Raghida has currently 203 votes, and is ranked #3
The Earth Journalism Awards started as a competition of approximately 450 submitted applications from over 100 countries. It is now 15 finalists from just 10 countries.
Until December 9, this is YOUR chance to select the winning story which will be presented at the Earth Journalism Awards ceremony in Copenhagen, on December 14.
Raghida Haddad, from Lebanon, is executive editor of Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia (Environment & Development), a leading environment magazine in the Middle East. In 2008, she spent 2 weeks in the Arctic Ocean to witness global warming.
Raghida was among 14 journalists invited by the World Federation of Science Journalists to join an international scientific expedition onboard the Canadian research icebreaker Amundsen.
In July-August 2008, she took a two week voyage in the Arctic Ocean to get first hand experience of global warming where it is unfolding the fastest, and relay this experience to readers throughout the Arab region.
She was the first Arab journalist to go this far north and field-report about meltdown and global warming.
Excerpt from her report, A Journey in the Arctic:
I arrived yesterday by helicopter from Banks Island, off Canada’s Northwestern coast, after a long 8-flight journey from Lebanon. On that barren freezing island, I could imagine how life on the moon would be. Surprisingly, 120 natives still live there in the coastal community of Sachs Harbor.
A young Inuit (commonly known as Eskimo) came to the air strip where we were waiting for the helicopter to fly us to the icebreaker. I asked him how living on the island was.
"My people live on fishing and hunting caribou, musk ox and snow geese that land in hundreds of thousands," he said. Summer is very short on this 250-mile island, just two months. So the Inuit cannot grow vegetables and fruits. The villagers also have an annual quota to hunt 28 polar bears which they sell for their hides, "but we have not filled our quota in the past years. Fewer bears are showing up."
"There is so much open space and outdoor living," he added. "I will not trade my life in the village for anything in the world. This is where I grew up, hunting and fishing. This is home."
Home, sweet home, even on a remote moonlike island in the Arctic!
Life has changed, however, for the Inuit who have lived here for thousands of years. They rely on freezing seawater in the straits to move about and cross to other islands for hunting. With an unprecedented temperature rise in the Arctic, sea ice starts to melt sooner in spring and surface water starts to freeze later in autumn. Thinning ice is not favourable for the Inuit way of life.
This is also the main concern of some fifty international scientists on board the research icebreaker, who are studying climate change where it is claiming its heaviest toll: in the Arctic.
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