Global Warming Photo Essay Example

  • June 2016

    Life after Smokey Mountain: Recycling Provides Livelihood Opportunities in Manila's Dump Site

    With support from ADB's Poverty and Environment Fund, a multi-purpose cooperative in the Philippines demonstrated how communities working together can improve livelihood opportunities while also looking after the environment.

  • April 2016

    A Climate Disaster in Mongolia

    Mongolia is being hit by a serious livelihood and food crisis arising from a slow-burning but deadly climate disaster unique to the country known as a "dzud."

  • January 2016

    Painting Our Green Future: Visions of the Environment by Children

    More than any words, a series of colorful and insightful paintings by students from the People's Republic of China tells us of the importance of the 3Rs - reduce, reuse, and recycle - to preserve our planet.

  • July 2015

    Views of Micronesia on a Path to Development

    A collection of colorful images shows hopes, plans, and deeds done to place the Federated States of Micronesia on a path to achieve financial sustainability, and economic and social development.

  • June 2015

    World Environment Day 2015: Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care

    The World Environment Day 2015 theme of consuming with care means living within planetary boundaries to ensure a healthy future where dreams can be realized. Rising rates of natural resource use and environmental impacts that occur are not a necessary by-product of economic growth. This photo essay shows how the ADB is supporting developing Asia to live sustainability and do more and better with less. 

  • June 2015

    Young Survivors Graduate from School after Typhoon Yolanda

    Bislig Elementary School in Leyte, Philippines begins another school year today. Badly damaged by Typhoon Yolanda, the school is well on its way to full recovery, having graduated its first class after the disaster in March 2015. 

  • May 2015

    Courage and Strength: Images of the Aftermath of the Nepal 2015 Earthquake

    Scenes of devastation and perseverance one month after the April 2015 earthquake that left more than 8,000 dead in Nepal

  • December 2014

    Back to Life in Indonesia: A Decade Since the Asian Tsunami

    From rebuilding infrastructure to restoring livelihoods, ADB and its partners were committed to building back better in Indonesia following the Asian Tsunami of 2004.

  • November 2014

    Typhoon Haiyan: A Year of Relief and Recovery

    One year after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Central Philippines, the country is now ready to move on from a phase of emergency and recovery to building back better much-needed infrastructure and services.

  • October 2014

    Tackling Pollution in Indonesia's Citarum River Basin

    Over the past 20 years, water quality in the Citarum region has been decreasing rapidly as pollution squeezes the life from the waterways.

  • This article was contributed by Amanda Lenhardt in support of The Overseas Development Institute.


    Growing up in a small town in Northern Canada, climate change wasn’t something I thought of often. And once I did learn about the global impacts of a changing climate a little later in life, the topic seemed too daunting to fully process. I tend to think of myself as an optimist, of the opinion that through thoughtful action we can see the positive changes we want for the world. The environment was always my one exception though, and while I’m typically up for a good challenge, I chose to work on global poverty issues because this seemed more within the realm of the possible than anything related to climate change.  

    It wasn’t until a recent trip to Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, that some light was shed on my gloomy outlook for the future of the planet. It was there, at the front lines of the fight against climate change, that I witnessed people taking up the task that I had been too timid to even consider. 

    Image: Amanda Lenhardt / ODI

    Amidst all the talk of climate change, for most people dominating the discussion, climate change is a distant concept - either it's something of concern for the future, or something experienced elsewhere. For farmers in Northern Burkina Faso on the edge of the Sahel desert though, climate change is a daily reality.  The temperaments of the climate dictate whether the season’s crops will yield enough food for families to eat, and whether enough will be produced to sell in order to afford to send kids to school or attend to health needs.

    Image: Amanda Lenhardt / ODI

    Last year, like many years in recent memory, the rains came late. Uncertainty has become the new normal for those living off of an unforgiving landscape where population pressures, deforestation and unsustainable farming practices have paved the way for the Sahel desert to creep ever closer. 

    Image: Amanda Lenhardt / ODI

    But farmers in Northern Burkina Faso are not sitting idly as the climate changes around them. For many years they have been adapting farming techniques to conserve water and regenerate soil in an effort to reclaim land from the desert and to adapt to changing weather patterns. 

    Image: Amanda Lenhardt / ODI

    Over the last 25 years, around 200,000 to 300,000 hectares of desertified lands have been reclaimed in Burkina Faso through the labour and investments of smallholder farmers, and with the support of national NGOs, international donors and government services. 

    Image: Amanda Lenhardt / ODI

    The use of improved farming techniques has meant that more food is produced and that families’ periods of food shortage have been significantly reduced. Although drought remains a threat year-on-year, the devastating famines experienced in the 1970s have so far been averted.  

    Image: Amanda Lenhardt / ODI

    However these gains are fragile, and many of the poorest farmers are unable to take on any further investment or dedicate any additional labour to continue to help the region adapt. More needs to be done to translate promises made by the world’s leaders into practical and effective support for families on the front lines of the fight against climate change.  

    Image: Amanda Lenhardt / ODI

    I left Burkina Faso feeling both humbled by the tireless efforts of people who are combatting desertification and climatic change, but also with a newfound optimism for the efficacy of actions towards a more sustainable world.  For those of us feeling overwhelmed by what that task might entail, one way to start is to extend support to those who’ve already taken up the challenge, as their fight is also our common fight. 

    To find out more about how farmers in Burkina Faso are finding solutions to climate change, take a look at this short film:

    TopicsEnvironmentFarmerssustainability

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