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A village elder emerges from the forest near his community in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. The Jola (Diola) people are an ancient ethnic group that predominate in Casamance. Unlike most ethnic groups of West Africa, the Jola have no caste system. Their communities are based on extended clan settlements with a highly egalitarian organization and collective consciousness. Their culture is profoundly linked to nature and their environment. Most Jola communities sustain themselves through fishing, rice cultivation and palm oil and wine production. Casamance has a unique ecosystem of mangroves, forests and wetlands that has been significantly affected by climate change due to drought, the rise in sea levels and the salinization of waterways and soil, adversely affecting the way of life of its inhabitants. While communities are actively seeking partners and ways to improve their standard of living, they are determined to protect their sacred forests and natural environment. Diagho, Senegal. 10/11/2014.
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Photo © J.B. Russell
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Climate Change and West Africa Biodiversity
A village elder emerges from the forest near his community in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. The Jola (Diola) people are an ancient ethnic group that predominate in Casamance. Unlike most ethnic groups of West Africa, the Jola have no caste system. Their communities are based on extended clan settlements with a highly egalitarian organization and collective consciousness. Their culture is profoundly linked to nature and their environment. Most Jola communities sustain themselves through fishing, rice cultivation and palm oil and wine production. Casamance has a unique ecosystem of mangroves, forests and wetlands that has been significantly affected by climate change due to drought, the rise in sea levels and the salinization of waterways and soil, adversely affecting the way of life of its inhabitants. While communities are actively seeking partners and ways to improve their standard of living, they are determined to protect their sacred forests and natural environment. Diagho, Senegal. 10/11/2014.