In the majority of the reports about Global Warming so far, the lives and thoughts of indigenous people are largely being ignored or overlooked. Indigenous groups all over the world, from Africa to Asia to Central and South America - coastal or island dwellers, rainforest indians, desert nomads or mountain tribes - are all living on the front-line of Climate Change, and face environmental challenges that threaten the future of their unique cultures.
When photographing the people of the world, I look into their eyes, sense their emotions, touch their lives, see their lands, and am left in awe of the passion and respect they have for their environment. Only by acting now, together, do we stand a chance of helping to protect these unique cultures and lands, before they are changed irrevocably, or disappear altogether.
To launch 'Buddha34 - Climate Change and Indigenous People' for ClimateXchange I chose this image for two reasons - one, because it illustrates an aspect of Climate Change in a rural community and two, because it also speaks to the wider themes behind this year's World Environment Day: 'Melting Ice - A Hot Topic?' whilst still showing a block of melting ice! The photograph illustrates how communities in rural Cambodia, not having access to powered refrigeration, are forced to buy blocks of ice from vendors in the street. Children dispatched to buy a certain size block of ice, have to run back home quickly, before their precious purchase melts away. Global warming is likely to increase the average temperatures in what is already a very hot country, and so these remote communities are likely to seek more use of refrigeration, need more ice, and thus push up the cost of living further.
Watch this space on ClimateXchange for more photographs from Buddha34 about Climate Change, coming soon. You can also logon to www.buddha34.com to join Annemarie and I for a 'virtual tour' of our travels around the world.
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Crispin Zeeman and Annemarie Papatheofilou