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Visions of Earth showcases the beauty, majesty, and wonder of the world around us and pays tribute to the photographers who capture its essence. An airplane casts a shadow over the red waters of Lake Natron in Tanzania, part of the East African Rift Valley. A camera's long nighttime exposure reveals the red glow of lava spilling from Mount Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania's Rift Valley. Building clouds and a setting sun reflect on a sandy beach on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. It’s the end of the line for these crushed cars in a Victoria, British Columbia, scrap yard.
An explorer is no match for the gigantic crystals in Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales, or Cave of Crystals.
Verdant trees reflect in the morning waters of Five Flower Lake, colored by mineral deposits and aquatic plant life. Mimmi the brown bear shows her flair for flexibility during an afternoon stretch at the Ahtari Zoo.
Salt from the world’s largest salt plain in Salar de Uyuni waits for transport to surrounding Andean villages.
A fire supervisor surveys the scene in Seeley Lake, Montana, from the relative safety of a truck. See dusk in the Dampier Strait through a half-submerged lens and glimpse two distinct worlds. An endangered Choctawhatchee beach mouse, Peromyscus polionotus allophrys, has good reason to appear shy. Subscribe to National Geographic magazine and save. Print and digital editions available for as little as $12. Workers clear a road through Brazil's AmazonA rain foresta€”one of the world's ten most threatened forests, according to an international conservation group.This weekend, people around the world will plant trees in their neighborhoods as part of Earth Day celebrations.
This panther chameleon is one of thousands of species found nowhere else than in the rain forests of Madagascar. Flat-topped mesas dominate southeastern Brazil's Chapada Diamantina National Park, part of the Atlantic dry forest."This is a forest that has been under threat for a number of years," Donovan said. David Rumsey spent decades collecting more than 150,000 maps, and a new center lets the public explore them like never before.
Extinct in Stockholm less than a century ago, the rebounding rodent is damaging the city's treesa€”and at the same time charming locals. Peek at Jupiter through binoculars and you should also see its icy moon Europa, thought to host a global ocean that may support life.
In Eastern Canada, “cottage country” covers any lake destination within easy driving distance for a quick weekend getaway.
Follow winter to the Southern Andes to experience cool summer adventures on the world’s highest mountain range outside of Asia. A pedestrian-and-pedal-friendly downtown and welcoming Midwestern vibe make it easy for first-time visitors to quickly feel at home in Minneapolis.
Historically a city of castles and coal, Wales’s capital is emerging as a modern sports-entertainment destination.
Nearly 25,000 islands—only a thousand of them inhabited—make up Stockholm’s maritime “garden on the rocks.” The vast archipelago stretches more than 62 miles from north to south over emerald waters best explored via kayak, canoe, sailboat, or classic white ferry. A remote location—about a thousand miles west of continental Portugal—has helped limit tourist traffic and development in this unspoiled North Atlantic archipelago.
Located about 30 miles north of the Honduran mainland, this divers’ dream destination is encircled by a living coral reef, extending directly from the shore. More than 40 beaches on Istria’s 333-mile coast have earned a coveted Blue Flag for superior water quality and environmental management standards. See the Pacific atolls, mountain forests, and other natural sites that have been named by the UN as places of universal value to humanity. A giant trevally fish swims in shallow reefs in the PapahA?naumokuA?kea Marine National Monument, a vast, remote cluster of Pacific islands and atolls that are part of the Hawaiian Islands. A man stands among giant clam beds in Kiribati's Phoenix Islands Protected Area, the largest designated marine protected area and one of five new natural sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
An eastern diamondback rattlesnake moves across a mangrove tree in Florida's Everglades National Park. A 2009 coup d'etat paved the way for pillaging in Madagascar's northeastern Atsinanana rain forests (pictured, one of the rain forests' waterfalls)a€”earning the region a spot on UNESCO's 2010 List of World Heritage in Danger.
