It was several hours before dawn when Afthas Niflal, a young fisherman in southern Sri Lanka, felt the sea start to rumble beneath him.
Israel's crippling blockade of the coastal territory of Gaza is pushing desperate young Palestinians to ever more extreme measures in the search for livelihoods, despite an agreement granting Gazans greater access to their agricultural land.
The government of this historic walled city, a bastion of tourism on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is widening beaches and building dual carriageways on its north side to protect against the ever-worsening impacts of climate change.
Mahalakshmi, a housewife married to a farmer, is afraid for her family’s future. The fifty-two-year-old woman is also frustrated that Indian authorities have "betrayed" poor villagers.
Fisherfolk and farmers living near Malawi’s second-largest water body, Lake Chilwa, are relocating en masse and scrambling for space around its shores as the lake has dried to dangerously low levels.
“Look out there, the blue one…. that is a European Union fishing vessel that is threatening our livelihood,” says Lallmamode Mohamedally, a Mauritian fisherman, as he points to a boat offloading its catch at the Les Salines port, close to the country’s capital Port Louis.
Far-flung South Asian communities, from the high Himalayan slopes to the Indian Ocean coasts, united in the face of extreme and uncertain weather, continue to hold on to the hope that the Rio+20 focus on disaster risk reduction (DRR) will positively influence national policies.
Far from the plush surroundings which hosted Rio+20
, the most ambitious global conference on the environment of the past two decades, events in a fishing village in the state of Rio de Janeiro show the cost of fighting environmental crime can be as high as life itself.
“The number will never come to zero and in a few months you will see as many captive fishermen, maybe even more to fill the prison barracks,” says Mohammad Ali Shah of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), following the release of more than 300 Indian fishermen from Pakistani jails.