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2009 Rio Conventions Calendar Photography
2009 Rio Conventions Calendar

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention for Bio Diversity (CBD) – otherwise known as the "Rio Conventions" present their A3 sized 2009 calendar to world leaders, heads of governments, environment ministers and negotiators, inter-governmental agencies, non government organizations and key individuals engaged in environmental challenges all over the world.

Global warming poses myriad threats to the survival of rainforests, including the increased threat of forest fires. Protecting tropical rainforests, which are home to more biodiversity than any other ecosystem, is key to protecting the planet’s health and curbing climate change.
Photograph Britta Jaschinski


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Biodiversity loss disrupts ecosystem functions, making ecosystems more vulnerable to shocks and disturbances, less resilient, and less able to supply humans with needed services.

The damage to coastal communities from floods and storms, for example, can increase dramatically where protective coastal wetland and forest habitats have been lost or degraded.

Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is therefore an important component in adaptation to extreme weather events associated with climate change.

Photograph Britta Jaschinski


Mountain environments directly support more than a fifth of the world’s people who live within mountain regions and provide freshwater for more than half of humanity.

These regions typically include forest ecosystems in the lower to medium high altitudes, which provide a range of services to mountain communities and to people in lowland areas.

Key for maintaining biodiversity, these forest ecosystems are threatened by the expansion of agriculture and unsustainable methods of timber harvesting, such as clear cutting and the establishment of forest monocultures.

Photograph Andy Rouse


The Antarctic peninsula is warming five times faster than the average in the rest of the world, destroying the nesting sites of the penguin population and reducing their sources of food.

These icons of the Antarctic face a tough battle to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Photograph Paul Souders


The global importance of enhanced land and soil management is becoming increasingly clear for sustainable food security.

Practicing Sustainable Land Management is an important measure in order to find long-term solutions to the problems of food security, access to water and mitigation of climate change.

Photograph Andrew Holbrooke


Ocean warming resulting from increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing coral bleaching, thereby threatening the health of the world’s coral reefs.

These fragile ecosystems are extremely important for biodiversity, providing a home to over 25% of all marine life, and for human livelihoods, especially in developing countries.

Photograph Martin Strmiska


Land degradation, exacerbated by climate change, could be a root cause of forced migration.

The number of people at risk of displacement due to severe desertification is estimated at 50 million over the next 10 years. Urban slums are swelling and the potential for poverty and conflicts remains high.

Photograph Michael Fay


Over 30% of the world’s forests are in the far North, with boreal forests covering 17% of the Earth’s land surface area and acting as a major storage area for carbon. As a result of the warming climate, these forests may be in decline.

Contributory factors may include a slowing growth of some trees as temperatures rise, drought stress, and infestations of destructive insects whose range is expanding.

Photograph James Bareham


One in four of the world’s mammal species is threatened with extinction. Primates face some of the most intense pressures. 79% of primates in South and Southeast Asia are facing extinction. In Africa, the Eastern gorilla is endangered while the Western gorilla is critically endangered.

Their populations are declining driven by deforestation, loss of habitat, hunting and disease. Conserving forests is not only vital for primates, but offers the multiple benefits of maintaining healthy ecosystems and water supplies, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

Photograph Andy Rouse


Land degradation affects men and women in different ways, according to the different productive roles that each group carries out in society.

Women play a pivotal role in drylands, with diverse responsibilities regarding agriculture, land management, the livestock and the household. Millions of women live in rural drylands and depend on the land to support their family.

Photograph Britta Jaschinski


Ice is melting everywhere – and at an accelerating rate. Rising global temperatures are thawing frozen ground and thinning ice caps and glaciers that in some cases have existed for millennia.

These changes are raising sea levels faster than earlier projected by scientists, threatening both human and wildlife populations.

Photograph Paul Nicklen


Forests play a major role in mitigating climate change by trapping and storing carbon dioxide. Deforestation – the burning or destruction of forests – accounts for 20% of global emissions of greenhouse gases.

The conservation and restoration of forests can help stem the tide of climate change, while preserving natural habitats for plant and animal life, and for people.

Photograph Michael Melford


Climate change and land degradation pose a major threat to everyone in the world, but nowhere is the crisis more acute than in the drylands, which are home to more than 2 billion people.

It is here, where the soils are especially fragile, vegetation is sparse and the climate is unforgiving, that desertification takes hold. Africa is particularly threatened, since land degradation affects about 46% of the whole continent.

Photograph Giuseppe aquili for al Madad Foundation


The Greenland ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break off. A satellite study shows that the glacier is now flowing three times faster into the sea than it was ten years ago. The implications for rising sea levels –and climate change – could be dramatic.

Photograph Howard Kingsnorth, represented by