After two years of avalanches, earthquakes, and tragedy, climbers return to the worlda€™s tallest mountain. Rio+20 shows how shoring up natural ecosystems can help protect us from Mother Nature's fury. Rescue workers carry a body from the rubble of a village destroyed by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011. Natural disasters are a fact of life.There's no controlling Mother Nature, and her wrath can, at times, be staggering. UNESCO World Heritage Listing for the Okavango Delta would be a massive achievement for Botswana, as well as all the NGOs and individuals that have invested their time in this initiative over the last decade. We have learnt the same lesson over and over, and now, for the first time on this scale, need to value ecosystem services, biodiversity and the spiritual value of our only planet’s last true wilderness areas over mining, human settlement, food security in cities, water security for urban areas, industry and agriculture, and increasing GDP. Okavango Delta and the entire Okavango River up to Huambo, the source of the Okavango River. The sensitive alluvial fan into which it flows will collapse along with its abundant wildlife. Most of the Colorado River’s flow used to reach the delta, creating an intricate system of estuarial wetlands and floodplains maintained by a complex cycle of flooding, siltation, and nutrient flow. Along with other early explorers he recorded jaguar, beaver, deer, coyote, an abundance of birdlife, fish, and a wide variety of estuarine fauna and flora. The fate of the Colorado Delta and the passenger pigeon is now gathering like a storm cloud over Africa with new mining and agricultural developments permanently altering landscapes, catchments, coastlines and even mountain ranges. The Kavango Basin has become a focus point for global efforts to maximise access to water resources for remote, rural communities. A massive, high quality iron ore deposit has been discovered along the western side of the the Okavango Delta by Tsodilo Resources Limited. Popa Falls Hydro Power Project was put on hold, but not terminated, by NamPower, Namibia’s power provider, due to the low power output of 20MW and high estimated costs of sound environmental management. Kalahari Energy has had hydraulic fracturing operations in Botswana to extract coal bed methane since 2009.
The proposed 10,000 hectare Katondo Farm Project in Namibia aims to abstract 75 million cubic meters of water per year from the Okavango River just below the confluence of the Cuito and Cubango tributaries – roughly equal to Namibia’s present domestic water use. Several dams, irrigation canals, and small-scale hydro-electric schemes are being planned and rehabilitated in the Angolan catchment to irrigate up to 15,000 hectares for local food security. A Chinese companies have established rice production on 5,000 hectares of wetlands near Cuito Carnevale on the Cuito Sub-catchment of the Okavango River.
There is too much at stake for Botswana to consider mining or water extraction or support Namibia and Angola in the development of irrigation schemes upstream. Botswana knows there is opportunity in ecotourism development. It has been extremely difficult to get to this point and the spectre of greed, vested interests and inadequate capacity has dogged the campaign for UNESCO World Heritage Listing. The film, Okavango, is the foundation of the project and will showcase the intrinsic value of the Kavango Basin by sharing an intimate view into the human experience in the wilderness, highlighting how important these wild places are to our future on this living planet. The skies light up at sunrise on a cold Okavango winter morning when a distant front is rolling over high in the sky. The human experience in this wilderness is nothing short of exhilarating and life-giving, showing us our path to a better future. Here at beginning of the 21st century, the advent of the Anthropocene, we are at the end of an epoch with the last wild places teetering on the brink of destruction. He was correct and his words echo an unheeded warning from the past… In the 20th century world powers opted for all out devastation with world wars and environmental degradation on an unrepeatable scale. The mission of the Okavango Wilderness Project is to secure the Okavango Delta and its vast untouched catchment in perpetuity.
It’s the world’s most common eye color and the shade of both a beloved confection and a drink that starts the day all over the globe.
In Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, two boys of the Kara tribe stand on the mud-caked shore of the Omo River. Jews gather to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a holy remnant of the Second Temple complex that was destroyed by Roman forces in A.D.


In this gallery, see a selection of stunning scenes from the new National Geographic book, and decorate your desktop with your favorite images.Here, in Dubai, natural and man-made electricity illuminate the night.
In 2000, two brothers drilling for lead and silver in a remote part of northern Mexico discovered the underground crystal incubator. Check out these 10 top trips, hand-picked by National Geographic Traveler editors as the best of summer 2011. Central Ontario’s Muskoka district is close to Toronto—about two hours north via Highways 400 and 11—while still offering an unplugged pace that’s a world away from Canada’s largest city. The Olympic Peninsula’s rain shadow effect (basically, the mountains block rain-producing weather systems) produces dry, clear, comfortable days on the archipelago’s four named islands—San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw.
