QUNU, EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA, 14 DECEMBER 2013: Xhosa Initiates pass by close to the funeral of Nelson Mandela, Qunu, South Africa, 14 December 2014. These initiates have recently been circumsized traditionally and without anesthetic. They will spend up to two months dressed this way and learning the tradtions of Xhosa culture. Nelson Mandela, an icon of democracy, also went through this tradtional ritual. Mandela was buried at his family home in Qunu after passing away on the 5th December 2013.

MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Traditional dress in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008. These outfits will be worn on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 30 April 2015: Two alpha male silverback mountain gorilla from the Mpua family seen in the Jomba rainforest, Virunga National Park, DRC. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of elephants bathing inside Lake Edward close to the IShango Ranger station in Virunga National Park, DRC. There are only around 200 Savanah elephants left in Virunga, victims of extensive poaching campaigns since 1995. There is an effort underway by the Rangers to protect these remaining elephants and reopen the corridor to Queen Elizabeth Park in nearby Uganda to see Virunga's elephants return. Potential oil exploration in the area further threatens Virunga's elephants, with the potential oil area falling inside their corridor and habitat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

KANGATOSA, TURKANA, KENYA, 11 OCTOBER 2014: Turkana tribeswomen greet each other in the traditional way by touching heads. Many greetings in this tribe are meant to mimic the actions of cattle. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for HRW.)

RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: Moonlit images of active volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Scenes from the port of Timbuktu at the apex of the Niger River, Timbuktu is a historical Malian city, a long established centre of learning for Africa on 12 September 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: Porters wait out a rainstorm while carrying bags for tourists who will overnight at the top. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE, 23 NOVEMBER 2013: Young boys clown around posing as strongmen, Maputo beachfront, Mozambique.

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: Images of Beshadar boys playing on the banks of the Omo river in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Late Afternoon scenes at a funeral in the streets of Timbuktu, MALI, 5 JANUARY 2010. Funerals in Timbuktu are conducted separately, with the woman mourning inside the house of the deceased and the men outside on the street involved in prayers and remembrance in the Islamic tradition. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: A young Tuareg artisan boy, Anara Ag Hamay Cisse, 13 years old, stands in the dunes outside of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city, January 18, 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)

TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Children play in the rain in a welcome respite from the desert heat in a street scene in Timbuktu, a historical Malian city, a long established centre of learning for Africa, , September 11, 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A traditionally dressed elder in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008. These outfits will be worn only on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. The man in the picture is a leader in the village and he is on his way to a compensation ceremony in which money and pigs will be exchanged for a land deal with another village. This convoluted process of compensation is part of the traditional way of life of village people. It is based on a system which addresses a community rather than individuals and is meant as an insurance system for the general well-being of all. In reality it limits access to education and medicine and is in many ways similar to compensation litigation in the USA. No-one benefits in the long term as individual efforts are closely monitored for flaws for which compensation is then sought, this often results in a one step forwards, two steps backwards mentality. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TURKANA, KENYA, 8 OCTOBER 2014: Scenes from Longetch fishing village on the shores of Lake Turkana, Kenya, the world's largest inland desert lake. This region of the lake is a well know spawning ground and at the heart of fishing commerce for the Turkana. These villagers along with many thousands along the shores of this vast body of water are soley dependent on the lake for their survival. The Turkana are traditionally pastoralists but persistent droughts have decimated their herds to such an extent that for many Turkana fishing is now their main means of subsistence and commerce. The same pattern is emerging for other tribes along the lake shore. Recent dam building in Ethiopia is likely to bring the Omo river to one fifth of its current flow, sugar cane farms along the Omo are already causing tribal movement down to Lake Turkana as pastoralists struggle for grazing and water rights. The Omo river supplies 90% of Lake Turkana's water and these dams and sugar cane farms look likely to severly impact the renewal of the lake's waters. This threatens all the tribes around the lake and makes conflict over diminishing resources ever likely. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for Human Rights Watch.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Huli Wigmen photographed at a sing-sing, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli tribe, the second largest tribe in PNG, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly. Education and the Church have also been a profound influence. Although men often still wear traditional headgear and some face-paint, ragged western clothing is the norm although combinations of the traditional wear and western clothing are common. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of kids enjoying the lake in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations. This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Traditional dress in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008. These outfits will be worn on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU REGION, MALI, 21 SEPTEMBER 2009: Tuareg Nomads end the Ramadan fast in the desert about 50 kilometers outside of Timbuktu with prayer and dancing, Timbuktu Region, Mali, September 21 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: An image of Karo maidens in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Two young Tuareg women have their hair dressed by other Tuareg women inside a traditional nomad tent at a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in a traditional dance ceremony with both men and women in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

DILABYNO, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Beshadar people, closely related to the Hamar tribe, in a traditional bull-jumping ceremony in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. The bull-jumping ceremony is one of the most important in a man's life, and once completed allows him to take a wife and marry. The Hamar people and their tribal affiliates conduct a bull-jumping on a regular basis while the Karo people are much more selective in who they allow to bulljump and jump far less frequently. The ceremony is about hierachy and membership in the tribe and typically involves a young man who undergoes a number of rituals before he leaps onto and runs rapidly over a series of cattle held by other men who have recently jumped. Once completed he is a man in the eyes of the tribe. An important part of the ceremony is the ritualistic whipping which women actively seek out from certain men known as Mazha. The women harrass these men who then whip them once with a thin reed like stick before casting the stick away. The whipping causes bleeding and pain but the women look upon it as a sign of strength, loyalty and obligation to the bulljumper. They become incensed through a series of dances and then demand to be whipped in a macho, masochistic display. The resultant scars are worn as a badge of honor by many of the women. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

iMFOLOZI GAME RESERVE, NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA, MAY 2011: Images of White Rhino in iMfolozi Game Reserve in Natal, South Africa, May 1, 2011. Hluwhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve is the worlds largest repository of Rhino, with an estimated 2300 rhino in total, a majority of which are White and a large contingent of Black Rhino. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

TSAVO EAST, KENYA, MAY 2011: Images of some of the last of the great Elephant tuskers in Africa, taken in Tsavo Eastm 18 May, 2011. Massive elephant poaching in recent years has seen most of the mature bull elephant population of African countries decimated for their ivory. A Tusker is defined as an elephant with a set of 100 pound ivory tusks, or therabouts. This depletion of the elephant gene pool is having a negative effect on populations, with weak dna being passed on instead of the strongest. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A Huli Wigman waits out a rain-storm, smoking and applying his traditional face paint while waiting for the rain to clear, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli Wigmen, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A Huli Wigman who performs for tourists waits out a rain-storm in his room, smoking and applying his traditional face paint while waiting for the rain to clear, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli Wigmen, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly and traditional dress is now reserved for tourism and important ceremonies only. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of traditional "Mud-Men" in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008. "Mud-Men" are originally thought to have originated from a small Chimbu province clan who was attacked by a much larger clan to steal their land. The smaller but smarter clan is reputed to have fled into the forest and there decorated themselves in mud and in the fearsome masks depicted here. They then counter-attacked the larger clan who, thinking they were being attacked by spirits of the forest , fled the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: An image of an old woman of the Dassanech tribe sitting riverside in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

TASSILI 'N AJJER, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Images of famed tourist site and traditional Tuareg land, Tassili 'n Ajjer, in the south of Algeria, 02 May 2009. (photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic Magazine.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Two Tuareg men drive a traditional Camel caravan laiden with salt tablets on twenty camels making the 16 day journey through the desert from Taodenni, a salt mine in the north of Mali, to the home of an Arab businessman in Timbuktu, Mali, 22 January 2010. The salt industry is in transition, long the province of the Tuareg and their camel caravanss, modernization has seen the Arabs come to dominate this trade, using powerful trucks to transport the salt over the desert in a tenth of the traditional time with far more salt onboard. As a result the camel caravans are now seen as the poor man's alternative and trucks are more and more the route of the future. Disputes between the clans of the Tuareg have also seen the caravans become far smaller, they are no longer incentivised to work together for a large caravan and it is rare to see a caravan of more than 20 camels nowadays. Everytime the caravan stops, the camels must be unloaded and it is hard and brutal work, many young Tuaregs would rather do something else or work with the Arab traders and their trucks. The Tuareg men on this caravan feel that the trade will continue on camels but that it will be the poor who undertake the long, arduous journey as they have no alternative. Ironically, most of the route with the exception of two small zones is now undertaken by the camel caravan on the same road that is used by the trucks. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

MIDDLE SEPIK, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of the Karawari people of the middle Sepik river, 15 December 2008. The Karawari are the most remote of the floodplains people, with many vllages along the river barely a generation old. The most recent settlements date only from 1996. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant is delivered by truck to attend a festival in Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in mhust have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MPIMBWE, WESTERN TANZANIA, OCTOBER 2012: Lion Dancers from the Sakuma tribe perform the story of their lion killing outside a village in rural Mpimbwe, Western Tanzania, October 27, 2012. Lion dancers are men who have killed a lion in defense of their cattle or their village. They are a deeply superstitious people who believe that once they have killed a lion they have to become a lion dancer for 3 to 5 years to avoid going mad. They spend a year or longer preparing with the local witchdoctor and then go from village to village seeing their relatives and dancing while collecting tribute for their bravery. In a time when lion are very scarce in the region, this practice is actively discouraged by conservation organizations and it is slowly dying out. When the dancers appear in the villages, they are often praised and given money, goats and even sometimes a small cow. It is therefore something that some young men aspire to, even going as far as to venture into the local Katavi National Park in pursuit of a lion. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

