HomeArticlesPhoto exhibition within the framework of the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21)

the 21st climate change conference in Paris in November 2015, the COP21 photo exhibition was shown , which was organized by the Lucie Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in Los Angeles (USA). The purpose of the event is to demonstrate the consequences of global climate change caused by human activities. The works of the best photo artists from around the world who have devoted their lives to documenting the process of melting glaciers, environmental pollution, drought and other changes in the planet were selected to participate in the exhibition. Through the prism of these photographs, the beauty of nature is visible, as well as a call for immediate help. If we know the consequences, our actions may change. Let's get into the global problems that affect every living being on the planet.

"Lost heaven".
Enakievo, Eastern Ukraine. Photo credit: Espen Rasmussen

In the city of Yenakiyevo, its 140,000 inhabitants are accustomed to dirty streets covered with ash, to black, yellow and blue smoke coming from 14 chimneys of metallurgical plants. But mines and chemical plants provide jobs and support the local economy. Such a high price...

Aral Sea, Kazakhstan, 1993.
Photo credit: Gerd Ludwig

Due to over-irrigation from adjacent rivers and reduced snowfall in the Pamir mountains, the sea has almost completely disappeared. Because of this drought, the microclimate has changed a lot in recent decades. The region is suffering from dust storms saturated with toxic particles from agriculture and weapons testing in the area. The shrinking of the sea has made this part of it a graveyard of rusting shipwrecks.

Baku, Azerbaijan, 1993.
Photo credit: Gerd Ludwig

Local kids use the former oil rigs among the puddles of runoff as playgrounds.

"Ghosts of Hurricane Sandy", Union Beach, New Jersey, USA.
Photo by: Aristide Economopoulos

The Princess Cottage, located on Union Beach in New Jersey, was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy. As the planet gets warmer, sea levels continue to rise. The 4-meter wave damaged more than 500 houses and destroyed 110 houses in the settlement. Such catastrophes, according to scientists from Harvard, will become the norm by the middle of the century.

Polar bear, Svalbard archipelago.
Photo by: Paul Souders

A lone polar bear sits on the edge of a melting iceberg near Half Moon Island in the Svalbard archipelago.

Steingletcher Glacier, Gadman, Switzerland.
September 25, 2006. Photo credit: James Balog

Steingletcher Glacier, Gadman, Switzerland.
August 15, 2015. Photo credit: James Balog

“Water is the most basic need of life”, Northwest Kenya.
Photo by: Rudi Dundas

Drinking water is the most essential need for life. However, almost a billion people on our planet do not have access to it.

The Samberu are a traditionally nomadic tribe in Northwestern Kenya. But the government made them sedentary in order to tax them. Now, in drought conditions, they can no longer move with livestock to another area to look for water. Young girls carry 20-kilogram canisters on their backs to provide the minimum amount of water for the family. New wells can make life easier for these girls and bring peace to their land again.


Garbage collectors for recycling in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Photo credit: Giles Clarke

On a 200-acre toxic waste dump just 3 miles north of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, hundreds of men, women and children swarm through the smoky waste day and night to make a living. They make $12 to $15 a day by recycling plastic, clothing, aluminum and other recyclables. The Port-au-Prince region generates 5,000 tons (!) of waste every day.

"My land", Campania, Italy.
Photo by: Yvonne De Rosa

In the past few years, the Italian region of Campagna has been called the "new triangle of death" or "land of fire" because of the dangerous levels of pollution and the connection with politics and corruption, which have turned the lives of local residents into complete chaos. This work is about those people who are fighting for life in difficult conditions, caught in the focus of toxic pollution in the literal and figurative sense.

Recently, the region has recorded an increase in deaths from cancer and other diseases associated with the introduction of toxic substances into the environment, significantly exceeding Italian standards, which is mainly due to the illegal and incorrect disposal of hazardous waste from various sources. A similar situation was with the Camorra clan, where one of its members admitted that he had worked for 20 years to bribe local officials and politicians into agreeing to bury toxic waste.

In the current situation, the inhabitants of the Campagna region were left without any support and assistance from the state. They live in a state of despair and uncertainty.

"Urban Jungle"
Suburb of Bangkok, Bang Bua Thong, Thailand. Photo credit: Brent Lewin

After several years of growth in the construction industry in the 1990s, the economic crisis left countless developers out of work and forced them to abandon their projects. Many poor people in Thailand have taken refuge in abandoned unfinished houses. This area is hidden from prying eyes by swamps, overgrown with grass and dense tropical vegetation. Here, in a two-story abandoned townhouse, 5 families live with 10 domesticated elephants. The animals use the abandoned structures as a jungle, some of them even climbing the stairs to the second floor.

"Extinction: The Extinction of Amphibians".
Photo by: Joel Sartore

Hell on earth". Photo credit: Maysun

More than 70,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria in the 2-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. What began as peaceful protests for democracy ended in the worst nightmare the people of Syria could ever imagine. These photographs give voice to an existing problem, calling the global community to action.

Rio Tinto, Heart of the Earth.
Photo by Jose Francisco Mingorance

The history of the mines of Rio Tinto dates back to the time of the first organized civilizations. Already in the Bronze Age, the development of these mines was tied to the civilizations of the Tatars and the Phoenicians, but the main development of the mines was at the time of the Romans. Rio Tinto contains the bulk of the world's known copper pyrites. The name of the river got to her because of the red color on the banks. This is caused by a high content of metal salts and sulfates and a lack of oxygen, resulting in a high level of acidity pH, which feeds a huge variety of biological species. This attracts NASA scientists, as the ecosystem of this place is similar to Mars.

Aerial shots of Icelandic rivers.
Photo by: Emmanuel Coupe-Kalomiris

Northern lights, Iceland.
Photo by: Johannes Frank

In these pictures we can observe the eternal beauty and power of Nature, and the consequences that humanity reaps due to devotion to momentary and personal ideals. It is important to know and see the existing problems in order to have the courage to change yourself. We have one common Planet for all and we must take care of it as if it were our own home, which we keep clean and comfortable.

May all living beings be happy! 🙂

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Victoria Shurupova Victoria Shurupova

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