Glaciers cover 27 percent of this 3.2-million-acre marine wilderness, World Heritage site, and UNESCO Biosphere Preserve, home to humpback whales, harbor porpoises, moose, black and brown bears, mountain goats, and mountain peaks topping 15,000 feet. Summer action centers on Cardiff Bay, once the world’s largest coal-exporting port, now a 500-acre freshwater lake with eight miles of waterfront.
Sweden’s allemansratt (right of public access to land) makes it possible to roam freely throughout the verdant inner archipelago and the rocky outer reaches. The nine major islands—connected by ferry service in summer, are home to green volcanic mountains, mineral hot springs, hydrangea-covered hills, rambling vineyards, white-washed seaside towns, cobblestone lanes, and traditional Flemish and Moorish windmills. The shallow-water, reef eco-system is teeming with tropical marine life, making the underwater pageantry easily accessible to snorkelers and novice divers. While not as familiar to North Americans as Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, this densely forested peninsula at the top right-hand corner of the Adriatic Sea has been a popular summer hot spot since Austro-Hungarian Empire days. The monument is one of 21 new sites added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage list, UN officials announced this week.One of the largest marine protected areas in the world, the refugea€”formerly called the Northwestern Hawaiian Marine National Monumenta€”is the only new "mixed site," a designation that recognizes the region's natural and cultural worth. The evergreen forests also host many species of animals and plants, 400 of which are considered rare or threatened, according to the World Heritage website. In addition to the new natural sites added to the World Heritage list, UNESCO inscribed two natural sites to its List of World Heritage in Danger, including the Everglades, which has suffered due to "serious and continuing degradation" of its ecosystem, according to the World Heritage website.
Last year, natural disasters—from droughts in Africa and Russia to typhoons and massive flooding in Thailand—caused a record $378 billion worth of damage.The indications are that the situation will get worse, not better.
Most importantly, declaration will highlight the importance of preserving the vast Angolan catchment in its current state, celebrating the Kavango Basin as the largest, undeveloped river catchment remaining on earth.
We cannot make this choice on behalf of the Angolan and Namibian governments, but we can rally world leaders in support of this outcome.
Note the two sub-catchments in what is one of the remotest regions of southern Africa, inaccessible by road, aircraft or boat. We have opportunity right now in the Okavango Wilderness Project to save Africa’s last truly wild river. The abundance of life was clear to see and local First Nation peoples lived off the fertile land.
High urbanisation rates and poor living conditions, outdated or simply destructive land management practices (e.g. Some of the best minds are planning canals and pump schemes to irrigate thousands of hectares of arid farmland along the Okavango River.
Namibia has been a global destination for decades and has well-developed tourism infrastructure.
Our subsequent campaign will include public presentations and meetings with every level of government in Botswana, Namibia and Angola. The last places on earth that can connect us to our primordial past are the last sanctuaries and refuges for the wildlife that once roamed free in the vast, impenetrable wildernesses that once covered our planet. Now in the 21st century we find ourselves with very few pristine wilderness areas that are large enough to guarantee their persistence into the future. The Okavango is populated by millions of reed frogs able to consume up to 500 mosquitoes a night.
Most remaining wildernesses are inhospitable frozen landscapes or dense, impenetrable jungle that has kept people away through inaccessibility and difficult living conditions. I am personally pessimistic about mankind’s ability to overcome its essentially destructive nature.
The National Geographic film Okavango is a rallying point for the global community of stakeholders, government officials, researchers, activists, tourism operators, community members, conservationists and guides that support the protection of the Angolan catchment.
Whether we find it in the clothes we wear, the animals we love, or the trees we climb, brown complements a colorful life.Here, brown bears wait for sockeye salmon to jump at Brooks Falls in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve. Patagonia’s comparatively lower altitudes (3,300 foot-base elevation at Cerro Catedral versus 7,349 feet at Las Lenas, Argentina’s largest ski area) help first-time visitors avoid high-altitude sickness.