DILABYNO, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Beshadar people, closely related to the Hamar tribe, in a traditional bull-jumping ceremony in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. The bull-jumping ceremony is one of the most important in a man's life, and once completed allows him to take a wife and marry. The Hamar people and their tribal affiliates conduct a bull-jumping on a regular basis while the Karo people are much more selective in who they allow to bulljump and jump far less frequently. The ceremony is about hierachy and membership in the tribe and typically involves a young man who undergoes a number of rituals before he leaps onto and runs rapidly over a series of cattle held by other men who have recently jumped. Once completed he is a man in the eyes of the tribe. An important part of the ceremony is the ritualistic whipping which women actively seek out from certain men known as Mazha. The women harrass these men who then whip them once with a thin reed like stick before casting the stick away. The whipping causes bleeding and pain but the women look upon it as a sign of strength, loyalty and obligation to the bulljumper. They become incensed through a series of dances and then demand to be whipped in a macho, masochistic display. The resultant scars are worn as a badge of honor by many of the women. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

MARARABA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER , 2009: Scenes of Tuareg semi-nomadic life from the small transit town of Mararaba, Niger, September 27 2009. This small town is an intersection point for Agadez and Niamey. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: A Mosque and two muslims on the outskirts of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city, 23 January 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)

KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Playing basketball in a nomad camp close to Karakorum, Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

SING RIVER, MINKEBI NATIONAL PARK, GABON, JUNE 2011: An anti-poaching team composed of Gabon Parcs personal, Gabon military, Baka pygmy porters and two Pirouge pilots conduct an anti-poaching mission up the Sing River in Minkebi National Park, Gabon, 26 June 2011. Gabon has recently seen a large spate of Elephant killings as a result of thousands of illegal goldminers that had flooded into the Minkebi region to exploit a lack of the rule of law in the reserve. Approximately a month ago the Gabonese military and Gabon Parcs Department conducted a large joint operation, inviting all these illegal miners to go home to their own countries or face detention. The presence of these illegals also created a thriving illegal ivory industry, fueled by the presence of Chinese traders in Gabon and neighbouring Congo Brazzaville and Cameroon. This expedition up the Sing River was to check for the presence of these illegals and to see if they were carrying out any poaching activity. There were no sightings and now only empty mining settelements remain. It appears the initial operations have put the word out and the illegal miners and poaching villages are no more in this region of Gabon. The operation involved travelling far up the Sing River in Minkbebi Park, cutting river pathways for the pirouges and doing a thorough check for poachers all the way up the river. There are plans for a permanent "Jungle Brigade" for this region within the next 6 months and that should safeguard the borders of Gabon and its wildlife from further poaching threats. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

CEBU, PHILIPPINES, JANUARY 2012: The "Walk with Mary," procession in Cebu, Philippines, 13 January 2012. This devotional walk is part of the Sinulog festival, a larger celebration largely devoted to the Santo Nino, a 15th century religious icon portraying Jesus Christ as an infant, originally brought to Cebu by Ferdinand Maggelan in 1521. Historical accounts say that before Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan came to Cebu on April 7, 1521 to plant the cross on its shore and claim the country for the King of Spain, Sinulog was already danced by the natives in honor of their wooden idols and anitos. Then Magellan came and introduced Christianity. He gave the Santo Nino (image of the Child Jesus) as baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon who was later named Queen Juana. At that time, not only the rulers were baptized but also about 800 of their subjects. Unfortunately, however, shortly after the conversion, Magellan went into a reckless adventure by fighting the reigning ruler of Mactan, Rajah Lapulapu, with only a handful of men. He died in the encounter. That was on April 27, 1521. The remnants of Magellan’s men were able to return to Spain to report the incident and the possibility of conquest. It took 44 years before a new group came and started the formal Christianization of the islands. Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived in Cebu on April 28, 1565. His ships bombarded the village and in one of the burning huts, one of his soldiers named Juan Camus found inside a wooden box the image of the Santo Nino lying side by side with native idols. Historians now say that during the 44 years between the coming of Magellan and Legaspi, the natives continued to dance the Sinulog. This time however, they danced it no longer to worship their native idols but a sign of reverence to the Santo Nino which is now enshrined at the San Agustin Church ( renamed Basilica Minore del Santo Nino). The Santo Nino has since become the centerpiece of an intense Filipi

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MOUNT HAGEN, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of traditional ceremonial dress for men and women in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, 16 December 2008.(Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

ULAAN BATAAR, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Fashionable girls strike model poses underneath a dinosaur exhibit in Ulaan Bataar's central square, Mongolia, 7 July 2013. The square has two statues dedicated to the spirit of Ghengis Khan, Mongolia's undisputed hero. It is a popular meeting place in the city. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)

LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: Dasenetch pastoralist villages on the shores of northern Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. The lake is central to the survival of the Dasenetch people, as well as water during the dry season, fishing has become a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. One of the young warriors in this ceremony is wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion he speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Early morning scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

DJANET, ALGERIA, 3 MAY: Scenic images of a Tuareg family picnicking in the desert outside of the town of Djanet on a Friday, the Muslim holy day, on April 3 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, 15 SEPTEMBER 2009: A Songhai woman walks between temporary settlements on the outskirts of Timbuktu. Traders come from all over this region of Africa to do business in the legendary city. They come during the rainy season so as to have grazing for their animals and leave again when the season is over, heading back to Niger, Mauritania and other regions of the Sahara. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THRISSUR, KERALA, INDIA, 19 APRIL 2013: Mahouts clean an elephant in a private home enclosure, Thrissur, Kerala, India 19 April 2013. This elephant belongs to Sundar Menon, a fuel supply magnate who runs Sungroup international. His is one of over 50 elephants that will attend the largest elephant festival in Kerala. These 50 elephants attend this festival amidst a crowd of over 500 000 people. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)

KARAKORUM, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Young riders take part in the Nadaam Festival to mark Mongolian Independence, Karakorum, Mongolia, 8 July 2013. These young riders will ride their horses 30 kilometers over rough ground in a race meant to symbolize bravery. Riders as young as 5 years old take part and there is heavy gambling on the outcome. The race is taken very seriously by Mongolians and affluent people often pay large sums of money so that they can ride their 4 x 4 cars alongside the riders. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant is bathed in a temple complex, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Many of the elephants here go out for elephant festivals. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Images of the Bageni family in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. The gorillas sector is currently occupied by the M23 rebel movement of the Congolese army. Despite this and a previous occupation by a previous rebel group, the gorillas continue to survive, largely due the efforts of the ICCn, the Congolese Conservation Authority. The previous Bukima camps were destroyed, first by the CNDP rebel movement in 2008 and 2009; now most recently by their followers, the M23 rebels. Despite these setbacks and the ongoing danger, the ICCN Congolese conservation rangers continue to protect the mountain gorillas of the region and to plan for tourism which will follow if peace is achieved. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Evening scenes in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

ZAGADO, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of Tuareg Nomad people gathered around a well site in Zagado, Nothern Niger, 7 April 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Women and children fetch water from a newly contructed tap system built by the ICCN Congolese Conservation authority on the outskirts of Virunga National Park, DRC, 13 March 2012. This facility means the women and children no longer have to walk 6 kilometers to springs higher on the mountain. This has improved productivity, water quality and safety for the women. In addition to this project ICCN has constructed more than 30 schools, water points and hydro-elecric schemes, all part of a concerted effort to building understanding and appreciation for the park in the minds of local communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

DENCHIG MONASTRY, OYU TOLGOI, EAST SOUTH GOBI, MONGOLIA, 17 July 2013: A devotee prays at the legendary monastry founded a number of centuries ago by a devout monk Denchig, Gobi desert, Mongolia, 17 July 2013. The monastry and its stupas have a reputation as an energy center and devotees come here to replenish themselves. They sit under the prayer scarves with one hand on the rock and the other raised to heaven. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by GEO magazine.)

ISHANGO, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. 11 AUGUST 2013: Local men bathe in the Semliki River as it flows into Lake Edward, Ishango, DRC, 11 August 2013. This river and the Lake itself are inside Virunga National Park, a World Heritage site, they are currently in danger of oil exploration by British oil company SOCO, who have acquired rights to prospect for oil through dubious means. Thousands of Lakeside inhabitants find their while way of life threatened by this exploration. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Boys play soccer near a Tuareg desert mural in the center of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city, 22 January 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. One of the young warriors in this ceremony is wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion he speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ASSEKREM, TASSILI DU HOGGAR, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Achmed, a Tuareg guide and elder photgraphed in a mountain cabin in the Tassili Du Hoggar, a series of beautiful rock plateaus that begin approximately 300km's south of Tamanrasset and extend all the way to the Niger border, 17 April 2009, Assekrem, Tassili Du Hoggar. These images were photographed from a small mountaintop cloister run by followers of the Frenchman Charles De Foucald. Foucald, once a hedonistic 19th century playboy, became devoutly religous and moved to Tamanrasset and in 1911 chose Assekrem as the site of his hermitage. He was assasinated by Tuaregs in 1916 after he was suspected of being a French spy. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

SOUTH KHANGAI MOUNTAINS, BAYANKHONGOR AIMAG, MONGOLIA, JULY 11, 2013: Nomad lifestyle in the early morning, South Khangai Mountains, Mongolia, July 11 2013. Nomads live largely off the milk and meat of their yaks and goats, they also make an alcoholic drink from fermented horse's milk. They lead simple but tough lives in this area, often using both horses and motorbikes as well as soviet era 4x4 vehicles to get around. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

GIR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, GUJARAT, INDIA, APRIL 9 2013: Amra Vejabhai, 71, is a Maldhari shepherd who lives with his family in a Maldhari community inside Gir Wildlife Sancturary, home to the Asiatic lion, the last lion outside of Africa inside Gir National Park, Gujarat, India, 9 April 2013. Ten years ago Amra was attacked by a lion while out with his buffalo and cows in the Sanctuary, the lion bit him on the neck when he tried to stop them killing a small buffalo. Amra was saved by his buffalo charging the lion which released him and ran. Amra claims he feels no ill will to the lions and sees them killing his cows and buffalo as just part of life in Gir, a place the Maldhari have inhabited with their cattle and buffalo for centuries. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reporage for Terra Matte Magazine.)

