Geographical

The monthly magazine of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. Covers a broad range of subjects related to geography in articles on people, places, cultures, adventure, responsible travel, history, science, and the envir

Articles from Vol. 87, No. 6, June

A New Lease of Life
Thirty years ago, visitors to Taipei would have been met by rubbish-filled streets and a spiralling waste problem. Chris Fitch reports on how a new mindset has taken hold and how the locals are embracing a cleaner lifestyle It's a warm autumn evening...
Ashes to Ashes: For More Ten Years, an Italian Design Team Has Been Trying to Change How We Will Spend Eternity
Despite an active consumer society, coffins are one object that people in the West rarely spend much time choosing. It's not the same the world over, some Ghanaians are buried in 'fantasy coffins' that resemble cars, aircraft and even pianos. What...
Between the Sunset and the Sea: A View of 16 British Mountains
BETWEEN THE SUNSET AND THE SEA: A View of 16 British Mountains by Simon Ingram, William Collins, 18.99 [pounds sterling] (hardback) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Simon Ingram is madly in love with mountains. They can be 'hostile, barren, land] bereft...
Blood Ransom
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] There's a war being fought in the Indian Ocean between the navies of the world and a rag-tag group of men and boys. In these edited extracts from his new book, Blood Ransom, the award-winning filmmaker John Boyle sheds light...
Borders
Klaus Dodds looks at the complex dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua over the San Juan River Rivers, seas, oceans, deserts, and mountains have often formed natural borders and boundaries between civilisations, empires and, more latterly, nation-states....
Building a Republic
Isolated and battered by storms and earthquakes, the relatively new nation of Vanuatu struggles at times to survive. Marco Magrini marvels at how a land of diversity overcomes immense hardship Vanuatu, a 35-year-old republic in the middle of the...
Expeditionary Film
Between 1922 and 1953 the Royal Geographical Society supported several major expeditions to Mount Everest, culminating in the successful 1953 Hillary-Tenzing ascent. The film footage of these expeditions, which differed significantly in both its type...
High on a Hill: Switzerland's Youth Have the Second-Highest Cannabis Consumption in the World, According to UNICEF
Since cannabis was effectively decriminalised two years ago, drug cultivation in Switzerland has soared. The country's drug laws have swung between permissiveness and conservatism over the last two decades and the result is an ambiguous situation where...
I'm a Geographer
I became interested in expedition medicine when I was personally involved in a student expedition to Lake Chad, an activity that would now be impossible due to Boko Haram. I was involved in a student project from Oxford University to look at the prevalence...
In the Footsteps of Darwin: When Novice Horse Rider Tom Allen Attempted to Follow Charles Darwin's Route to Explore the Length of the Santa Cruz River in Patagonia, He Discovered That the Immediate Future of This Near-Pristine Wilderness Is Far from Certain
I spun round to see Aiken break into a gallop. Something had spooked him and he was in no mood to take orders, as the morning's tensions had shown. Suddenly Petiso and Viejo, normally the two most level-headed equine members of our party, bolted after...
Into the Valley: In This Month's RGS-IBG Discovering Britain Walk Tom Hart Finds England's Second City Relies on a Dam Built in a Remote Welsh Valley
There's a bit of Birmingham in the Welsh valleys. It's a hundred-mile car journey from the Midlands to the mid-Wales beauty spot known as Elan Valley, and it's here that Birmingham's engineers came to find a fresh and incredibly soft water supply for...
Mangrove Prawns
Facing stiff competition from neighbouring countries, as well as a reluctance to alter unsustainable practises, Thailand's organic prawn farms are struggling to stay in business. But as Victor Paul Borg reports, there may be an environmental solution...
Moving Lives
A two-week trip to Isabela province in the northernmost part of the Philippines provided documentary photographer, Jacob Maentz, the opportunity to visually record one of the oldest and most nomadic tribes in the region ABOVE: the Agta are a subgroup...
Muddy Waters: England's Rivers Are under the Spotlight, after Recent Findings Suggested Only 17 per Cent Are in Either Good or High Health
The figure comes from an annual Environment Agency (EA) study into the health of 'water bodies'--segments of river divided into comparable sections--using a Europe-wide classification system called the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Each water body...
On the Road to Qalander: As More Than a Million Shia Muslims Gather, David Lewis Joins the Chaotic, Dramatic and, at Times, Brutal Sufi Pilgrimage to Discover Why the Tradition Continues against Mounting Persecution in Predominantly Sunni Pakistan
As the bus began to slow down, a young Sindhi boy wearing a dusty pistachio shatwar kameez jumped in through the open rear door. Balancing a steel bowl of glistening coconut slices on his shoulder, he weaved his way in between luggage, vomit, biscuit...
Sleeping Giants: Volcanoes Are One of Nature's Most Spectacular Sights and Make for Superb Photography, as Long as You Take the Correct Safety Precautions First
Volcanoes are spectacular and destructive in equal measure, which makes them both an exciting and highly dangerous subject for the camera. For that reason, the first advice any photographer should note is identifying the type of volcano that looms...
Ten of the Best
Aside from the actual horses and tack, travelling in the saddle on any expedition allows for a greater amount of kit than usual. For Tom Allen this included suitably warm sleeping gear, clothing that could withstand the harshest winds, backups for...
The African Manhattan
Construction has begun on South Africa's brand new 500million [pounds sterling], 1,600-hectare city, but some are expressing fear over a growing 'Chinese incursion' into the region Modderfontein, a small Johannesburg suburb has been chosen as the...
The Desert: Lands of Lost Borders
THE DESERT: Lands of Lost Borders by Michael Welland, Reaktion Books, 25 [pounds sterling] (hardback) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Paul Bowles dubbed it 'the baptism of solitude'--the sensation that the desert provokes; a source of well-being for...
The Gandhi Model
IF WE LISTEN AND ACT on what Mahatma Gandhi had to say on development, the focus is very simple. He said the ultimate solution for fighting poverty was not mass production but production by the masses. If we are to contain massive migration, prevent...
The Living Goddess
THE LIVING GODDESS by Isabella Tree, Eland, 12.99 [pounds sterling] (paperback) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In a rundown, ancient palace in the heart of Kathmandu a young, pre-pubescent girl is worshipped as a living goddess, sacred to both Hindus...
The Palestinians: Photographs of a Land and Its People from 1839 to the Present Day
THE PALESTINIANS: Photographs of a Land and its People from 1839 to the Present Day by Elias Sanbar, Editions Hazan/Yale University Press, 35 [pounds sterling] (hardback) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Europeans took many photographs of Palestine...
'The Voyage of the F.H. Moore' and Other 19th Century Whaling Accounts
'THE VOYAGE OF THE F.H. MOORE' AND OTHER 19TH CENTURY WHALING ACCOUNTS edited by Greg Bailey, McFarland & Co, 35.95 [pounds sterling] (paperback)) Though now the subject of heated moral debate, in the 19th century, whaling was a necessity....
World Religions
Religion as something 'eminently social' (as described by Emile Durkheim) finds its expression in the distribution of the major religious groups in the world. These have distinct geographical patterns to them, showing the regional influences that each...
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