Hike in Lime Kiln Point State Park on the west side of San Juan for shore-based orca whale watching or join a Sea Quest kayak tour for a porpoise-level view. Survey the vibrant scene from the new CRAVE restaurant rooftop patio near the State Theatre, then grab a bike at the nearest Nice Ride Minnesota kiosk ($5 plus trip fees) and cruise all or part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, a 50-mile urban trail loop. Mid-May to September, cruise past deep fjords, coastal forests, and the main attractions—seven active tidewater glaciers calving glaciers into the bay. Surrounding diversions, part of Europe’s largest waterfront development, include shopping and dining at Mermaid Quay, rafting and kayaking at Cardiff International White Water, and windsurfing and powerboating on the bay.
In return for being responsible environmental stewards, travelers can picnic on sandy white beaches, camp on rocky islets, hike in pine forests, swim in secluded coves, and go ashore on any open space—all under a cobalt blue sky that, June through early July, doesn’t darken until 10 p.m. Terceira (“the lilac island”) is known for its weaving tradition and 50 brightly painted imperios (empires), ornate chapels of the Holy Spirit. No longer a best-kept Caribbean secret, the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands is working—through the grassroots Roatan Marine Park—to promote sustainable growth by fostering a sense of environmental responsibility among locals and visitors. Head west and south for crystalline blue bays, tranquil coves, and white pebble and sandy shores bordered by fragrant pines. Human activities have reduced natural water flows into the Western Hemisphere's largest mangrove ecosystem by 60 percent, the website says. Legendary rivers like the mighty Nile, Colorado, Indus, Rio Grande, Yellow, Murray and Amu Darya have all dried up from overuse and mismanagement. There is amazing work being done by OKACOM, the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA), and Future Okavango. It is going to take a multi-national effort to conserve one of the world’s last functioning wilderness areas. A river that miraculously empties into the world’s largest inland delta in the middle of the Kalahari Sand Basin, the longest continuous piece of sand on earth. Weirs and dams are scheduled to block Kalahari sand and sediment, as water flow gets slowed and diverted during the annual floods. A vast, untouched wilderness unlike today when have to use mokoros to find inaccessible wilderness.
This mission was deemed a success, but, after a strict evaluation, there was the inevitable request for supplementary information.
Listing is a commitment to the rest of the world to protect a site of global heritage value and importance forever, restricting natural resource use, development and human settlement if it threatens what is being protected. The Okavango Wilderness Project will yield a comprehensive, open access data on the wildlife densities, habitat types, water quality, climatic conditions and human disturbance. Early mornings on the plains in the cooler months often produce some great opportunities to photograph animals in the mist. In the most basic terms, we need to convince a world of people to protect the idea of a place that we cannot afford to lose. There a lot still to save in Africa, but we need to act NOW… and heed the warning from a dry Colorado Delta to the developing world.
Today, we are literally decades away from losing our last true wilderness areas to the gradual creep of economic development and population growth. Some wilderness areas, the places that need to be saved right now, are living landscapes filled with water, food and the abundance of life.
Even while I live and try my best to conserve what is truly important, the fact remains average modern day living is inherently destrcutive to the natural world. Readers can help build up to our 8-week expedition over 1,000 miles down the length of the Okavango River in 2015 by sharing this epic, once-in-a-lifetime research and conservation expedition down the full length of the Okavango River through an abandoned wilderness into the Delta. Spend the day paddleboarding on Muskoka Lake or exploring the Riverwalk and shops of Canada’s waterfall capital, Bracebridge.
Stay at the Correntoso Lake & River Hotel to enjoy snowcapped Patagonian Andes and glacial Lake Nahuel Huapi views, transportation to nearby Cerro Bayo ski resort, and guided horseback and snowshoe treks through neighboring Nahuel Huapi National Park. Ferry hop to Lopez for leisurely biking, then spend the night on Orcas at Turtleback Farm Inn, a bucolic working farm bordering the 1,576-acre Turtleback Mountain Preserve.
With 22 city lakes and the mighty Mississippi, playing on, in or near the water always is an option.


Though most visitors see the park topside from cruise ships, locally owned park concessionaire Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks offers guided and unguided daylong kayak adventures, as well as multi-day rentals for experienced backcountry campers who want to explore the 700-plus miles of shoreline.