Tonga Warrior men with traditional tattoos

Surviving Cancer, New Jersey, USA

KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Tourists pose with eagles for a fee outside the Monastery at Karakorum, one of the largest in Mongolia and surrounded by 108 stupas, Mongolia, 8 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 14, 2013: A young girl holds shampoo for her father as he showers on the day of her haircutting ceremony, Singing Dunes, Gobi, Mongolia, July 14, 2013. This hair cutting ceremony for two girls, a 4 year old and a 3 year old, is the first time their hair has been cut. This is an important rite of passage for these young Mongolian nomad girls. A strand of hair is cut first by the most respected male elder and then a stand is cut by all people at the ceremony. Relatives come from far for this, a sheep/goat is cooked and there is much singing, drinking fermented horse milk and general celebrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party catches wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes from a village hunt in the surrounding forest, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations. This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)

TOUWA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER 2009: A young Tuareg girl, Mariam Francois Acosta, 17, a girl descended from mixed Tuareg French blood, prepares for her wedding in the Niger city of Touwa, Spetember 25 2009. She is tended by the female members of her family and her friends. It is similar to a traditional wedding except for the nature of the clothing which is worn. She is dressed and made up, a meal is eaten, there is dancing with a Tuareg band on electric guitars, everyone goes to the Mosque at 3pm to give thanks for the wedding and after that she is considered married. That evening a party is thrown with more music and dancing. The bride and groom do not appear together for an official nuptials, it all occurs seperately. The name of the groom is Ibrahim Mahmoudane. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

NEW YORK, USA, MAY 2010: Japanese Kimono dress in New York, USA, 5 May 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton.)

GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 14, 2013: Young girls on the day of their haircutting ceremony, Singing Dunes, Gobi, Mongolia, July 14, 2013. This hair cutting ceremony for two 4 year old and a 3 year old girls is the first time their hair has been cut. This is an important rite of passage for these young Mongolian nomad girls. A strand of hair is cut first by the most respected male elder and then a stand is cut by all people at the ceremony. Relatives come from far for this and a sheep/goat is cooked and there is much singing and celebrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 28 JULY 2013: Images of fisherman at work on the Southern shores of Lake Edward, 29 July 2013. These men are amongst 30 000 other Lake Edward fisherman who utilize the lake for the livelihood of their families. The fish is eaten locally and also smoked and sent to Goma. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Scenes from Vitshumbi fishing village on Lake Edward, Virunga National Park, DRC, March 8 2012. There are over 800 registered legal fisherman on Lake Edward, they supply the main food source to over 40 000 people who live around the edges of the lake, the lake is also an important tributary for the Nile. Socco Oil, a UK based oil company, are attempting to prospect for oil in Lake Edward, located in Virunga National Park. This is illegal under Congolese Law and in 2011 the then Minister of the Environment declared that there would be no oil exploration in Virunga, a world heritage site and Africa's first National Park, the second ever after Yellowstone in the USA. Since then that Minister has lost his seat and Socco has worked hard to obtain partners under suspicious circumstances which will allow them to begin oil exploration in Lake Edward in Virunga National Park. The fisherman of Lake Edward and the vast majority of people living around the Lake are firmly opposed to this, believing that there will be catastrophic damage to the environment from which they make their living and feed the local population. Socco and their local political allies have tried to sell them on the idea that there will be job creation, roads, schools and hospitals but the locals believe that the only people who will benefit will be certain politicians and not their local villages. Socco previously prospected in Selous National Park in Tanzania and created environmental damage there, locals fear the same now for Lake Edward. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 AUGUST 2013: Scenes from the fishing village of Kavanyongi on the Northern shores of Lake Edward inside Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 August 2013. This lake shore village relies on fishing for its livelihood and for all its water needs. It is the biggest village on the lake shores on the Congolese side, with a population of 30 000. SOCO, a British oil company, has acquired the rights to prospect for oil on the shores of of Lake Edward under dubious circumstances, changing Congolese law from a no prospecting in Virunga rule to allowing prospecting within one year. This prospecting block places them inside the Park, a world heritage site and Africa's first ever National Park. Drilling for oil could prove disastorous for the fishing villages all around the lake shores as well as for all tributaries carrying water for Lake Edward, the source of the nile. If the lake is poisoned, it will affect fresh water supply, fish, hippo, multiple other species as well as migrating and local bird populations and the livelihood of more than 30 000 fisherman on the Congolese side of the lake. There is also danger to the Ugandan side and to other countries who benefit from Lake Edward as a water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, MARCH 2012: Fishermen on a traditional Dhow sail past the docks in Zanzibar, Tanzania, March 20 2012. The docks of East and Southern Africa have long formed an essential link in the smuggling of illegal Ivory from Africa to Asia. Last year in Zanzibar and Mombassa significant amounts of illegal ivory were found in containers labeled as something else on their way to the Far East. It is estimated that for every shipment found, at least another 20 make their past customs, often with the complicity of the customs authority. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

PARAVOOR, KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant festival at Paravoor, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

PARAVOOR, KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant festival at Paravoor, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

ULAAN BATAAR, MONGOLIA, 7 JULY 2013: Scenes of the city of Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia, 7 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 15, 2013: A storm breaks in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, July 15, 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Scenes from the Salton Sea, a inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

ASSEKREM, TASSILI DU HOGGAR, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Images in the Tassili Du Hoggar, a series of beautiful rock plateaus that begin approximately 300km's south of Tamanrasset and extend all the way to the Niger border, 17 April 2009, Assekrem, Tassili Du Hoggar. These images were photographed from a small mountaintop cloister run by followers of the Frenchman Charles De Foucald. Foucald, once a hedonistic 19th century playboy, became devoutly religous and moved to Tamanrasset and in 1911 chose Assekrem as the site of his hermitage. He was assasinated by Tuaregs in 1916 after he was suspected of being a French spy. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: The Monastery at Karakorum is reflected after a rainstorm, this is one of the largest in Mongolia and has 108 stupas which surround it, Mongolia, 8 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Image of the plant life in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Images of the tropical forest surrounding ICCN Congolese Conservation Ranger headquarters in Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 March 2012. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of community life in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations. This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: A Songhay man walks with his animals back into Timbuktu after a day of grazing in the desert outside of the city, Timbuktu, Mali, January 8, 2010. Many of the traditions of Timbuktu remain unchanged for the last thousand years and this is surely one of them. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

RANGPUR, NORTHERN BANGLADESH - JULY 2008: An impoverished farmer in rural Rangpur, Bangladesh on 2 August 2008. This farmer is a labourer on rice growing land. During his lunch break he takes a break from planting to try to catch small fish. These he sells in the market in the evening. This allows him to buy his family one full meal a day. A great deal of rural labour is sourced a year ahead by landowners. A small fee is agreed but because of the recent massive rise in food costs the very poor can no longer afford food on the agreed salaries. The price of rice has more than doubled in the last five months. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, a loss of government subsidies for food staples and subsequent price increases from merchant stockpiling has meant that many poor people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

MIDDLE SEPIK, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of the Karawari people of the middle Sepik river, 15 December 2008. The Karawari are the most remote of the floodplains people, with many vllages along the river barely a generation old. The most recent settlements date only from 1996. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party catches wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party gathers to catch wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, MARCH 2012: Fishermen on a traditional Dhow sail past the docks in Zanzibar, Tanzania, March 19 2012. The docks of East and Southern Africa have long formed an essential link in the smuggling of illegal Ivory from Africa to Asia. Last year in Zanzibar and Mombassa significant amounts of illegal ivory were found in containers labeled as something else on their way to the Far East. It is estimated that for every shipment found, at least another 20 make their past customs, often with the complicity of the customs authority. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

