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Colombia’s Internally Displaced Perso...
Bogota, Colombia
By Natalia Margarita
17 Mar 2013

With over 4 million of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Colombia is among the top three countries of the world with the highest rates of internal displacement. Afro-descendants have been one of the communities most affected by Colombia’s inner armed conflict. Seeking for security, shelter and a way to make a living, over 7.000 afro-Colombians have arrived in Bogota’s neighborhood El Oasis. Through music and dancing they have found a way to deal with their problems and heal the wounds from violence.

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Colombia’s Internally Displaced Perso...
Bogota, Colombia
By Natalia Margarita
17 Mar 2013

With over 4 million of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Colombia is among the top three countries of the world with the highest rates of internal displacement. Afro-descendants have been one of the communities most affected by Colombia’s inner armed conflict. Seeking for security, shelter and a way to make a living, over 7.000 afro-Colombians have arrived in Bogota’s neighborhood El Oasis. Through music and dancing they have found a way to deal with their problems and heal the wounds from violence.

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Colombia’s Internally Displaced Perso...
Bogota, Colombia
By Natalia Margarita
17 Mar 2013

With over 4 million of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Colombia is among the top three countries of the world with the highest rates of internal displacement. Afro-descendants have been one of the communities most affected by Colombia’s inner armed conflict. Seeking for security, shelter and a way to make a living, over 7.000 afro-Colombians have arrived in Bogota’s neighborhood El Oasis. Through music and dancing they have found a way to deal with their problems and heal the wounds from violence.

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Colombia’s Internally Displaced Perso...
Bogota, Colombia
By Natalia Margarita
17 Mar 2013

With over 4 million of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Colombia is among the top three countries of the world with the highest rates of internal displacement. Afro-descendants have been one of the communities most affected by Colombia’s inner armed conflict. Seeking for security, shelter and a way to make a living, over 7.000 afro-Colombians have arrived in Bogota’s neighborhood El Oasis. Through music and dancing they have found a way to deal with their problems and heal the wounds from violence.

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Colombia’s Internally Displaced Perso...
Bogota, Colombia
By Natalia Margarita
17 Mar 2013

With over 4 million of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Colombia is among the top three countries of the world with the highest rates of internal displacement. Afro-descendants have been one of the communities most affected by Colombia’s inner armed conflict. Seeking for security, shelter and a way to make a living, over 7.000 afro-Colombians have arrived in Bogota’s neighborhood El Oasis. Through music and dancing they have found a way to deal with their problems and heal the wounds from violence.

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Women in Syria: Azaz Makeshift Refuge...
Azaz, Syria
By AnnaThereseDay
01 Nov 2012

Communities organize daily "protests" for children to keep up the spirits of those stranded at the Syrian-Turkish border

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MINORITIES IN GEORGIA - Editor's Pick...
Georgia
By Editor's Picks
23 Oct 2012

Many Georgian civilians were deported or fled their homes during the past century's conflicts and found refuge in other parts of the country or neighboring Central Asian countries. While some managed to start a new life, the majority of internally displaced people still struggle with housing and unemployment issues. In Tbilisi and other regions of Georgia, thousands of displaced families are claiming ownership rights to buildings they have occupied since the conflicts. In other cases families are returning to villages from where their parents were deported decades ago and face integrating into new communities.

Roma are one of the most stigmatized minorities of Georgia, associated with street vendors, beggars and in many cases thought of as thieves and swindlers.

Villagers cut meat for the Eid al Adha festival near the mosque in Talaveri village, populated mostly by ethnic Azerbaijanis.

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Minorities in Georgia (27 of 37)
Bolnisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2012

A cross overlooks a few villages in Bolnisi region in Southern Georgia. Bolnisi region is traditionally populated mostly by ethnic and religious minorities, mostly Azerbaijanis. Such crosses are common throughout the country and are usually symbolically installed by local Orthodox priests and their congregation. In 2003 such cross was installed right at the town square of one of the biggest villages in Bolnisi region, populated mostly by Muslim Azerbaijanis. Offended, the villagers were ready to dismount the cross. After receiving the call about this incident sheikh of Georgia Vagif Akperov, then a mollah in Tbilisi mosque, told villigares to guard the cross day and night, so that nobody would touch it, while he settled the issue down with the Georgian Church officials. "It was a provocation," says Akperov. "Whoever installed this cross, wanted us to destroy it, in order to say later that we're aggresive towards Christian symbols." The case has been quickly settled and the cross has been removed peacefully.

