruption, on suppose qu’il y eut un gigantesque éboulement qui recouvra la chambre et entraîna le magma dans les profondeurs terrestres », confie Arni Stefansson. Le Thrihnukagigur a-t-il livré tous ses secrets ? Probablement pas. Après une heure d’exploration, il est déjà temps de remonter à la surface et rêver qu’un jour, on puisse descendre encore plus profondément.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 3
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
15 Nov 2013

A permanent road block in Ierissos, where people, citizens and activist surveile the entrance of Ierissos to prevent police attack.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 2
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
15 Nov 2013

Activists preparing the location for an antigold solidarity concert in Ierissos.

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Coastal Lagoon Clean-up on Earth Day ...
Coastal Lagoon, Las Pinas, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
20 Apr 2013

There is still garbage at the coastal lagoon due to improper waste disposal of the residents living near Manila Bay.

Two years ago, the coastline Coastal Lagoon, officially known as the Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), more popularly known as Freedom Island is covered with thick garbage and rubbish. Thru the efforts of Wild Birds Club of the Philippines, Save Freedom Island Movement and various environmental NGO’s helped in cleaning the coastal bay and as a result, the coastal lagoon is almost clean now.
The clean-up event at Freedom Island (Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism area) on April 20, 2013, Saturday, is in celebration of Earth Day which is observed in more than 192 countries every year to promote awareness and appreciation of our environment and to demonstrate support for its protection and restoration.

Freedom Island is the last remaining mangrove frontier in Metro Manila that serves as a sanctuary for avian, terrestrial and marine species. It is home for more than 80 species of migratory and endemic birds, including the already vulnerable Chinese Egret and Philippine Duck. The mangrove ecosystem also serves as a feeding, nesting and nursery grounds for commercially important fish, prawns, mollusks, crabs and shellfish where livelihoods of coastal communities depend. By this virtue, it has been declared as a critical habitat by Proclamation 1412 in 2007 and, also, been recently included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

However, threats against the bird sanctuary’s existence, such as the controversial reclamation project, relentless dumping of waste and pollution, continue to remain. Thus, more action from the people is needed to protect and restore it.

Said coastal clean-up event is not only a campaign to inspire people to clean up their surroundings but a show of an alarming concern about further environmental depletion. It serves as a call to action to all citizens to take part in saving the environment, as well as a call to the government to act upon the garbage problem and to stop all disastrous reclamation projects. (Source: http://www.facebook.com/events/362286580548042/?fref=ts)

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Children of the guaranà 01
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
27 Mar 2013

The SaterŽ-MawŽ tribe lives in the region of the mid Amazon River, on the border between Amazonas and Par‡ states. Inventors of the "Guaran‡ culture", the tribe domesticated this wild fruit and created its processing method, thanks to which Guaran‡ is known and consumed all over the world.

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Children of the guaranà 02
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
27 Mar 2013

Known as to locals as "the Children of Guaran‡" the Satere-Mawe indians still maintain their traditional way of planting and using guaran‡, for example as medicine or their ritual drink.

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Children of the guaranà 04
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
27 Mar 2013

Pedro, 33, a SaterŽ-MawŽ indian who patrols the forest: "Illegal logging can be hard to tackle. Logging happens deep in the forest, far from the eyes of the world but GPS tracking technology and satellite surveillance means we can find out where loggers are and what kind of timber they want. We are tracking 560 hectares of virgin forest with new technologies, hopefully we will stop illegal logging here."

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Children of the guaranà 12
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
27 Mar 2013

Kennedy, 24, defends his land from illegal timber extraction. He is part of an international project with local partners. This project in the Satere-MawŽ area was created to support the local communities and to prevent illegal timber extraction by increasing daily surveillance, mapping forest resources and through a series of initiatives to raise awareness and environmental education. Indigenous and other local forest communities have seen their land seized, their lifestyles destroyed, and their livelihoods stolen. The US is the largest market for timber exported from Brazil. While Americans buy massive quantities of wood, often taken illegally from forests, to construct floors, outdoor paths, and piers, local people and activists working to protect the Amazon are being assassinated and kept quiet through intimidation.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 21
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Activists outside the Court of Poligiros during a trial against the antigold movement.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 22
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

View of Ammouliani island from Ouranopoli, 10 km far from Ierissos.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 23
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Asterix and Obelix banner in a road block in Ierissos surveilled by the antigold movement.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 25
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

The beach of Stratoni and the mines infrastructure. In december 2012, more than half a mile of the bay, known for its large sandy beaches, clear waters, and abundant fishing, was streaked with pollution leaked from Stratoni.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 26
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Asterix and Obelix banner in a road block in Ierissos surveilled by the antigold movement.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 29
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Since April 2013 there are two road blocks in Ierissos, surveilled 24h by activists.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 30
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

The police station in Ierissos burned in April 2013, after a police operation to arrest some activist in the village. Since April 2013 the police didn't come to Ierissos.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 5
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Skouries forest, where the El Dorado Gold company is building a new gold mine

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 6
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

An activist during a demonstration in Skouries forest, to protest against the installation of a new gold mine by El Dorado Gold, a canadian company.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 7
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Skouries forest, where the El Dorado Gold company is building a new gold mine

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 9
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Activist preparing the traditional souvlaki during a solidarity event in Ierissos.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 10
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Child play during the solidarity music festival in Ierissos this summer.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 11
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Two elderly people stand in front an antigold banner in Ierissos.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 12
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

The centre of Ierissos, a small village in Halkidiki with around 3,000 inhabitants.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 13
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Katerina Igglezi, a member of Greek Parliament with the Coalition of the Left (SYRIZA) in her office in Ierissos.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 14
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Graffiti against the gold mines in Ouranopoli, the last village before the Monte Athos territory.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 15
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Graffiti against the gold mines in Ouranopoli, the last village before the Monte Athos territory.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 17
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

A road block situated in one of the main entrance of Ierissos, a small village without police station since it has burned in April 2013.

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Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 19
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Activists are waiting for the trial in Poligiros where a couple of women are accused of violence and resistance against a police officer.

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Children of the guaranà 03
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
26 Mar 2013

The Andir‡ river by night. The SaterŽ-MawŽ live in the region of the mid Amazon River, on the border between Brazil's two biggest states Amazonas and Par‡.

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Children of the guaranà 05
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
26 Mar 2013

It's a long trip to reach the SaterŽ-MawŽ reserve: one hour flight from Manaus to Parintins, the closest city, then an 8 hour trip by riverboat.

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Children of the guaranà 18
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
24 Mar 2013

Every year since 1995, residents of Guaranatuba village and some communities and volunteers from NGOs gather to celebrate the harvest of guaran‡ fruit, known worldwide for its high energy value. During two days of celebration, locals enjoy small performances by folks artists and musical performances to mark the event.

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Children of the guaranà 20
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
24 Mar 2013

A MawŽ girl listens intently to a speech about indigenous rights and the fair trade economy.

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Children of the guaranà 16
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
24 Mar 2013

A MawŽ woman prepares food and a guaran‡ drink at home. Guaran‡ is the daily, ritual and religious beverage, and it is drunk in large quantities by adults and children alike.