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 QUNU, EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA, 14 DECEMBER 2013: Xhosa Initiates pass by close to the funeral of Nelson Mandela, Qunu, South Africa, 14 December 2014. These initiates have recently been circumsized traditionally and without anesthetic. They will spend up to two months dressed this way and learning the tradtions of Xhosa culture. Nelson Mandela, an icon of democracy, also went through this tradtional ritual. Mandela was buried at his family home in Qunu after passing away on the 5th December 2013.
 MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Traditional dress in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008.  These outfits will be worn on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 30 April 2015: Two alpha male silverback mountain gorilla from the Mpua family seen in the Jomba rainforest, Virunga National Park, DRC. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of elephants bathing inside Lake Edward close to the IShango Ranger station in Virunga National Park, DRC. There are only around 200 Savanah elephants left in Virunga, victims of extensive poaching campaigns since 1995. There is an effort underway by the Rangers to protect these remaining elephants and reopen the corridor to Queen Elizabeth Park in nearby Uganda to see Virunga's elephants return. Potential oil exploration in the area further threatens Virunga's elephants, with the potential oil area falling inside their corridor and habitat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 KANGATOSA, TURKANA, KENYA, 11 OCTOBER 2014: Turkana tribeswomen greet each other in the traditional way by touching heads. Many greetings in this tribe are meant to mimic the actions of cattle. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for HRW.)
 RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: Moonlit images of active volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Scenes from the port of Timbuktu at the apex of the Niger River, Timbuktu is a historical Malian city, a long established centre of learning for Africa on 12 September 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: Porters wait out a rainstorm while carrying bags for tourists who will overnight at the top.  (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE, 23 NOVEMBER 2013: Young boys clown around posing as strongmen, Maputo beachfront, Mozambique.
 DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: Images of Beshadar boys playing on the banks of the Omo river in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Late Afternoon scenes at a funeral in the streets of Timbuktu, MALI, 5 JANUARY 2010. Funerals in Timbuktu are conducted separately, with the woman mourning inside the house of the deceased and the men outside on the street involved in prayers and remembrance in the Islamic tradition. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.)
 TIMBUKTU, MALI,  JANUARY 2010: A young Tuareg artisan boy, Anara Ag Hamay Cisse, 13 years old, stands in the dunes outside of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city,  January 18, 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)
 TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Children play in the rain in a welcome respite from the desert heat in a street scene in Timbuktu, a historical Malian city, a long established centre of learning for Africa, , September 11, 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A traditionally dressed elder in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008.  These outfits will be worn only on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. The man in the picture is a leader in the village and he is on his way to a compensation ceremony in which money and pigs will be exchanged for a land deal with another village. This convoluted process of compensation is part of the traditional way of life of village people. It is based on a system which addresses a community rather than individuals and is meant as an insurance system for the general well-being of all. In reality it limits access to education and medicine and is in many ways similar to compensation litigation in the USA. No-one benefits in the long term as individual efforts are closely monitored for flaws for which compensation is then sought, this often results in a one step forwards, two steps backwards mentality. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
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 TURKANA, KENYA, 8 OCTOBER 2014: Scenes from Longetch fishing village on the shores of Lake Turkana, Kenya, the world's largest inland desert lake. This region of the lake is a well know spawning ground and at the heart of fishing commerce for the Turkana. These villagers along with many thousands along the shores of this vast body of water are soley dependent on the lake for their survival. The Turkana are traditionally pastoralists but persistent droughts have decimated their herds to such an extent that for many Turkana fishing is now their main means of subsistence and commerce. The same pattern is emerging for other tribes along the lake shore. Recent dam building in Ethiopia is likely to bring the Omo river to one fifth of its current flow, sugar cane farms along the Omo are already causing tribal movement down to Lake Turkana as pastoralists struggle for grazing and water rights. The Omo river supplies 90% of Lake Turkana's water and these dams and sugar cane farms look likely to severly impact the renewal of the lake's waters. This threatens all the tribes around the lake and makes conflict over diminishing resources ever likely.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for Human Rights Watch.)
 INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Huli Wigmen photographed at a sing-sing, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli tribe, the second largest tribe in PNG, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly. Education and the Church have also been a profound influence. Although men often still wear traditional headgear and some face-paint, ragged western clothing is the norm although combinations of the traditional wear and western clothing are common. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of kids enjoying the lake in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations.  This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
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 MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Traditional dress in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008.  These outfits will be worn on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
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 TIMBUKTU REGION, MALI, 21 SEPTEMBER 2009: Tuareg Nomads end the Ramadan fast in the desert about 50 kilometers outside of Timbuktu with prayer and dancing, Timbuktu Region, Mali, September 21 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: An image of Karo maidens in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Two young Tuareg women have their hair dressed by other Tuareg women inside a traditional nomad tent at a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
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 DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in a traditional dance ceremony with both men and women in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 DILABYNO, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Beshadar people, closely related to the Hamar tribe, in a traditional bull-jumping ceremony in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. The bull-jumping ceremony is one of the most important in a man's life, and once completed allows him to take a wife and marry. The Hamar people and their tribal affiliates conduct a bull-jumping on a regular basis while the Karo people are much more selective in who they allow to bulljump and jump far less frequently. The ceremony is about hierachy and membership in the tribe and typically involves a young man who undergoes a number of rituals before he leaps onto and runs rapidly over a series of cattle held by other men who have recently jumped. Once completed he is a man in the eyes of the tribe. An important part of the ceremony is the ritualistic whipping which women actively seek out from certain men known as Mazha. The women harrass these men who then whip them once with a thin reed like stick before casting the stick away. The whipping causes bleeding and pain but the women look upon it as a sign of strength, loyalty and obligation to the bulljumper. They become incensed through a series of dances and then demand to be whipped in a macho, masochistic display. The resultant scars are worn as a badge of honor by many of the women.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 iMFOLOZI GAME RESERVE, NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA, MAY 2011: Images of White Rhino in iMfolozi Game Reserve in Natal, South Africa, May 1, 2011. Hluwhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve is the worlds largest repository of Rhino, with an estimated 2300 rhino in total, a majority of which are White and a large contingent of Black Rhino. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 TSAVO EAST, KENYA, MAY 2011: Images of some of the last of the great Elephant tuskers in Africa, taken in Tsavo Eastm 18 May, 2011. Massive elephant poaching in recent years has seen most of the mature bull elephant population of African countries decimated for their ivory. A Tusker is defined as an elephant with a set of 100 pound ivory tusks, or therabouts. This depletion of the elephant gene pool is having a negative effect on populations, with weak dna being passed on instead of the strongest. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A Huli Wigman waits out a rain-storm, smoking and applying his traditional face paint while waiting for the rain to clear, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli Wigmen, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A Huli Wigman who performs for tourists waits out a rain-storm in his room, smoking and applying his traditional face paint while waiting for the rain to clear, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli Wigmen, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly and traditional dress is now reserved for tourism and important ceremonies only. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of traditional "Mud-Men" in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008.  "Mud-Men" are originally thought to have originated from a small Chimbu province clan who was attacked by a much larger clan to steal their land. The smaller but smarter clan is reputed to have fled into the forest and there decorated themselves in mud and in the fearsome masks depicted here. They then counter-attacked the larger clan who, thinking they were being attacked by spirits of the forest , fled the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: An image of an old woman of the Dassanech tribe sitting riverside in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
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 TASSILI 'N AJJER, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Images of famed tourist site and traditional Tuareg land, Tassili 'n Ajjer, in the south of Algeria, 02 May 2009. (photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic Magazine.)
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 TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Two Tuareg men drive a traditional Camel caravan laiden with salt tablets on twenty camels making the 16 day journey through the desert from Taodenni, a salt mine in the north of Mali, to the home of an Arab businessman in Timbuktu, Mali, 22 January 2010. The salt industry is in transition, long the province of the Tuareg and their camel caravanss, modernization has seen the Arabs come to dominate this trade, using powerful trucks to transport the salt over the desert in a tenth of the traditional time with far more salt onboard. As a result the camel caravans are now seen as the poor man's alternative and trucks are more and more the route of the future. Disputes between the clans of the Tuareg have also seen the caravans become far smaller, they are no longer incentivised to work together for a large caravan and it is rare to see a caravan of more than 20 camels nowadays. Everytime the caravan stops, the camels must be unloaded and it is hard and brutal work, many young Tuaregs would rather do something else or work with the Arab traders and their trucks. The Tuareg men on this caravan feel that the trade will continue on camels but that it will be the poor who undertake the long, arduous journey as they have no alternative. Ironically, most of the route with the exception of two small zones is now undertaken by the camel caravan on the same road that is used by the trucks. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)
 LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 MIDDLE SEPIK, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of the Karawari people of the middle Sepik river, 15 December 2008. The Karawari are the most remote of the floodplains people, with many vllages along the river barely a generation old. The most recent settlements date only from 1996. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant is delivered by truck to attend a festival in Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in mhust have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MPIMBWE, WESTERN TANZANIA, OCTOBER 2012: Lion Dancers from the Sakuma tribe perform the story of their lion killing outside a village in rural Mpimbwe, Western Tanzania, October 27, 2012. Lion dancers are men who have killed a lion in defense of their cattle or their village. They are a deeply superstitious people who believe that once they have killed a lion they have to become a lion dancer for 3 to 5 years to avoid going mad. They spend a year or longer preparing with the local witchdoctor and then go from village to village seeing their relatives and dancing while collecting tribute for their bravery. In a time when lion are very scarce in the region, this practice is actively discouraged by conservation organizations and it is slowly dying out. When the dancers appear in the villages, they are often praised and given money, goats and even sometimes a small cow. It is therefore something that some young men aspire to, even going as far as to venture into the local Katavi National Park in pursuit of a lion.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 DILABYNO, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Beshadar people, closely related to the Hamar tribe, in a traditional bull-jumping ceremony in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. The bull-jumping ceremony is one of the most important in a man's life, and once completed allows him to take a wife and marry. The Hamar people and their tribal affiliates conduct a bull-jumping on a regular basis while the Karo people are much more selective in who they allow to bulljump and jump far less frequently. The ceremony is about hierachy and membership in the tribe and typically involves a young man who undergoes a number of rituals before he leaps onto and runs rapidly over a series of cattle held by other men who have recently jumped. Once completed he is a man in the eyes of the tribe. An important part of the ceremony is the ritualistic whipping which women actively seek out from certain men known as Mazha. The women harrass these men who then whip them once with a thin reed like stick before casting the stick away. The whipping causes bleeding and pain but the women look upon it as a sign of strength, loyalty and obligation to the bulljumper. They become incensed through a series of dances and then demand to be whipped in a macho, masochistic display. The resultant scars are worn as a badge of honor by many of the women.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
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 MARARABA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER , 2009: Scenes of Tuareg semi-nomadic life from the small transit town of Mararaba, Niger, September 27 2009. This small town is an intersection point for Agadez and Niamey. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: A Mosque and two muslims on the outskirts of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city, 23 January 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)
 KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Playing basketball in a nomad camp close to Karakorum, Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
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 LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 SING RIVER, MINKEBI NATIONAL PARK, GABON, JUNE 2011: An anti-poaching team composed of Gabon Parcs personal, Gabon military, Baka pygmy porters and two Pirouge pilots conduct an anti-poaching mission up the Sing River in Minkebi National Park, Gabon, 26 June 2011. Gabon has recently seen a large spate of Elephant killings as a result of thousands of illegal goldminers that had flooded into the Minkebi region to exploit a lack of the rule of law in the reserve. Approximately a month ago the Gabonese military and Gabon Parcs Department conducted a large joint operation, inviting all these illegal miners to go home to their own countries or face detention. The presence of these illegals also created a thriving illegal ivory industry, fueled by the presence of Chinese traders in Gabon and neighbouring Congo Brazzaville and Cameroon. This expedition up the Sing River was to check for the presence of these illegals and to see if they were carrying out any poaching activity. There were no sightings and now only empty mining settelements remain. It appears the initial operations have put the word out and the illegal miners and poaching villages are no more in this region of Gabon. The operation involved travelling far up the Sing River in Minkbebi Park, cutting river pathways for the pirouges and doing a thorough check for poachers all the way up the river. There are plans for a permanent "Jungle Brigade"  for this region within the next 6 months and that should safeguard the borders of Gabon and its wildlife from further poaching threats. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
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 CEBU, PHILIPPINES, JANUARY 2012: The "Walk with Mary," procession in Cebu, Philippines, 13 January 2012. This devotional walk is part of the Sinulog festival, a larger celebration largely devoted to the Santo Nino, a 15th century religious icon portraying Jesus Christ as an infant, originally brought to Cebu by Ferdinand Maggelan in 1521. Historical accounts say that before Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan came to Cebu on April 7, 1521 to plant the cross on its shore and claim the country for the King of Spain, Sinulog was already danced by the natives in honor of their wooden idols and anitos. Then Magellan came and introduced Christianity. He gave the Santo Nino (image of the Child Jesus) as baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon who was later named Queen Juana. At that time, not only the rulers were baptized but also about 800 of their subjects. Unfortunately, however, shortly after the conversion, Magellan went into a reckless adventure by fighting the reigning ruler of Mactan, Rajah Lapulapu, with only a handful of men. He died in the encounter. That was on April 27, 1521. The remnants of Magellan’s men were able to return to Spain to report the incident and the possibility of conquest. It took 44 years before a new group came and started the formal Christianization of the islands. Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived in Cebu on April 28, 1565. His ships bombarded the village and in one of the burning huts, one of his soldiers named Juan Camus found inside a wooden box the image of the Santo Nino lying side by side with native idols. Historians now say that during the 44 years between the coming of Magellan and Legaspi, the natives continued to dance the Sinulog. This time however, they danced it no longer to worship their native idols but a sign of reverence to the Santo Nino which is now enshrined at the San Agustin Church ( renamed Basilica Minore del Santo Nino). The Santo Nino has since become the centerpiece of an intense Filipi
 LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence.  Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MOUNT HAGEN, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of traditional ceremonial dress for men and women in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, 16 December 2008.(Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 ULAAN BATAAR, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Fashionable girls strike model poses underneath a dinosaur exhibit in Ulaan Bataar's central square, Mongolia, 7 July 2013. The square has two statues dedicated to the spirit of Ghengis Khan, Mongolia's undisputed hero. It is a popular meeting place in the city. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)
 LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: Dasenetch pastoralist villages on the shores of northern Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. The lake is central to the survival of the Dasenetch people, as well as water during the dry season, fishing has become a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme  and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. One of the young warriors in this ceremony is wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion he speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence.  Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Early morning scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 DJANET, ALGERIA, 3 MAY: Scenic images of a Tuareg family picnicking in the desert outside of the town of Djanet on a Friday, the Muslim holy day, on April 3 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 TIMBUKTU, MALI, 15 SEPTEMBER 2009: A Songhai woman walks between temporary settlements on the outskirts of Timbuktu. Traders come from all over this region of Africa to do business in the legendary city. They come during the rainy season so as to have grazing for their animals and leave again when the season is over, heading back to Niger, Mauritania and other regions of the Sahara. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 THRISSUR, KERALA, INDIA, 19 APRIL 2013: Mahouts clean an elephant in a private home enclosure, Thrissur, Kerala, India 19 April 2013. This elephant belongs to Sundar Menon, a fuel supply magnate who runs Sungroup international. His is one of over 50 elephants that will attend the largest elephant festival in Kerala. These 50 elephants attend this festival amidst a crowd of over 500 000 people. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)
 KARAKORUM, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Young riders take part in the Nadaam Festival to mark Mongolian Independence, Karakorum, Mongolia, 8 July 2013. These young riders will ride their horses 30 kilometers over rough ground in a race meant to symbolize bravery. Riders as young as 5 years old take part and there is heavy gambling on the outcome. The race is taken very seriously by Mongolians and affluent people often pay large sums of money so that they can ride their 4 x 4 cars alongside the riders. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant is bathed in a temple complex, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Many of the elephants here go out for elephant festivals. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Images of the Bageni family in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. The gorillas sector is currently occupied by the M23 rebel movement of the Congolese army. Despite this and a previous occupation by a previous rebel group, the gorillas continue to survive, largely due the efforts of the ICCn, the Congolese Conservation Authority. The previous Bukima camps were destroyed, first by the CNDP rebel movement in 2008 and 2009; now most recently by their followers, the M23 rebels. Despite these setbacks and the ongoing danger, the ICCN Congolese conservation rangers continue to protect the mountain gorillas of the region and to plan for tourism which will follow if peace is achieved. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Evening scenes in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 ZAGADO, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of Tuareg Nomad people gathered around a well site in Zagado, Nothern Niger, 7 April 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
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 RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Women and children fetch water from a newly contructed tap system built by the ICCN Congolese Conservation authority on the outskirts of Virunga National Park, DRC, 13 March 2012. This facility means the women and children no longer have to walk 6 kilometers to springs higher on the mountain. This has improved productivity, water quality and safety for the women. In addition to this project ICCN has constructed more than 30 schools, water points and hydro-elecric schemes, all part of a concerted effort to building understanding and appreciation for the park in the minds of local communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)
 DENCHIG MONASTRY, OYU TOLGOI, EAST SOUTH GOBI, MONGOLIA, 17 July 2013: A devotee prays at the legendary monastry founded a number of centuries ago by a devout monk Denchig, Gobi desert, Mongolia, 17 July 2013. The monastry and its stupas have a reputation as an energy center and devotees come here to replenish themselves. They sit under the prayer scarves with one hand on the rock and the other raised to heaven. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by GEO magazine.)
 ISHANGO, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. 11 AUGUST 2013: Local men bathe in the Semliki River as it flows into Lake Edward, Ishango, DRC, 11 August 2013. This river and the Lake itself are inside Virunga National Park, a World Heritage site, they are currently in danger of oil exploration by British oil company SOCO, who have acquired rights to prospect for oil through dubious means. Thousands of Lakeside inhabitants find their while way of life threatened by this exploration. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
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 TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Boys play soccer near a Tuareg desert mural in the center of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city, 22 January 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)
 LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence.  Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence.  Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence.  Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. One of the young warriors in this ceremony is wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion he speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence.  Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 ASSEKREM, TASSILI DU HOGGAR, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Achmed, a Tuareg guide and elder photgraphed in a mountain cabin in the Tassili Du Hoggar, a series of beautiful rock plateaus that begin approximately 300km's south of Tamanrasset and extend all the way to the Niger border, 17 April 2009, Assekrem, Tassili Du Hoggar. These images were photographed from a small mountaintop cloister run by followers of the Frenchman Charles De Foucald. Foucald, once a hedonistic 19th century playboy, became devoutly religous and moved to Tamanrasset and in 1911 chose Assekrem as the site of his hermitage. He was assasinated by Tuaregs in 1916 after he was suspected of being a French spy. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
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 SOUTH KHANGAI MOUNTAINS, BAYANKHONGOR AIMAG, MONGOLIA, JULY 11, 2013: Nomad lifestyle in the early morning, South Khangai Mountains, Mongolia, July 11 2013. Nomads live largely off the milk and meat of their yaks and goats, they also make an alcoholic drink from fermented horse's milk. They lead simple but tough lives in this area, often using both horses and motorbikes as well as soviet era 4x4 vehicles to get around. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)
 GIR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, GUJARAT, INDIA, APRIL 9 2013: Amra Vejabhai, 71, is a Maldhari shepherd who lives with his family in a Maldhari community inside Gir Wildlife Sancturary, home to the Asiatic lion, the last lion outside of Africa inside Gir National Park, Gujarat, India, 9 April 2013. Ten years ago Amra was attacked by a lion while out with his buffalo and cows in the Sanctuary, the lion bit him on the neck when he tried to stop them killing a small buffalo. Amra was saved by his buffalo charging the lion which released him and ran. Amra claims he feels no ill will to the lions and sees them killing his cows and buffalo as just part of life in Gir, a place the Maldhari have inhabited with their cattle and buffalo for centuries. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reporage for Terra Matte Magazine.)
 Tonga Warrior men with traditional tattoos
 Surviving Cancer, New Jersey, USA
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 KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Tourists pose with eagles for a fee outside the Monastery at Karakorum, one of the largest in Mongolia and surrounded by 108 stupas, Mongolia, 8 July 2013.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 14, 2013: A young girl holds shampoo for her father as he showers on the day of her haircutting ceremony, Singing Dunes, Gobi, Mongolia, July 14, 2013. This hair cutting ceremony for two girls, a 4 year old and a 3 year old, is the first time their hair has been cut. This is an important rite of passage for these young Mongolian nomad girls. A strand of hair is cut first by the most respected male elder and then a stand is cut by all people at the ceremony. Relatives come from far for this, a sheep/goat is cooked and there is much singing, drinking fermented horse milk and general celebrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)
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 LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party catches wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes from a village hunt in the surrounding forest, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations.  This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)
 TOUWA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER 2009: A young Tuareg girl, Mariam Francois Acosta, 17, a girl descended from mixed Tuareg French blood, prepares for her wedding in the Niger city of Touwa, Spetember 25 2009.  She is tended by the female members of her family and her friends.  It is similar to a traditional wedding except for the nature of the clothing which is worn. She is dressed and made up, a meal is eaten, there is dancing with a Tuareg band on electric guitars, everyone goes to the Mosque at 3pm to give thanks for the wedding and after that she is considered married. That evening a party is thrown with more music and dancing. The bride and groom do not appear together for an official nuptials, it all occurs seperately. The name of the groom is Ibrahim Mahmoudane. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
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 NEW YORK, USA, MAY 2010: Japanese Kimono dress in New York, USA, 5 May 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton.)
 GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 14, 2013: Young girls on the day of their haircutting ceremony, Singing Dunes, Gobi, Mongolia, July 14, 2013. This hair cutting ceremony for two 4 year old and a 3 year old girls is the first time their hair has been cut. This is an important rite of passage for these young Mongolian nomad girls. A strand of hair is cut first by the most respected male elder and then a stand is cut by all people at the ceremony. Relatives come from far for this and a sheep/goat is cooked and there is much singing and celebrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)
 VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 28 JULY 2013: Images of fisherman at work on the Southern shores of Lake Edward, 29 July 2013. These men are amongst 30 000 other Lake Edward fisherman who utilize the lake for the livelihood of their families. The fish is eaten locally and also smoked and sent to Goma. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Scenes from Vitshumbi fishing village on Lake Edward, Virunga National Park, DRC, March 8 2012. There are over 800 registered legal fisherman on Lake Edward, they supply the main food source to over 40 000 people who live around the edges of the lake, the lake is also an important tributary for the Nile. Socco Oil, a UK based oil company, are attempting to prospect for oil in Lake Edward, located in Virunga National Park. This is illegal under Congolese Law and in 2011 the then Minister of the Environment declared that there would be no oil exploration in Virunga, a world heritage site and Africa's first National Park, the second ever after Yellowstone in the USA. Since then that Minister has lost his seat and Socco has worked hard to obtain partners under suspicious circumstances which will allow them to begin oil exploration in Lake Edward in Virunga National Park. The fisherman of Lake Edward and the vast majority of people living around the Lake are firmly opposed to this, believing that there will be catastrophic damage to the environment from which they make their living and feed the local population. Socco and their local political allies have tried to sell them on the idea that there will be job creation, roads, schools and hospitals but the locals believe that the only people who will benefit will be certain politicians and not their local villages. Socco previously prospected in Selous National Park in Tanzania and created environmental damage there, locals fear the same now for Lake Edward. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)
 KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 AUGUST 2013: Scenes from the fishing village of Kavanyongi on the Northern shores of Lake Edward inside Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 August 2013. This lake shore village relies on fishing for its livelihood and for all its water needs. It is the biggest village on the lake shores on the Congolese side, with a population of 30 000. SOCO, a British oil company, has acquired the rights to prospect for oil on the shores of of Lake Edward under dubious circumstances, changing Congolese law from a no prospecting in Virunga rule to allowing prospecting within one year. This prospecting block places them inside the Park, a world heritage site and Africa's first ever National Park. Drilling for oil could prove disastorous for the fishing villages all around the lake shores as well as for all tributaries carrying water for Lake Edward, the source of the nile. If the lake is poisoned, it will affect fresh water supply, fish, hippo, multiple other species as well as migrating and local bird populations and the livelihood of more than 30 000 fisherman on the Congolese side of the lake. There is also danger to the Ugandan side and to other countries who benefit from Lake Edward as a water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, MARCH 2012: Fishermen on a traditional Dhow sail past the docks in Zanzibar, Tanzania, March 20 2012. The docks of East and Southern Africa have long formed an essential link in the smuggling of illegal Ivory from Africa to Asia. Last year in Zanzibar and Mombassa significant amounts of illegal ivory were found in containers labeled as something else on their way to the Far East. It is estimated that for every shipment found, at least another 20 make their past customs, often with the complicity of the customs authority. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 PARAVOOR, KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant festival at Paravoor, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 PARAVOOR, KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant festival at Paravoor, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 ULAAN BATAAR, MONGOLIA, 7 JULY 2013: Scenes of the city of Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia, 7 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
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 GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 15, 2013: A storm breaks in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, July 15, 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)
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 THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Scenes from the Salton Sea, a inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
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 ASSEKREM, TASSILI DU HOGGAR, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Images in the Tassili Du Hoggar, a series of beautiful rock plateaus that begin approximately 300km's south of Tamanrasset and extend all the way to the Niger border, 17 April 2009, Assekrem, Tassili Du Hoggar. These images were photographed from a small mountaintop cloister run by followers of the Frenchman Charles De Foucald. Foucald, once a hedonistic 19th century playboy, became devoutly religous and moved to Tamanrasset and in 1911 chose Assekrem as the site of his hermitage. He was assasinated by Tuaregs in 1916 after he was suspected of being a French spy. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: The Monastery at Karakorum is reflected after a rainstorm,  this is one of the largest in Mongolia and has 108 stupas which surround it, Mongolia, 8 July 2013.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Image of the plant life in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Images of the tropical forest surrounding ICCN Congolese Conservation Ranger headquarters in Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 March 2012. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)
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 LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of community life in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations.  This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: A Songhay man walks with his animals back into Timbuktu after a day of grazing in the desert outside of the city, Timbuktu, Mali, January 8, 2010. Many of the traditions of Timbuktu remain unchanged for the last thousand years and this is surely one of them. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 RANGPUR, NORTHERN BANGLADESH - JULY 2008: An impoverished farmer in rural Rangpur, Bangladesh on 2 August 2008. This farmer is a labourer on rice growing land. During his lunch break he takes a break from planting to try to catch small fish. These he sells in the market in the evening. This allows him to buy his family one full meal a day. A great deal of rural labour is sourced a year ahead by landowners. A small fee is agreed but because of the recent massive rise in food costs the very poor can no longer afford food on the agreed salaries. The price of rice has more than doubled in the last five months. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, a loss of government subsidies for food staples and subsequent price increases from merchant stockpiling has meant that many poor people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
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 INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 MIDDLE SEPIK, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of the Karawari people of the middle Sepik river, 15 December 2008. The Karawari are the most remote of the floodplains people, with many vllages along the river barely a generation old. The most recent settlements date only from 1996. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party catches wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party gathers to catch wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, MARCH 2012: Fishermen on a traditional Dhow sail past the docks in Zanzibar, Tanzania, March 19 2012. The docks of East and Southern Africa have long formed an essential link in the smuggling of illegal Ivory from Africa to Asia. Last year in Zanzibar and Mombassa significant amounts of illegal ivory were found in containers labeled as something else on their way to the Far East. It is estimated that for every shipment found, at least another 20 make their past customs, often with the complicity of the customs authority. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