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Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Lebanon Beirut
By Marta Bogdanska
13 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

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Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Lebanon Beirut
By Marta Bogdanska
13 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

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Lebanese gather to greet the Pope
Lebanon Beirut
By Marta Bogdanska
13 Sep 2012

A collection of photos that illustrate the diverse gathering of sectarian groups that gathered in Beirut to celebrate and greet the Pope, who visited Lebanon to promote peace at a particularly fragile time in the region as fighting in Syria threatens the already delicate situation in Lebanon.

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Esplin120711_2385.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
11 Jul 2012

The rate of ocean acidification is expected to accelerate in the near future. Since the industrial revolution, ocean acidification has increased by 30%. Scientists believe that this rate is faster than anything previously experienced over the last 55 million years.

The problem is that even a mild change in PH levels has significant impact on animals with calcium carbonate shells or skeletons. They literally dissolve. Affected animals include krill and plankton as well as coral. This means that the bottom of the food web could potentially become extinct, and in turn so could fish, according to Zoologist Kent Carpenter: "If corals themselves are at risk of extinction and do in fact go extinct, that will most probably lead to a cascade effect where we will lose thousands and thousands of other species that depend on coral reefs.”

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Esplin120710_2336.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
10 Jul 2012

A fisherman wades through the shallows carrying a handful of possessions after a mornings fishing trip.

Attempts to educate fishermen have been made by the environmental community, and attitudes are slowly changing. The Coral Triangle Initiative announced that it saw a decrease in the use of destructive fishing methods in 2012. Although, they stated that other threats such as Population increase, pollution and sedimentation have increased considerably.

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By Mark_Esplin
10 Jul 2012

A fisherman on Palawan Island in the Philippines prepares for a fishing voyage out to sea.

Scientists have predicted that by 2100, global temperature rise could result in the extinction of coral in the Coral Triangle. This would lead to an 80% reduction in regional food production.

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Esplin120710_2333.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

Fishers tend to target bigger fish, which act as predators in the food web. Biologists have observed a change in the Philippines' species composition, and an increase of fishing for small oceanic fish – anchovies, etc. This is a good indication of overfishing, and of gradual stock collapse, as fishers can no longer catch larger fish to support themselves.

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Esplin120709_2331.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

The Philippines Government admits that all targeted species in the Philippines are showing signs of overfishing. Officials also recognise that the current approach to fishing is unsustainable. “Overall, the harvest rate of Philippine fisheries is approximately 30 percent higher than the maximum sustainable yield, which will likely trigger stock collapses in the absence of increased management.” (Department of Environment and Natural Resources)

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Esplin120709_2330.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

The majority of people within the Coral Triangle are living in poverty. This increases the social and economic importance of reefs, and reduces their ability to adapt to depleting fish supplies.

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Esplin120709_2382.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

The threats to the Coral Triangle are numerous, and often vary from site to site. As such there is not a single answer to the problems faced by these ecosystems. Nevertheless, wide ranges of solutions are being adopted in an attempt to curb this degradation. These include: Marine Protected areas (MPA), gear restrictions, and catch regulations.

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Esplin120709_2353.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

A decline in reef biodiversity does not only affect local communities and subsistence fishermen’s food security, though they are likely the hardest hit. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), natural capital contributes significantly to manufacturing and service economies, that in-turn helps stabilise a nations food security. In their report ‘TEEB – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers’ the UNEP suggest one systemic cause for a lack of local will power to preserve natural resources. “Benefits depend on local stewardship, local knowledge and, in some cases, foregoing opportunities for economic development – yet people on the ground often receive little or no payment for the services they help to generate. This can make it more economically attractive to exploit the resource rather than preserve assets of global worth.”

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

Government figures state that 67% of animal protein in the Philippines is comprised of fish and fish products. This makes fish the nations most important food source, next to rice.

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Esplin120709_2351.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

A fisherman prepares his line in a small wooden shack as his daughter plays behind. Surrounded by sublime tropical waters, the 7,000+ island shorelines of the Philippines are home to 40 million people - 45% of its population.

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

Hook and line fishing techniques are seen as a solution compared to large scale commercial methods like trawler nets, that are considered dramatically unsustainable. Commercial fishing is having a drastic impact on fish stocks around the globe. Populations of targeted species such as Bluefin Tuna and Cod have reduced 90% since the 1960s, according to professors at the University of British Columbia.

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Esplin120709_2349.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

Hook and line fishing techniques are seen as a solution compared to large scale commercial methods like trawler nets, that are considered dramatically unsustainable. Commercial fishing is having a drastic impact on fish stocks around the globe. Populations of targeted species such as Bluefin Tuna and Cod have reduced 90% since the 1960s, according to professors at the University of British Columbia.

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Esplin120709_2347.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

It is not only coral reefs that are affected by global warming. Other important environments, such as mangrove forests and sea grass beds, which provide habitats for hundreds of thousands of fish species and other organisms, are also threatened. Further destruction and loss to these domains will have profound effects on the productivity of costal regions and the lives of people reliant on them.

