Tags / Natural Resources
This collection highlights the deforestation of the Amazon due to cattle farming and corn farming. Various shots provide a look at the rain forest in its virgin state; workers felling trees to clear the land; a fire at night from slash and burn agriculture; a cattle ranch on cleared rain forest and a corn farm on cleared rain forest land.
Deforestation in the Amazonian Rain Forest using the slash and burn technique.
Various shots of a cattle ranch in the Amazonian Rain Forest built on cleared Amazonian Rain Forest.
A range of shots of the Brazilian Rain Forest
Various shots of a corn farm featuring wide, sweeping vistas of corn and irrigation equipment in the Brazilian province of Minas Gerais. The corn farm was built on cleared rain forest land.
Various shots of workers clearing and moving trees in the Amazonian Rain Forest using heavy equipment, bulldozers and front-loaders.
Oil is everywhere, our way of life depends on that non-renewable resource in a level we could have never imagined. But the "bags of sun" as Carl Sagan called the oil fields are not omnipresent in our world as oil byproducts are. Those zillions of decomposed corpses from millions of years ago only appear at selected spots in the surface of our planet. Sometimes they are found offshore or in deserted areas where no one lives. Other times they appear in densely populated areas, where it's extraction deeply disturbs people's way of life. This is one of those areas. The place where everything started. The water-land where the olmecs, the mother culture of mesoamerica, were already using crude oil for many purposes 3500 years ago.
The economic history of the state of Tabasco, located in southern Mexico, can be resumed in one word: Extraction. One million hectares of lush rainforest were turned into pastures during the logwood and mahogany booms from the 17th century. Cattle were introduced into the cleared areas to make sure the natural ecosystem will not regenerate, and feed the meat markets of Mexico City. In the 70's the prime natural resource of our time made it's grand appearance and the oil boom started.
On average almost 500,000 barrels of high quality oil are extracted each day in Tabasco along with almost 1.5 millions of cubic feet of natural gas, that means 1 barrel for every four inhabitants of the region a day. The Tabasco Shore produces another 300,000 barrels a day. Foreign oil companies have been working in Tabasco for many years. The recent oil reform promoted by president Peña Nieto supposedly will end PEMEX control over Mexico's oil and will turn foreign companies from contractors to shareholders.
The oil region of Tabasco is a densely populated swampy area of around 10,000 square kilometers, known as "La Chontalpa" the land of the Maya-Chontal people. This region was the cradle of civilisation in Mexico and is one of the most diverse regions in the world, culturally and biologically. Most of it's inhabitants remain impoverished and few opportunities are present for young men. Today the local youth dream of becoming a "petrolero" for a chance to earn decent wages, despite the low chances they have of landing a job involving more than cleaning.
Pedro, 17, gets basic cleaning jobs at Poza 123 (Pool 123), if he is lucky donning the signature orange jumpsuit once a month. Julio De La Cruz, a teacher at a primary school in Tapotzingo says that, "None of the people from the surrounding areas have been allowed to enter work on the oil fields other than cleaning, and not one peso has been given back to the communities."
Despite syndicates organized by local leaders to negotiate for a share of the work, most of the labour force contracted by the oil industry is not local. Eliazar Benitez, 65, is originally from Aguascalientes in the centre of Mexico but moved to this area 40 years ago. He has worked with many different companies but all within the oil industry.
"There are some 120+ oil rigs that sit off the gulf coast with an average of 200-300 people working on each and the workers are mainly foreigners: Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Americans and Venezuelans." he said. "They keep the majority of foreign workers off land as not to upset the locals, but you can easily see them when they finish their 28 days on and are flown to land via helicopter. A large percentage end up in local brothels, and it is not unusual to see prostitutes waiting for the workers when they come to land."
The ecological damage caused by oil extraction here has been critical and has generated protests among the rural population since the beggining of the boom. Fish, the natural main source of protein of the region where 40% of the fresh water in Mexico, is now poisoned with heavy metals like mercury, nickel and lead. Patches of oil are omnipresent in the lowlands of the region.
The Santo Tomas environmental organisation has put in place an oil watch programme they to monitor oil spills on land. However, Hugo Ireta Guzmán, who works with the organization, says that the pollution at sea still poses problems to the local economy.
"There have been many problems with the local camarones (shrimp)," he said. "Many people used to rely on this as a main source of protein, but now the region imports a lot from other parts of Mexico because of contamination in the sea."