QUNU, EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA, 14 DECEMBER 2013: Xhosa Initiates pass by close to the funeral of Nelson Mandela, Qunu, South Africa, 14 December 2014. These initiates have recently been circumsized traditionally and without anesthetic. They will spend up to two months dressed this way and learning the tradtions of Xhosa culture. Nelson Mandela, an icon of democracy, also went through this tradtional ritual. Mandela was buried at his family home in Qunu after passing away on the 5th December 2013.

MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Traditional dress in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008. These outfits will be worn on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 30 April 2015: Two alpha male silverback mountain gorilla from the Mpua family seen in the Jomba rainforest, Virunga National Park, DRC. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of elephants bathing inside Lake Edward close to the IShango Ranger station in Virunga National Park, DRC. There are only around 200 Savanah elephants left in Virunga, victims of extensive poaching campaigns since 1995. There is an effort underway by the Rangers to protect these remaining elephants and reopen the corridor to Queen Elizabeth Park in nearby Uganda to see Virunga's elephants return. Potential oil exploration in the area further threatens Virunga's elephants, with the potential oil area falling inside their corridor and habitat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

KANGATOSA, TURKANA, KENYA, 11 OCTOBER 2014: Turkana tribeswomen greet each other in the traditional way by touching heads. Many greetings in this tribe are meant to mimic the actions of cattle. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for HRW.)

RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: Moonlit images of active volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Scenes from the port of Timbuktu at the apex of the Niger River, Timbuktu is a historical Malian city, a long established centre of learning for Africa on 12 September 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: Porters wait out a rainstorm while carrying bags for tourists who will overnight at the top. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE, 23 NOVEMBER 2013: Young boys clown around posing as strongmen, Maputo beachfront, Mozambique.

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: Images of Beshadar boys playing on the banks of the Omo river in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Late Afternoon scenes at a funeral in the streets of Timbuktu, MALI, 5 JANUARY 2010. Funerals in Timbuktu are conducted separately, with the woman mourning inside the house of the deceased and the men outside on the street involved in prayers and remembrance in the Islamic tradition. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: A young Tuareg artisan boy, Anara Ag Hamay Cisse, 13 years old, stands in the dunes outside of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city, January 18, 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)

TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Children play in the rain in a welcome respite from the desert heat in a street scene in Timbuktu, a historical Malian city, a long established centre of learning for Africa, , September 11, 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A traditionally dressed elder in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008. These outfits will be worn only on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. The man in the picture is a leader in the village and he is on his way to a compensation ceremony in which money and pigs will be exchanged for a land deal with another village. This convoluted process of compensation is part of the traditional way of life of village people. It is based on a system which addresses a community rather than individuals and is meant as an insurance system for the general well-being of all. In reality it limits access to education and medicine and is in many ways similar to compensation litigation in the USA. No-one benefits in the long term as individual efforts are closely monitored for flaws for which compensation is then sought, this often results in a one step forwards, two steps backwards mentality. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TURKANA, KENYA, 8 OCTOBER 2014: Scenes from Longetch fishing village on the shores of Lake Turkana, Kenya, the world's largest inland desert lake. This region of the lake is a well know spawning ground and at the heart of fishing commerce for the Turkana. These villagers along with many thousands along the shores of this vast body of water are soley dependent on the lake for their survival. The Turkana are traditionally pastoralists but persistent droughts have decimated their herds to such an extent that for many Turkana fishing is now their main means of subsistence and commerce. The same pattern is emerging for other tribes along the lake shore. Recent dam building in Ethiopia is likely to bring the Omo river to one fifth of its current flow, sugar cane farms along the Omo are already causing tribal movement down to Lake Turkana as pastoralists struggle for grazing and water rights. The Omo river supplies 90% of Lake Turkana's water and these dams and sugar cane farms look likely to severly impact the renewal of the lake's waters. This threatens all the tribes around the lake and makes conflict over diminishing resources ever likely. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for Human Rights Watch.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Huli Wigmen photographed at a sing-sing, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli tribe, the second largest tribe in PNG, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly. Education and the Church have also been a profound influence. Although men often still wear traditional headgear and some face-paint, ragged western clothing is the norm although combinations of the traditional wear and western clothing are common. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of kids enjoying the lake in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations. This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Traditional dress in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008. These outfits will be worn on special occasions, namely Sing-Sing tribal get-togethers, Moka Compensation ceremonies, Bride-Price ceremonies and feasts. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU REGION, MALI, 21 SEPTEMBER 2009: Tuareg Nomads end the Ramadan fast in the desert about 50 kilometers outside of Timbuktu with prayer and dancing, Timbuktu Region, Mali, September 21 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: An image of Karo maidens in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Two young Tuareg women have their hair dressed by other Tuareg women inside a traditional nomad tent at a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in a traditional dance ceremony with both men and women in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

