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PHOTOESSAY: 10 stunning landscapes from the world’s toughest places

2 years ago

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RYOT POINTS

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Haiti: Much of Haiti's natural landscape has been degraded from decades of deforestation and poor environmental practices. We're working with farmers to restore the land, building rock walls and planting trees to prevent erosion and protect communities from floods. (Lloyd Smith/AGWM Builders Int'l for Mercy Corps)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We discovered this photoessay on the site of one of our partners, Mercy Corps, and they graciously allowed us to re-publish it. Please support their work by visiting their website, donating or sharing these amazing photographs.

We work in some of the toughest places in the world, but their incredible settings are a reminder of what lies beyond poverty, conflict and disaster.

I sat down with Phil Ottum, our Photo Specialist, to take a look at some outstanding landscape shots captured during visits to Mercy Corps programs across the globe. We are helping these communities move beyond crisis so that some day soon, the world won’t focus on their struggles, but on their stunning vistas and vibrant cultures.

1. Haiti

haiti-201002-lsmith-0145
Lloyd Smith/AGWM Builders Int’l for Mercy Corps

Much of Haiti’s natural landscape has been degraded from decades of deforestation and poor environmental practices. We’re working with farmers to restore the land, building rock walls and planting trees to prevent erosion and protect communities from floods. Click hear to read about Mercy Corps’ work in Haiti.

2. Afghanistan

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Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps

In this mountainous nation struggling to emerge from decades of instability, 85% of the population relies on agriculture livelihoods. Mercy Corps is working with farmers to increase crop yields, link growers to markets, and keep livestock healthy. Click here to read about Mercy Corps’ work in Afghanistan.

3. Indonesia

Matt Styslinger/Mercy Corps
Matt Styslinger/Mercy Corps

This island nation has no shortage of gorgeous beaches. But these coastlines, where most of the population lives, are vulnerable to rising sea levels. Mercy Corps is working to mitigate the impact of natural disasters before they happen. Click here to read about Mercy Corps’ work in Indonesia.

4. Kyrgyzstan

Colin Spurway/Mercy Corps
Colin Spurway/Mercy Corps

Because this country’s terrain is predominantly mountainous, less than 8% of the land there is cultivated. To make the most of the environment, Mercy Corps helps families manage home gardens and raise livestock to boost incomes. Click here to read about Mercy Corps’ work in Kyrgyzstan.

5. Georgia

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Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps

This country is still trying to find its way after the dissipation of the Soviet Union more than twenty years ago. Most families rely on subsistence farming; we help increase their income by improving agricultural training and business services. Click here to read about Mercy Corps’ work in Georgia.

6. India

Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps
Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps

From the soaring mountain peaks of Kashmir to the terraced tea gardens of Darjeeling and Assam’s humid lowlands, Mercy Corps is helping families in some of India’s most remote regions get better access to financial services and education. Click here to read about Mercy Corps work in India.

7. Tajikistan

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Amy Spindler/Mercy Corps

Despite its majestic beauty, The World Bank identified Tajikistan as the Central Asian country with the greatest vulnerability to climate change. Mercy Corps is working to help remote villages create response plans in the event of natural disasters. Click here to read about Mercy Crops’ work in Tajikistan.

8. Ethiopia

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Geoff Oliver Bugbee for Mercy Corps

Frequent drought and unpredictable harvests consistently put families in the Horn of Africa at risk of going hungry. We are helping build resistance to the harsh weather by training farmers to grow drought-resistant crops and safely store rainwater. Click here to read about Mercy Corps’ work in Ethiopia.

9. Colombia

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Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps

This lush rainforest has been the battleground for a brutal, decades-long civil war. Mercy Corps gets basic necessities to families displaced by guerrilla attacks, and helps former child soldiers start over. Click here to read about Mercy Corps’ work in Colombia.

10. Central African Republic

Sean Sheridan for Mercy Corps
Sean Sheridan for Mercy Corps

The heart of Africa is haunted by conflict. Unpredictable attacks by the violent Lord’s Resistance Army have displaced about 250,000 people. Mercy Corps is working to protect children and help women defend their basic rights. Click here to read about Mercy Corps’ work in Central African Republic.

RYOT NOTE: We LOVE this photoessay by Mercy Corps. This is exactly the type of thing we are trying to show to people! You always hear about doom and gloom in places like Haiti and Africa, but there is so much beauty as well. Most people just don’t want to highlight it. Mercy Corps helps people living in all these areas. You can support their efforts by donating today, or by sharing this story.

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aid developing countries Photography
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PHOTOESSAY: 10 stunning landscapes from the world’s toughest places

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