Celebrate the August bank holiday weekend (August 27-29) at the Cardiff Harbour Festival featuring tall ships, free activities, and, new for 2011, the Breitling Wingwalkers aerobatic formation team. The closest island, Fjaderholmarna, is about a 25-minute ferry ride from the docks at Slussen, Stockholm’s public transportation hub, where you also can hop an eco-friendly bus, tram, or metro to connect to archipelago restaurants, museums, parks, and nature preserves. Sao Miguel, the biggest island, includes Ponta Delgada (the Azores' largest city), secluded black and white sand beaches, and natural steam vent ovens at Furnas Lake where Portuguese cozido (stew) is cooked in earthen pots buried along the volcanic shoreline.
At the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences, located on the grounds of the all-inclusive Anthony’s Key Resort, guests can participate in government-sanctioned recreational and educational dolphin programs. The Medulin Riviera, located near Istria’s southern tip, offers 49 miles of coastline, plus hilltop medieval villages and ancient ruins to explore. And runoff pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus are creating algal blooms that could harm marine species, including the endangered manatee.
There's no ignoring the problem, but there remains a critical question: What protects us better, human engineering or natural landscapes? The Okavango River and its remote, unchanged catchment are one of our last chances to save a vast living landscape from the inevitable march of economic development and population growth.
Local operators like Okavango Wilderness Safaris and Great Plains Conservation are proving the ecotourism development model and demonstrating that the safari industry can generate significant income for local communities and conservation authorities.
This is the home of the largest-remaining elephant population, one of the last three lion populations over 2,000 cats, and an oasis for over 530 bird species, 155 reptiles, 160 mammals, 35 amphibians, 80 fish, and countless unnamed invertebrate. This high price of rapid development and economic prosperity in the United States is a clear warning to the developing world.
Erosion, deforestation, drought, illegal mining, poaching, wildlife trade and poverty have never been worse on the continent. Rice fields, sugar cane and other agricultural developments are going increase nitrogen levels in the Okavango’s waters for the first time in millennia, causing choking, sun-blocking blooms of papyrus and invasive Salvinia weed.
Decades of border wars and civil war followed hundreds of years of slave trade and exploitation, leaving Angola defensive and wary of foreign intervention.
The evaluation team asked for more information on eight critical issues, including mining development, minority people’s rights, available resources, anti-poaching, and future water usage upstream. The Okavango Wilderness Project and the film, Okavango, will be the necessary catalyst to make listing happen for not only the Okavango Delta, but the entire Kavango Basin.
Most of them will never go there, but still need to value the fact that places like that still exist. Our feeble efforts to rehabilitate and restore natural ecosystems have proven Aldo Leopold was right. Places like parts of the Okavango Delta, Amazon, Western Ghats, Congo, Australian outback and our remaining remote, untouched reefs and marine ecosystems.
I do hope that such efforts will bear fruit; that such wonderful river systems can be saved for future generations. For an old-school family vacation, head north to Peninsula Lake’s Pow-Wow Point Lodge, a 91-year-old, all-inclusive resort featuring simple summer pleasures like campfires, canoeing, and volleyball.
Constructed of local stone and beech, the luxury resort delivers apres ski pampering in its tranquil indoor pool, herbal hamman, and spa. The islands are accessible via direct 30-to-45-minute flight from Seattle, or choose the drive-on Washington State Ferry to travel along the San Juan Islands Scenic Byway. Additional overnight options include Glacier Bay Lodge (the only lodging in the park) and the adjacent walk-in campground in Bartlett Cove, plus rustic inns, lodges, and cabins ten miles away in Gustavus, Glacier’s tiny gateway town. From Mermaid Quay, take an Aquabus or water taxi up the River Taff or bike along the Taff Trail to Cardiff’s compact city center. Faial, named “the blue island” for its abundant hydrangeas and blue-trimmed homes, features numerous grottoes, caves, churches, and museums, as well as the bustling Horta marina, a popular stopover point for transatlantic yachtsmen. Just south of Medulin is rugged Cape Kamenjak, an edge-of-the-world nature reserve featuring sheer 70-foot cliffs, hidden coves, and flat stone outcroppings nature-made for sunbathing.