DILABYNO, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Beshadar people, closely related to the Hamar tribe, in a traditional bull-jumping ceremony in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. The bull-jumping ceremony is one of the most important in a man's life, and once completed allows him to take a wife and marry. The Hamar people and their tribal affiliates conduct a bull-jumping on a regular basis while the Karo people are much more selective in who they allow to bulljump and jump far less frequently. The ceremony is about hierachy and membership in the tribe and typically involves a young man who undergoes a number of rituals before he leaps onto and runs rapidly over a series of cattle held by other men who have recently jumped. Once completed he is a man in the eyes of the tribe. An important part of the ceremony is the ritualistic whipping which women actively seek out from certain men known as Mazha. The women harrass these men who then whip them once with a thin reed like stick before casting the stick away. The whipping causes bleeding and pain but the women look upon it as a sign of strength, loyalty and obligation to the bulljumper. They become incensed through a series of dances and then demand to be whipped in a macho, masochistic display. The resultant scars are worn as a badge of honor by many of the women. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

iMFOLOZI GAME RESERVE, NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA, MAY 2011: Images of White Rhino in iMfolozi Game Reserve in Natal, South Africa, May 1, 2011. Hluwhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve is the worlds largest repository of Rhino, with an estimated 2300 rhino in total, a majority of which are White and a large contingent of Black Rhino. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

TSAVO EAST, KENYA, MAY 2011: Images of some of the last of the great Elephant tuskers in Africa, taken in Tsavo Eastm 18 May, 2011. Massive elephant poaching in recent years has seen most of the mature bull elephant population of African countries decimated for their ivory. A Tusker is defined as an elephant with a set of 100 pound ivory tusks, or therabouts. This depletion of the elephant gene pool is having a negative effect on populations, with weak dna being passed on instead of the strongest. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A Huli Wigman waits out a rain-storm, smoking and applying his traditional face paint while waiting for the rain to clear, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli Wigmen, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

TARI GAP, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: A Huli Wigman who performs for tourists waits out a rain-storm in his room, smoking and applying his traditional face paint while waiting for the rain to clear, Tari Gap, Papua New Guinea, 17 December 2008. Tari is the home of the Huli Wigmen, this highlands province was once considered one of the most remote areas of the highland region of Papua New Guinea, the outside world has only really been felt in the last 20 years. Recent oil discoveries in the region are now changing it quickly and traditional dress is now reserved for tourism and important ceremonies only. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

MINDIMA VILLAGE, CHIMBU PROVINCE, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of traditional "Mud-Men" in a village in Chimbu Province, Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 18 December 2008. "Mud-Men" are originally thought to have originated from a small Chimbu province clan who was attacked by a much larger clan to steal their land. The smaller but smarter clan is reputed to have fled into the forest and there decorated themselves in mud and in the fearsome masks depicted here. They then counter-attacked the larger clan who, thinking they were being attacked by spirits of the forest , fled the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, JANUARY 2008: An image of an old woman of the Dassanech tribe sitting riverside in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia. The unique, intact tribal cultures of the remote Omo Valley are all threatened by 3 new dams which the Ethiopian Government is building to supply hydro-electric power to Ethiopia's major cities. The dams will reduce the flow of the Omo River to one fifth of its volume and remove the flood plain which is so valuable to the Omo tribes for Agrarian purposes. Mass forced migration and the break-up of these ancient cultures is likely to be the result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

TASSILI 'N AJJER, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Images of famed tourist site and traditional Tuareg land, Tassili 'n Ajjer, in the south of Algeria, 02 May 2009. (photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic Magazine.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Two Tuareg men drive a traditional Camel caravan laiden with salt tablets on twenty camels making the 16 day journey through the desert from Taodenni, a salt mine in the north of Mali, to the home of an Arab businessman in Timbuktu, Mali, 22 January 2010. The salt industry is in transition, long the province of the Tuareg and their camel caravanss, modernization has seen the Arabs come to dominate this trade, using powerful trucks to transport the salt over the desert in a tenth of the traditional time with far more salt onboard. As a result the camel caravans are now seen as the poor man's alternative and trucks are more and more the route of the future. Disputes between the clans of the Tuareg have also seen the caravans become far smaller, they are no longer incentivised to work together for a large caravan and it is rare to see a caravan of more than 20 camels nowadays. Everytime the caravan stops, the camels must be unloaded and it is hard and brutal work, many young Tuaregs would rather do something else or work with the Arab traders and their trucks. The Tuareg men on this caravan feel that the trade will continue on camels but that it will be the poor who undertake the long, arduous journey as they have no alternative. Ironically, most of the route with the exception of two small zones is now undertaken by the camel caravan on the same road that is used by the trucks. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

MIDDLE SEPIK, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of the Karawari people of the middle Sepik river, 15 December 2008. The Karawari are the most remote of the floodplains people, with many vllages along the river barely a generation old. The most recent settlements date only from 1996. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant is delivered by truck to attend a festival in Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in mhust have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MPIMBWE, WESTERN TANZANIA, OCTOBER 2012: Lion Dancers from the Sakuma tribe perform the story of their lion killing outside a village in rural Mpimbwe, Western Tanzania, October 27, 2012. Lion dancers are men who have killed a lion in defense of their cattle or their village. They are a deeply superstitious people who believe that once they have killed a lion they have to become a lion dancer for 3 to 5 years to avoid going mad. They spend a year or longer preparing with the local witchdoctor and then go from village to village seeing their relatives and dancing while collecting tribute for their bravery. In a time when lion are very scarce in the region, this practice is actively discouraged by conservation organizations and it is slowly dying out. When the dancers appear in the villages, they are often praised and given money, goats and even sometimes a small cow. It is therefore something that some young men aspire to, even going as far as to venture into the local Katavi National Park in pursuit of a lion. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

DILABYNO, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Beshadar people, closely related to the Hamar tribe, in a traditional bull-jumping ceremony in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. The bull-jumping ceremony is one of the most important in a man's life, and once completed allows him to take a wife and marry. The Hamar people and their tribal affiliates conduct a bull-jumping on a regular basis while the Karo people are much more selective in who they allow to bulljump and jump far less frequently. The ceremony is about hierachy and membership in the tribe and typically involves a young man who undergoes a number of rituals before he leaps onto and runs rapidly over a series of cattle held by other men who have recently jumped. Once completed he is a man in the eyes of the tribe. An important part of the ceremony is the ritualistic whipping which women actively seek out from certain men known as Mazha. The women harrass these men who then whip them once with a thin reed like stick before casting the stick away. The whipping causes bleeding and pain but the women look upon it as a sign of strength, loyalty and obligation to the bulljumper. They become incensed through a series of dances and then demand to be whipped in a macho, masochistic display. The resultant scars are worn as a badge of honor by many of the women. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

MARARABA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER , 2009: Scenes of Tuareg semi-nomadic life from the small transit town of Mararaba, Niger, September 27 2009. This small town is an intersection point for Agadez and Niamey. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: A Mosque and two muslims on the outskirts of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city, 23 January 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)

KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Playing basketball in a nomad camp close to Karakorum, Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Dassanech people in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

SING RIVER, MINKEBI NATIONAL PARK, GABON, JUNE 2011: An anti-poaching team composed of Gabon Parcs personal, Gabon military, Baka pygmy porters and two Pirouge pilots conduct an anti-poaching mission up the Sing River in Minkebi National Park, Gabon, 26 June 2011. Gabon has recently seen a large spate of Elephant killings as a result of thousands of illegal goldminers that had flooded into the Minkebi region to exploit a lack of the rule of law in the reserve. Approximately a month ago the Gabonese military and Gabon Parcs Department conducted a large joint operation, inviting all these illegal miners to go home to their own countries or face detention. The presence of these illegals also created a thriving illegal ivory industry, fueled by the presence of Chinese traders in Gabon and neighbouring Congo Brazzaville and Cameroon. This expedition up the Sing River was to check for the presence of these illegals and to see if they were carrying out any poaching activity. There were no sightings and now only empty mining settelements remain. It appears the initial operations have put the word out and the illegal miners and poaching villages are no more in this region of Gabon. The operation involved travelling far up the Sing River in Minkbebi Park, cutting river pathways for the pirouges and doing a thorough check for poachers all the way up the river. There are plans for a permanent "Jungle Brigade" for this region within the next 6 months and that should safeguard the borders of Gabon and its wildlife from further poaching threats. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

CEBU, PHILIPPINES, JANUARY 2012: The "Walk with Mary," procession in Cebu, Philippines, 13 January 2012. This devotional walk is part of the Sinulog festival, a larger celebration largely devoted to the Santo Nino, a 15th century religious icon portraying Jesus Christ as an infant, originally brought to Cebu by Ferdinand Maggelan in 1521. Historical accounts say that before Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan came to Cebu on April 7, 1521 to plant the cross on its shore and claim the country for the King of Spain, Sinulog was already danced by the natives in honor of their wooden idols and anitos. Then Magellan came and introduced Christianity. He gave the Santo Nino (image of the Child Jesus) as baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon who was later named Queen Juana. At that time, not only the rulers were baptized but also about 800 of their subjects. Unfortunately, however, shortly after the conversion, Magellan went into a reckless adventure by fighting the reigning ruler of Mactan, Rajah Lapulapu, with only a handful of men. He died in the encounter. That was on April 27, 1521. The remnants of Magellan’s men were able to return to Spain to report the incident and the possibility of conquest. It took 44 years before a new group came and started the formal Christianization of the islands. Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived in Cebu on April 28, 1565. His ships bombarded the village and in one of the burning huts, one of his soldiers named Juan Camus found inside a wooden box the image of the Santo Nino lying side by side with native idols. Historians now say that during the 44 years between the coming of Magellan and Legaspi, the natives continued to dance the Sinulog. This time however, they danced it no longer to worship their native idols but a sign of reverence to the Santo Nino which is now enshrined at the San Agustin Church ( renamed Basilica Minore del Santo Nino). The Santo Nino has since become the centerpiece of an intense Filipi

