Portrait of Yolanda Kakabadse, head of the WWF

[For FT Weekend, United Kingdom]

Portrait of Ecuadorian environmentalist Yolanda Kakabadse, head of the World Wildlife Foundation, in her home in Quito.

 

Water usage in San Pablo del Lago

[For CAF Development Bank of Latin America]

Text taken from the CAF Development Bank of Latin America website:

The improvement and expansion of the potable water system in the village of San Pablo del Lago in Otavalo, Ecuador, reaches 99 percent. That is, almost all the population has access to potable water, improving the quality of life and health conditions of the inhabitants. 

 

Infiltrators

[For Johns Hopkins Public Health magazine, USA, also published in Faces of Exile website, Israel]

“Infiltrators” is the name with which the Israeli government calls African asylum seekers. The official explanation for this term is that they come from enemy countries and should be seen as an enemy force within the state of Israel. As I see it, this is just a method of scaring local population in order to increase discrimination and racism against them.

The great majority of “infiltrators” crossed the Israeli-Egyptian border on foot, taking high risks with Bedouin smugglers (there are countless reports of kidnaps, tortures and rapes) during the last five years. A big number of asylum seekers live next to the central bus station or around Levinsky park in the south of Tel Aviv. 

Their situation in Israel resembles life in limbo: the majority cannot be deported because of international conventions signed by Israel, which prevents the state to protect civilians running away from violence. However, the government refuses to issue them a proper refugee status, giving them instead a 3-month-visa. This document may be renewed, but it does not give them the right to work or own a business. This situation leads to an increase of illegal activities among asylum seekers, which, in turn, leads to fear and discrimination from local population.

Israeli authorities constantly offer them the option of “voluntarily deportation”, but from their perspective, this is impossible. Mutasim Ali, one of the leaders of the Sudanese community, explains that if the authorities in his home country would find out that he has been living in Israel, he will face tortures or execution upon arrival. Infiltrators

This project couldn’t be done without the help and support of local NGO African Refugee Development Center.

 

Agroecology

[For NGO Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières, France and also published by Terra Incognita Magazine, Ecuador]

The term agroecology has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. This term describes a mixed way of farming where organic, integrated, conventional and extensive farming come together. This reduces the ecological impact on nature, provides healthier products, does not destroy the land and provides a more or less stable income for farmers.

In Ecuador there are several agroecological projects going on. The most important ones are in the south-east of the country, where several farms, associations and markets are located. Polyculture, compost, natural enemies, water and soil quality and "minga" (Kichwua word that means the coming together for the betterment of all) - are some terms used in the agroecological practice. This projects are held by small farmers with technical support from NGOs like Agronomes et vétérinaires sans frontières (AVSF). 

In spite of it's well acceptance in the market, agroecological practice is still not well spread. Local authorities are not really interested in it and the majority of traditional farmers ignore the details of this method and believe production costs will be much higher and consumers won't understand what is that all about. 

This is the slow birth of another kind of farming in Ecuador and this series of photographs documents it.