A boy, Samuel, eats food as he sits on rocks stored in sacks by his mother ready for onward shipment to end users in the oil rich Bayelsa .
Two women in the oil rich Bayelsa State mine small rocks out moulding sand to make ends mate.
A woman's leg in the a moulding field working to earn a living and feed her wards owing to her husband jobless in the oil rich Bayelsa, Nigeria.
A woman digs into the moulding sand by the road side of Yenagoa to get small rocks for building contruction in the oil rich Bayelsa state owing to husband jobless to provide for the family.
Taggo, an iron fabricator, wears a Royal Dutch Shell T-shirt along the streets of Yenagoa in the oil rich state of Bayelsa.
23 year-old Esther looks at her laundry in front of the uncompleted building in Yenagoa of oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
The Ikarama community of the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, Nigeria struggles to survive with crude oil spills from Royal Dutch Shell, ruining their crops and natural spaces.
5 year old Fortune, Freeborn's daughter, sits in the front of their home surrounded by spilled crude from Royal Dutch Shell Facility in Ikarama community in the oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
Taggo, an iron fabricator wears a Royal Dutch Shell T-shirt along the streets of Yenagoa in the oil rich state of Bayelsa.
A Boy from crude ravaged community of Ikarama near Royal Dutch Shell Facility plays with spill crude in the oil rich Bayelsa,Nigeria.
Farmland covered with spilled crude from Royal Dutch Shell Facility at Ikarama community of oil rich Bayelsa state,Nigeria .
Freeborn's family stands in front of their home near Royal Dutch Shell Facility in Ikarama community in the oil rich Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
5 year-old Fortune stands at the entrance to their home, recently surrounded by crude oil spill from Royal Dutch Facility in Ikarama community in the oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
An environmentalist, Alagoa Morris with Environmental Rights Action (ERA) viewing the spread of spilled crude from the Royal Dutch Shell facility at Ikarama community in the oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
Farmland covered with spilled crude from Royal Dutch Shell Facility at Ikarama community of oil rich Bayelsa state,Nigeria .
5 year old Fortune plays with spilled crude oil near their home in Ikarama community, near Royal Dutch Shell Facility in the oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
Freeborn Roland viewing spilled crude oil from Royal Dutch Shell facility behind his home in the Ikarama community of oil rich Bayelsa state Nigeria
Freeborn Roland excavates spoiled cassava crop as a result of spilled crude from Royal Dutch Shell facility near his home in Ikrama community in the oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
36 year-old, Freeborn Roland, a father of four children sits in his home near Royal Dutch Shell Facility in Ikarama community in the oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
Freeborn wife and four children, including four month-old twins pose to camera in their near Royal Dutch Shell recent spill in Ikarama community of oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
The fifth meeting of the Arab Water Ministers Council held on Thursday, June 6, at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo to discuss various issue mainly water security headed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The UAE Minister of Environment and Water Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad who chaired the meeting, pointed out that the geographical, economical, social and political conditions to the Arab countries have contributed to the diversity of the pressures and challenges faced by the water resources in the Arab countries.
Bin Fahad stressed the importance to enhance joint Arab action in the field of water because of its strategic importance to the countries of the region.
SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - UAE Minister of Environment and Water Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad:
“We are today in the process of putting the structure of the strategic plan of water security in the Arab region. The council further has played an active and effective role in highlighting the water issues in the Arab region in the 6th World Water Forum - Marseille in France. I hope the council would continue its effective role in calling for coordination and good preparation for the next World Water Forum that will be held in Korea, 2015.”
The Arab League Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs Dr. Mohammad bin Ibrahim Al Tuwaijri said that the Arab League’s Technical Committee would discuss a variety of topics, including the follow up of the implementation of the resolutions of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, pertaining the strategy of water security in the Arab region to address the challenges and the future requirements for sustainable development.
For his part, the Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi, in his speech, said that the major dangers on the Arab water security in particular and the Arab national security in general are the Israeli ambitions in the Arab waters.
He further added that the problem of water in the region has political, legal, and economic and security dimensions that cannot be separated from the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict which is not over yet.
SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) - Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi:
“The challenges that the water sector is facing in the Arab countries are numerous and multifarious particularly in the light of the climate changes and the phenomenon of drought which gripping some areas in the world include the Arab region.”
They also discussed during the meeting the strategy of water security in the Arab region and the preparation for an international conference on Arab water in the Arab occupied territories.
