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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).

“Sand diggers” boats in Kalaban Koro, outskirts of Bamako, Mali (12°34’ N, 8°02’ W).

At the end of the day, these pirogues are moored in the sand exploitation harbor of Kalaban Koro, a former fishing village a few miles upriver from Bamako on the right bank of the Niger River. Extraction of sand from the riverbed is an attempt to meet the Malian capital’s growing demand for sand and gravel for construction. The fast growth of this city of 1.8 million inhabitants – there were 130.000 inhabitants in 1960 - is fed by a rural exodus in one of the poorest countries on earth, where the population lives on less than $1 a day. Yet this extremely hard work attracts young Malians from all over the country. Working for a salary and sometimes owning their own pirogue, these «sand fishermen» hold their breath and dive to the river bottom where they fill a bucket with sand, which another worker pulls up by rope, pouring its contents into the pirogue. Although this activity is entirely ‘handmade’, they manage to extract millions of cubic meters of sand a year, up and down river from Bamako. As a consequence the riverbed is getting lowered and the existing dams or the planned ones above the city limit the transport of sediments.

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