Of the whole list, that's the one I'm most excited about," said John Francis, a member of the U.S. There's a natural human urge to rely on the things we make, but the lessons of the past decade have led in a different direction.Often, the great works of civil engineering that we built as insurance against disaster had the opposite effect. An amazing 134 families, including 530 genera and over 1,300 plant species found in the Okavango Delta so far. We lost almost 1,000 rhino to poachers supplying the lucrative trade in their horns and over 25,000 African elephant were massacred for their ivory.
The pristine Okavango Delta could change from a flowing, dynamic water delivery system to a choked, dying pestilential swamp in a matter of years. China has become their main development partner and is literally building new cities and infrastructure.
The IUCN World Heritage Panel meets next week on the 2nd December, after which the Botswana World Heritage Committee and Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) will receive feedback on any additional supplementary information that is needed prior to the vote at the next session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in June next year. The main intention of the film is to motivate, amaze, bring together, inspire, and give voice to the people working to save the Okavango Delta. We are able to clean up and better manage degraded ecosystems, but these places will always be beholden unto us and rely on constant engineering and management. These places are still there because the managing, changing, taming, destroying, mining, domesticating, and urbanising hand of 20th and 21st century human beings was not able to establish a foothold in these wildernesses before the first protected areas were declared around the world. The route follows traditional Coast Salish tribal canoe channels via marine highway from Anacortes to San Juan, then continues as two separate driving tours on San Juan and Orcas.
Signature sites here include the free National Museum Cardiff (closed Mondays), iconic Cardiff Castle (host of the Grand Medieval Melee, August 13-14, the 150-store St. For the ultimate Roatan retreat, book an over-the-water, thatched-roof cabana at the secluded Mango Creek Lodge in Port Royal harbor on the island’s less-traveled East End. The current is powerful here, so you may want to play it safe and watch the windsurfing and cliff-jumping action from the safety of the rocky shore.
The park was taken off the list in 2007 thanks to renewed efforts to restore the ecosystema€”but those efforts have since proved less than successful. The development path that China will most likely encourage will not accommodate biodiversity conservation or the concept of wilderness preservation. So, yes, we will not stop until the Okavango Delta is Africa’s newest World Heritage Site. Inspiration is a powerful thing and shifting the global collective consciousness to mobilise efforts to save our last truly wild places on earth needs art and beauty – we need to make this film.
Over the past century, the levees built to protect low-lying New Orleans choked off the natural wetlands that once served as a buffer between the Big Easy and the Gulf of Mexico. All in the middle of the dry Kalahari and completely dependent on floodwaters coming down from Angola in winter. It is almost counter-intuitive, but, after a decade of trying to stimulate positive change for the Okavango through existing channels, we now know that making this film about a life-changing spiritual journey down Africa’s wildest river to capture baseline scientific data on the way this river is meant to be is absolutely essential and will create the momentum we need to achieve our goals.
As a scientist, ecologist and conservation biologist I know that we are incapable of managing landscapes for diversity and will never be able to achieve the intricate balance that evolved through natural selection over millions of years. The time is now to act in support of the preservation of the Okavango Delta, as rapid economic and infrastructural development, fuelled by oil revenue and China’s support, is coming to Angola.
So when the hurricane hit—with the area's natural buffers mostly gone—the resulting flooding overwhelmed the city's elaborate man-made defenses, leading to the worst natural disaster to hit the U.S.
The Okavango’s catchment is already coming under increasing pressure from irrigation schemes for huge agricultural developments. Mining has become a significant threat to the river and delta, surveys and exploration yields potentially lucrative mineral resources.
But in other places, it's the sheer complexity of the human-built environment that makes it more prone to catastrophic failure. In addition, Botswana, Angola and Namibia are very dry countries and the waters of the Okavango need to be considered as part of their food and water security moving forward. It was bad enough by itself, but it was made worse when it set off a chain reaction that caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.That's why the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take a look at disaster preparedness from a different angle. Is it possible to use "green" methods to avert catastrophe?"The natural infrastructure provided by ecosystems is often more locally accessible and less expensive to maintain than human-made, or 'gray' infrastructure," UN Environmental Program (UNEP) Director Ibrahim Thiaw said recently.
Even the Netherlands—one of the most engineered countries in the world—has instituted a program to make "Room for the River," re-establishing the floodplains of its rivers.Can sustainable development plans go hand in hand with disaster prevention?



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