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Palm Jumeirah artificial island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (25°07’ N, 55°08’ E).Iguazu waterfalls, Misiones province, Argentina and Brazil (25°41’ S, 54°26’ W).Cotton harvesting around Banfora, Burkina Faso (10°36’ N, 4°47’ W).
Cattle grazing in the Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil (17°36’ S, 57°30’ W).Elephants in a swamp, Okavango delta, Botswana (19°25’ S, 23°14’ E).River channel in the Okavango delta, Botswana (18°58’ S, 22°29’ E).
Rano Kau volcano in Rapa Nui national park, Easter Island, Chile (27°11’ S, 109°26’ W).Residential area, Changping District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China (40°13’ N - 116°13’ E).Glacial rill on the Greenland ice sheet near Nordlit Sermiat, Greenland (61°05’ N – 46°27’ W).
Solar houses in the Vauban ecoquarter in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany (47°58’ N, 7°50’ E).Herd of reindeer near Ivituut, Greenland (61°05’ N, 46°10’ W).Greenhouses in San Augustin near Almería, Andalusia, Spain (36°42’ N, 2°44’ W).
Oil tanker of society Euronav, Le NAMUR, Ushant, Finistère (48°32’ N, 5°16’ W).The trawler Caraïbes in the Iroise Sea off Ouessant Island, Finistère, France (48°25’ N, 5°05’ W).Lumber yard in Port-Gentil, Ogooué-Maritime Province, Gabon (0°43’ S, 8°47’ E).
Djidji waterfalls, Ivindo National Park, Ogooué-Ivindo province, Gabon (0°01’ N, 12°27’ E).Lumber yard in Port-Gentil, Ogooué-Maritime Province, Gabon (0°43’ S, 8°47’ E).Whale off Port-Gentil, Ogooué-Maritime province, Gabon (0°31’ S, 8°52’ E).
Seta Valley devastated by a fire in August 2007, Island of Euboea, Greece (38°32’ N, 23°56’ E).Well at Pali, Rajasthan, India (25°57’ N, 73°19’ E).Women at a wellnear Khudiala, Rajasthan, India (26°26’ N, 72°40’ E).
Drawings in the courtyard of a house in Khudiala, Rajasthan, India (26°31’N, 72°41’E).The Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant, the blue lagoon, near Grindavík, Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland (63°53’ N, 22°26’ W).Volcanic chain, Lakagigar, Iceland (64°07’ N, 18°14’ W).
Ulsan shipyard, South Korea (35°32’ N, 129°19’ E).Workers spraying pesticide on a field, Jeju-Do, South Korea (33°27’ N, 126°34’ E).“Sand diggers” boats in Kalaban Koro, outskirts of Bamako, Mali (12°34’ N, 8°02’ W).

Palm Jumeirah artificial island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (25°07’ N, 55°08’ E).

Fifty years ago, Dubai was nothing more than a few rammed-earth houses, a souk and a port for the dhows sailing the Arab-Persian Gulf and the Oman Gulf. Enriched by the oil revenues of the neighbouring emirates, the State now develops its economy on tourism and has launched the construction of artificial islands. Of the three islands currently being created, palm-shaped Palm Jumeirah, the smallest, is attached to the mainland by a bridge. It consists of a 2 km long “trunk” from which grows 17 “palm leaves” with villas. An underwater tunnel links the extremity of the island to an 11 kilometres-long crescent, which will host luxurious hotels. Launched in 2001, the construction cost almost 12 billion dollars, and is now almost completely finished despite the financial crisis in 2009 that almost made the Emirates go bankrupt. In order to create the island, nearly 94 million cubic metres of sand have been dredged from the sea floor and 40.000 workers were mobilised. This technical prowess achieved by Dutch engineers specialised in construction on water could not have been possible without the massive use of imported labour. Of the 1.8 million people living in Dubai, 80% are underpaid migrant workers. In this non democratic citystate where the Unions are forbidden, and more generally in the United Arab Emirates, Human Rights Watch has qualified their working conditions as «less than human».

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