The issue of water is now in the limelight at the regional level due to a decision by Ethiopia to build a dam on the River Nile, promoting Egypt to react alarmingly toward the plan due to concern over volume of water reaching Egypt.
Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: June 6, 2013
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: June 6, 2013
Video Size: 113 MB
1. Tilt down shot of the Arab League headquarters in Cairo
2. Medium shot of the logo of the Arab League
3. Various shots of the meeting
4. SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - UAE Minister of Environment and Water Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad:
“We are today in the process of putting the structure of the strategic plan of water security in the Arab region. The council further has played an active and effective role in highlighting the water issues in the Arab region in the 6th World Water Forum - Marseille in France. I hope the council would continue its effective role in calling for coordination and good preparation for the next World Water Forum that will be held in Korea, 2015.” 5. Various shots of the meeting
6. SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) - Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi:
“The challenges that the water sector is facing in the Arab countries are numerous and multifarious particularly in the light of the climate changes and the phenomenon of drought which gripping some areas in the world include the Arab region.” 7. Various shots of the meeting
8. Medium shot of the logo of the Arab League
9. Wide shot of the Arab league headquarters with flags of the participant states
A lady and man on a wooden boat carrying stolen crude in the oil-rich Niger Delta, where most people live below the poverty line.The locals say they make 10,000 Nigerian Naira, or $63, monthly to the break out of poverty circle.
Foot wear wore by the illegal refinery worker in the oil rich Niger Delta,where the locals live below poverty line despite being blessed with crude oil with over 2,000000 barrels on daily basis.
In 2009, the company DANA GAS (UAE) started shale gas explorations near Fares, a small agricultural village on the West Bank of the Nile, 75 km North of Aswan.
The company employed a controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking", which uses a mixture of pressurized water and chemicals to release natural gas trapped in the shale rock.
The village was soon flooded with groundwater and in January 2013 orchards, crops and houses were destroyed.
Residents do not have results from the water tests that the government was supposed to carry out. In addition to ecological concerns, property owners whose land was affected have received very little compensation from the gas extraction company (Dana Gas) or from the Egyptian government. The clean up efforts promised by the government have come to a halt and it is not known if and when they will resume.
The case of Fares, however, differs from other documented cases of damages caused by fracking.
The flooding is believed to be the result of seismic testings, a straightforward operation conducted prior to the extraction to determine the size of the shale.
Therefore, this case shows:
how monitoring of the fracking operations --known to be possibly harmful for water reserves -- was poor or non-existent in an area close to the Nile
media usually focuses on fracking's direct effects. In Fares, however, damage was caused by a subsidiary effect of fracking
land grabbing - although not through acquisition, but through destruction - occurred without compensation for the villagers and the denial of any responsibility on part of the company
the Egyptian government - under Mubarak, the SCAF, and the Muslim Brotherhood - failed to stand up against the company and protect its citizens
environmental concerns not only for the village's proximity to the Nile, but also for the destruction of many mature and rare trees
00:00 - 00:17
Images of Upper Egypt, Map of Fares
VO: "75 km north of Aswan lies Fares, a village of 30,000 inhabitants, on the west bank of the Nile. Renowned as one of the principle producers of mangoes and dates in Egypt, the majority of Fares' residents are employed in the agricultural sector, making fields and crops the crux of the village's economy."
00:18 - 00:35 Images of the flooded fields, Sheikh Ahmed Abdel Hamid
VO: "However, in January 2013, flooding of groundwater devastated fields and orchards, and destroyed houses and local buildings in the village. The flooding has been attributed to the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations by the company Dana Gas, whose extraction site, is only 10 km north of Fares.
00:36 - 00:47 Animated info-graphic on fracking
VO: "Fracking is a controversial technique used to extract natural gas from shale rock. This is done by creating fissures in the shale with a perforating gun, and then injecting a pressurized mixture of water and chemicals to release the trapped gas and bring it to the surface."
00:48 - 01:19 Interview with the Sheikh Ahmed Abdel Hamid (community leader), images of the fields
"It has started since 2009-- first they found that the soil became wet. Gradually, the water began to come on the surface, higher and higher, until it reached the level of one metre. This water has submerged about 2,000 feddans of land (840 hectares)."
01:20 - 01:26 Images of fields, uprooted palm tree
VO: Although the company is not fracking in Fares directly, the flooding is believed to be a result of Dana Gas's seismic testing using 'shot-holes'.