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By Mark_Esplin
07 Jul 2012

According to the WWF, “The decreased productivity of coastal ecosystems will reduce the food resources and income available to coastal communities in the Coral Triangle. By 2050, coastal ecosystems will only be able to provide 50% of the fish protein that they do today, leading to increasing pressure on coastal agriculture and aquaculture.”

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By Mark_Esplin
05 Jul 2012

The coral triangle is located in South East Asia and supports 120 million people, across 6 countries, over an area of 1.6 billion acres. Overfishing, pollution, overpopulation and climate change are putting this essential ecosystem in danger.

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By Mark_Esplin
05 Jul 2012

The coral triangle is located in South East Asia and supports 120 million people, across 6 countries, over an area of 1.6 billion acres. Overfishing, pollution, overpopulation and climate change are putting this essential ecosystem in danger.

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By Mark_Esplin
05 Jul 2012

Tourist diving boats float above a reef in the North-East Philippines. Such tours can have a devastating impact on the health of reefs as participants inevitably kick or displace coral formations. The excess pollution caused by nearby hotels and resorts are an often unseen yet leading factor to the decline of a reefs health.

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Esplin120705_2380.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
05 Jul 2012

The coral triangle is located in South East Asia and supports 120 million people, across 6 countries, over an area of 1.6 billion acres. Overfishing, pollution, overpopulation and climate change are putting this essential ecosystem in danger.

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Esplin120705_2388.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
05 Jul 2012

The coral triangle is located in South East Asia and supports 120 million people, across 6 countries, over an area of 1.6 billion acres. Overfishing, pollution, overpopulation and climate change are putting this essential ecosystem in danger.

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By Mark_Esplin
04 Jul 2012

Government statistics suggest that in one year 1,370 tons of coral trout alone were exported, creating revenues of US$140 million. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) disputes this figure; suggesting high incidences of illegal and unreported trafficking, significantly expand the official records. They go on to state relaxed trade agreements are one of the leading factors creating additional demand on the Philippines reefs resources.

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By Mark_Esplin
04 Jul 2012

Government statistics suggest that in one year 1,370 tons of coral trout alone were exported, creating revenues of US$140 million. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) disputes this figure; suggesting high incidences of illegal and unreported trafficking, significantly expand the official records. They go on to state relaxed trade agreements are one of the leading factors creating additional demand on the Philippines reefs resources.

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By Mark_Esplin
04 Jul 2012

According to the Coral Triangle initiative, “The impacts of overfishing and to some extent destructive fishing practices on coral reefs are evident in the biomass of reef associated fish." It is reported that more than 50% of the reef sites in the Philippines assessed are overfished.

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By Mark_Esplin
23 Jun 2012

A fisherman farms abalone instead of heading out to sea to fish. Communities throughout the Philippines are being encouraged to seek alternative sources of income from fishing. According to the WWF, “The decreased productivity of coastal ecosystems will reduce the food resources and income available to coastal communities in the Coral Triangle. By 2050, coastal ecosystems will only be able to provide 50% of the fish protein that they do today, leading to increasing pressure on coastal agriculture and aquaculture.”

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By Mark_Esplin
22 Jun 2012

The cultivation of kelp and seaweed for pharmaceutical industries is being developed by some communities as an alternative source of income to prevent an over reliance of fishing for an income, thereby reducing the stress on local fish populations.

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By Mark_Esplin
20 Jun 2012

Children play in a harbour in the Southern Philippines. Scientists have predicted that by 2100, global temperature rise could result in the extinction of coral in the Coral Triangle. This would lead to an 80% reduction in regional food production.

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By Mark_Esplin
19 Jun 2012

A child helps sort the catch on a small fishing vessel in the Southern Philippines. With nine percent of the total global reef cover, its national waters provide significant annual fish yield. Increasingly, fish catch are being sold for export, with China and Hong Kong the primary destination.
There is a billion-dollar enterprise in the Asia-Pacific region for live reef food fish trade (LRRFFT). The Philippines is a significant contributor to this industry.

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By Mark_Esplin
18 Jun 2012

A Filipino fisherman wears a mask to protect against the sun as he spends the morning catching octopus from a small canoe. Though largely seen as being sustainable, subsistence fishermen with a hook and line can still have an impact on their local ecology. Jared Diamond, an ecological anthropologist, claims the common belief that indigenous people conserve their resources is wrong. He writes that historically when people encounter the limits of their resources, catastrophe results.

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Protest Journey
Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil
By Kirk Ellingham
01 Jul 2009

A two month journey following indigenous protests from Paraguay to Bolivia in 2007.