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Blood Sugar 005
By Ruom
16 Jan 2013

January 16, 2013
Srei Ambel, Koh Kong, Cambodia

A woman cuts sugar cane in the sugar plantation of Srei Ambel, Koh Kong, Cambodia.

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Blood Sugar 009
By Ruom
16 Jan 2013

January 16, 2013
Srei Ambel, Koh Kong - Cambodia

C.S (14yr. old) works a couple days a week in the plantion to help his family. In order to facilitate the cutting, sugar cane fields are burnt before harvesting.

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Blood Sugar 024
By Ruom
15 Jan 2013

January 15, 2013
Srei Ambel, Koh Kong, Cambodia

K. K. (13) hugs his little sister after a day working in the sugar cane plantations. This picture is part of a project called Blood Sugar, an in-depth piece on the boom of the sugar industry in Cambodia, and the effects this rapid development is having on small-scale farmers and rural communities.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (18 of 24)
Bandarban, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
11 Jan 2013

Most work on the fields is done manually, from digging up the mud to forming the bricks, leaving them to dry and burning them in large kilns. Bricks are the most efficient and widely used building material and new brick buildings are erected across the country. Bandarban, Bangladesh. January 2013.

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Blood Sugar 015
By Ruom
09 Jan 2013

January 9, 2013
Omliang, Kampong Speu, Cambodia

Machinery is used to load the trucks with sugar cane.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (20 of 24)
Bandarban, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
09 Jan 2013

During recent years, brick making has expanded rapidly in Bangladesh, especially in the area around Dhaka. Today, there are over 10 000 fields in the country – a doubling from ten years ago. Bricks are the most efficient and widely used building material and new brick buildings are erected across the country. Bandarban, Bangladesh. January 2013.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (23 of 24)
Bandarban, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
09 Jan 2013

Many workers come from rural areas where agriculture no longer can provide for the growing workforce. Bricks are the most efficient and widely used building material and new brick buildings are erected across the country. Bandarban, Bangladesh. January 2013.

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Blood Sugar 001
By Ruom
08 Jan 2013

January 8, 2013
Omliang, Kampong Speu

Manual labourers camp at the Phnom Penh Sugar plantation.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (22 of 24)
Bandarban, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
08 Jan 2013

Conditions at the fields are tough. The brick-making generates a lot of dust, which affects everyone working at the site as well as people living nearby. Bricks are the most efficient and widely used building material and new brick buildings are erected across the country. Bandarban, Bangladesh. January 2013.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (8 of 24)
Bandarban, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
08 Jan 2013

Many workers suffer from bronchitis or coughing because of the dust generated in the brick-making process. The cities of Bangladesh are growing fast and there's a never-ending need for cheap and available construction material. Bricks are the most efficient and widely used building material and new brick buildings are erected across the country. Bandarban, Bangladesh. January 2013.

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Blood Sugar 025
By Ruom
08 Jan 2013

January 8, 2013
Omliang, Kampong Speu, Cambodia

Laborers bathe near the manual laborers camp, Phnom Penh sugar plantation.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (19 of 24)
Bandarban, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
08 Jan 2013

Many children like Shuhun work in the fields alongside the grownups. Often, they take care of forming the mud into bricks using metal and wooden forms. Bricks are the most efficient and widely used building material and new brick buildings are erected across the country. Bandarban, Bangladesh. January 2013.

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Blood Sugar 014
By Ruom
08 Jan 2013

January 8, 2013
Omliang, Kampong Speu, Cambodia

Trucks wait to enter the factory to unload the sugar cane.

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Blood Sugar 004
By Ruom
08 Jan 2013

January 8, 2013
Omliang, Kampong Speu, Cambodia

The little primary school of Omlaing. According to the teachers, there's a very high rate of children who leave the school (mainly of students above 15/16 years old) to work in the plantations of sugar cane, as many families have lost their lands and they need more income.

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Blood Sugar 027
By Ruom
08 Jan 2013

January 8, 2013
Omliang, Kampong Speu, Cambodia

A family prepares breakfast before they start working in the sugar cane plantations.

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Blood Sugar 018
By Ruom
07 Jan 2013

January 8, 2013
Omliang, Kampong Speu, Cambodia

T. N. (61) walks home after a day working in the plantations. She was evicted from her 7 hectares of land in 2011, and was forced to accepted a compensation of 300USD (the estimate value of 1 hectare is around 5.000 USD). Now she and her family, don't own any land and they're not self-sufficient anymore (2.5 of the 7 hectares were rice fields) and they had to ask the bank for loans.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (16 of 24)
Jhalakati, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
27 Dec 2012

Today, brick making is Bangladesh's fastest growing industry. Its popularity is partly due to the fact that it's so easy to start up a field: a small piece of land and between 40-50 000 taka ($500-$650) is all that's needed. The revenue within six months is up to five times that amount. Jhalakati, Bangladesh. January 2013.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (14 of 24)
Jhalakati, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
27 Dec 2012

Bangladesh has the second worst air pollution in the world, according to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index. One of the biggest contributors to the unclean air is the brick-making industry. Most fields use coal or wood to burn the bricks, both of which are very bad for the environment. Jhalakati, Bangladesh. January 2013.

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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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Esplin120710_2384.jpg
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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Esplin120709_2386.jpg
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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Esplin120709_2350.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_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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Esplin120707_2383.jpg
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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Esplin120705_2345.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_2344.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_2343.jpg
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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Esplin120704_2339.jpg
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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Esplin120704_2338.jpg
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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Esplin120704_2337.jpg
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.