01:26 - 01:52 Animated info-graphic on seismic testing
VO: "Seismic testing uses 30 foot pipes that are inserted into the ground, and an explosion is detonated. The vibrations from the explosion bounce off the subsurface rock and travel back to the surface, where a grid of geophone sensors pick up the wavelengths, thus determining the expanse of the shale below. Ordinarily in the industry, the pipes are plugged in order to prevent flooding. But, these pipes were left open in the fields-- creating a pathway for flowing groundwater to stream upwards."
01:53 - 02:09 Images of fields, springs
VO: "The flooding reached a climax in January, but damage to the fields remains. Stagnant puddles of water exceeding 3 inches, cover entire fields. Groundwater continues to spring spontaneously, creating essentially a swamp out of homes and a formerly prosperous crop."
02:10 - 02:24 Interview with Mohamed Abdouh (farmer and teacher)
"Approximately about 150 families have to move, because of this problem. A lot of these families can't afford to build new houses."
02:25 - 02:36 Interview with Mohamed Abdouh, images of the local graveyard
"The most bitter thing for the villagers is that the graveyard of the village has completely submerged. "
02:37 - 03:06 Interview with Sheikh Ahmed Abdel Hamid in front of a house destroyed
"Approximately 2,000 feddans were flooded by the groundwater. it is more than 2,000 feddans. In these areas there were trees: palms, lemon, mango, berries and that now there is water (that are now flooded). It has more than a hundreds of thousands of doom, palms, mangoes, lemons, and all citrus and this is all the income for the village. These fields are the only income for the village "
03:07 - 03:20 Images of residents
VO: Residents state that there was virtually no consultation with the village prior to shale extraction. In 2009, they were told there may be gas reserves in their village, but the seismic testing carried out directly on their land, was not explained to them.
03:21 - 03:44
"They just came and drilled. When the farmers asked them they told (them) they were looking for oil. So the farmers were happy. If they found gas or oil on your land, you will have a good compensation. Good money as a compensation."
03:45 - 03:52 Images of a street seller, men sitting on the ground, kid riding a donkey
VO: "The governor of Aswan stated that the company would create 450 jobs for local residents, yet no one has been employed to date."
03:53 - 04:06 Images of children, the local school, man picking up bricks
VO: "Moreover, compensation remains a large concern for the residents' livelihood. Beyond the municipal government offering to help rebuild the hospital and school, very little money has actually met the hands of the land and home owners whose properties were damaged."
04:07 - 04:34 Interview with Mohamed Abdouh
"When the villagers went to make a sit-in in the company-- in the site there- -the responsibles came and told us they have given the clerks in the municipal council a big number-- a lot of money. When we returned to the municipal council, they denied that. So we are... we don't know how. We are now bewildered between them…"
04:35 - 04:49 Images of the cleanup operation site.
VO: "The government began cleanup efforts six months ago by draining the fields with pipes that would empty to a drainage canal and then run back into the Nile. The pipes though, were too small, and so the clean up project had come to a halt. When they will resume is unknown."
04:50 - 04:59 Images of Sheikh Ahmed Abdel Hamid, puddle of stagnant water, the Nile river from Fares' shore.
VO: "Residents still have not heard back from the municipal council abt the water test results, but maintain that the water is harmful, which is also a cause for concern due to its proximity to the Nile."
05:00 - 05:16 Images of Sheikh Ahmed Abdel Hamid, images of resident walking next to trees, man on the train.
In addition to the ecological concerns, it's significant that Fares' principal fields and orchards were destroyed, including many mature trees that had reached peak production. Thus not only costing the agricultural-centered village lost profits this year, but also for the years to come.
Jeremaih Tukor, a naitive of Ikarama community empties sample of spilled crude from Eni/Agip Facility on the ground into container in the oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
Washington Odoyibo, Public Relations Officer [P.R.O] of Ikarama Community Development Committee collects sample of spillage from Eni/Agip Facility into a container.
Well head of crude facility belonging to Eni/Agip in the oil rich Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
Jeremaih Tukor, a native of Ikarama community collects sample of spilled crude from Eni/Agip Facility on the ground in the oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.
A filling station in the riverine community along the Nun river in Nigeria's oil state, Bayelsa.The locals say they make 10,000 monthly to the break out of poverty circle.
A boat driver, David Sowawi, 29, drives past an illegal refinery along Nun River that has just set ablaze by the Military Authority in the Niger Delta.
A woman with her four kids returning home to her farm in a wooden canoe in the waterway of oil rich Bayelsa state, Nigeria.