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MOUNT HAGEN, HIGHLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of traditional ceremonial dress for men and women in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, 16 December 2008.(Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

DUS, OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Images of the Karo people in the Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

ULAAN BATAAR, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Fashionable girls strike model poses underneath a dinosaur exhibit in Ulaan Bataar's central square, Mongolia, 7 July 2013. The square has two statues dedicated to the spirit of Ghengis Khan, Mongolia's undisputed hero. It is a popular meeting place in the city. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)

LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: Dasenetch pastoralist villages on the shores of northern Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. The lake is central to the survival of the Dasenetch people, as well as water during the dry season, fishing has become a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. One of the young warriors in this ceremony is wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion he speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Early morning scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

DJANET, ALGERIA, 3 MAY: Scenic images of a Tuareg family picnicking in the desert outside of the town of Djanet on a Friday, the Muslim holy day, on April 3 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, 15 SEPTEMBER 2009: A Songhai woman walks between temporary settlements on the outskirts of Timbuktu. Traders come from all over this region of Africa to do business in the legendary city. They come during the rainy season so as to have grazing for their animals and leave again when the season is over, heading back to Niger, Mauritania and other regions of the Sahara. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THRISSUR, KERALA, INDIA, 19 APRIL 2013: Mahouts clean an elephant in a private home enclosure, Thrissur, Kerala, India 19 April 2013. This elephant belongs to Sundar Menon, a fuel supply magnate who runs Sungroup international. His is one of over 50 elephants that will attend the largest elephant festival in Kerala. These 50 elephants attend this festival amidst a crowd of over 500 000 people. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)

KARAKORUM, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Young riders take part in the Nadaam Festival to mark Mongolian Independence, Karakorum, Mongolia, 8 July 2013. These young riders will ride their horses 30 kilometers over rough ground in a race meant to symbolize bravery. Riders as young as 5 years old take part and there is heavy gambling on the outcome. The race is taken very seriously by Mongolians and affluent people often pay large sums of money so that they can ride their 4 x 4 cars alongside the riders. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant is bathed in a temple complex, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Many of the elephants here go out for elephant festivals. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Images of the Bageni family in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. The gorillas sector is currently occupied by the M23 rebel movement of the Congolese army. Despite this and a previous occupation by a previous rebel group, the gorillas continue to survive, largely due the efforts of the ICCn, the Congolese Conservation Authority. The previous Bukima camps were destroyed, first by the CNDP rebel movement in 2008 and 2009; now most recently by their followers, the M23 rebels. Despite these setbacks and the ongoing danger, the ICCN Congolese conservation rangers continue to protect the mountain gorillas of the region and to plan for tourism which will follow if peace is achieved. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Evening scenes in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

ZAGADO, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of Tuareg Nomad people gathered around a well site in Zagado, Nothern Niger, 7 April 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Women and children fetch water from a newly contructed tap system built by the ICCN Congolese Conservation authority on the outskirts of Virunga National Park, DRC, 13 March 2012. This facility means the women and children no longer have to walk 6 kilometers to springs higher on the mountain. This has improved productivity, water quality and safety for the women. In addition to this project ICCN has constructed more than 30 schools, water points and hydro-elecric schemes, all part of a concerted effort to building understanding and appreciation for the park in the minds of local communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

DENCHIG MONASTRY, OYU TOLGOI, EAST SOUTH GOBI, MONGOLIA, 17 July 2013: A devotee prays at the legendary monastry founded a number of centuries ago by a devout monk Denchig, Gobi desert, Mongolia, 17 July 2013. The monastry and its stupas have a reputation as an energy center and devotees come here to replenish themselves. They sit under the prayer scarves with one hand on the rock and the other raised to heaven. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by GEO magazine.)

ISHANGO, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. 11 AUGUST 2013: Local men bathe in the Semliki River as it flows into Lake Edward, Ishango, DRC, 11 August 2013. This river and the Lake itself are inside Virunga National Park, a World Heritage site, they are currently in danger of oil exploration by British oil company SOCO, who have acquired rights to prospect for oil through dubious means. Thousands of Lakeside inhabitants find their while way of life threatened by this exploration. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: Boys play soccer near a Tuareg desert mural in the center of Timbuktu, the mythical Northern Mali city, 22 January 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty images.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. Two of the young warriors in this ceremony are wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion they speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LOLIONDO, NORTHERN TANZANIA, NOVEMBER 2012: Images from a Masai coming –of-age ceremony in a remote Masai village in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, 2 November 2012. One of the young warriors in this ceremony is wearing a Lion Mane head-dress from a lion he speared 3 years ago. The Masai have a long history of lion-killing, both as a proving ground for young warriors in their ascent to manhood and also to protect their cattle from lion attacks. This is an illegal activity and 3 years ago a number of young warriors were arrested and jailed for this offence. Illegal lion killing continues amongst the Masai today, but as lion numbers dwindle, this activity is also increasingly rare to find. Conflict between the pastoralist Masai and the lion is an age-old phenomenon. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ASSEKREM, TASSILI DU HOGGAR, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Achmed, a Tuareg guide and elder photgraphed in a mountain cabin in the Tassili Du Hoggar, a series of beautiful rock plateaus that begin approximately 300km's south of Tamanrasset and extend all the way to the Niger border, 17 April 2009, Assekrem, Tassili Du Hoggar. These images were photographed from a small mountaintop cloister run by followers of the Frenchman Charles De Foucald. Foucald, once a hedonistic 19th century playboy, became devoutly religous and moved to Tamanrasset and in 1911 chose Assekrem as the site of his hermitage. He was assasinated by Tuaregs in 1916 after he was suspected of being a French spy. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

SOUTH KHANGAI MOUNTAINS, BAYANKHONGOR AIMAG, MONGOLIA, JULY 11, 2013: Nomad lifestyle in the early morning, South Khangai Mountains, Mongolia, July 11 2013. Nomads live largely off the milk and meat of their yaks and goats, they also make an alcoholic drink from fermented horse's milk. They lead simple but tough lives in this area, often using both horses and motorbikes as well as soviet era 4x4 vehicles to get around. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

GIR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, GUJARAT, INDIA, APRIL 9 2013: Amra Vejabhai, 71, is a Maldhari shepherd who lives with his family in a Maldhari community inside Gir Wildlife Sancturary, home to the Asiatic lion, the last lion outside of Africa inside Gir National Park, Gujarat, India, 9 April 2013. Ten years ago Amra was attacked by a lion while out with his buffalo and cows in the Sanctuary, the lion bit him on the neck when he tried to stop them killing a small buffalo. Amra was saved by his buffalo charging the lion which released him and ran. Amra claims he feels no ill will to the lions and sees them killing his cows and buffalo as just part of life in Gir, a place the Maldhari have inhabited with their cattle and buffalo for centuries. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reporage for Terra Matte Magazine.)

Tonga Warrior men with traditional tattoos

Surviving Cancer, New Jersey, USA

KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: Tourists pose with eagles for a fee outside the Monastery at Karakorum, one of the largest in Mongolia and surrounded by 108 stupas, Mongolia, 8 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 14, 2013: A young girl holds shampoo for her father as he showers on the day of her haircutting ceremony, Singing Dunes, Gobi, Mongolia, July 14, 2013. This hair cutting ceremony for two girls, a 4 year old and a 3 year old, is the first time their hair has been cut. This is an important rite of passage for these young Mongolian nomad girls. A strand of hair is cut first by the most respected male elder and then a stand is cut by all people at the ceremony. Relatives come from far for this, a sheep/goat is cooked and there is much singing, drinking fermented horse milk and general celebrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party catches wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes from a village hunt in the surrounding forest, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations. This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE STEPPES OF MONGOLIA, 10 JULY 2013: Scenes of nomad life on the way to the Steppes of Mongolia, 10 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO Magazine.)

TOUWA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER 2009: A young Tuareg girl, Mariam Francois Acosta, 17, a girl descended from mixed Tuareg French blood, prepares for her wedding in the Niger city of Touwa, Spetember 25 2009. She is tended by the female members of her family and her friends. It is similar to a traditional wedding except for the nature of the clothing which is worn. She is dressed and made up, a meal is eaten, there is dancing with a Tuareg band on electric guitars, everyone goes to the Mosque at 3pm to give thanks for the wedding and after that she is considered married. That evening a party is thrown with more music and dancing. The bride and groom do not appear together for an official nuptials, it all occurs seperately. The name of the groom is Ibrahim Mahmoudane. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

NEW YORK, USA, MAY 2010: Japanese Kimono dress in New York, USA, 5 May 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton.)

GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 14, 2013: Young girls on the day of their haircutting ceremony, Singing Dunes, Gobi, Mongolia, July 14, 2013. This hair cutting ceremony for two 4 year old and a 3 year old girls is the first time their hair has been cut. This is an important rite of passage for these young Mongolian nomad girls. A strand of hair is cut first by the most respected male elder and then a stand is cut by all people at the ceremony. Relatives come from far for this and a sheep/goat is cooked and there is much singing and celebrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 28 JULY 2013: Images of fisherman at work on the Southern shores of Lake Edward, 29 July 2013. These men are amongst 30 000 other Lake Edward fisherman who utilize the lake for the livelihood of their families. The fish is eaten locally and also smoked and sent to Goma. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Scenes from Vitshumbi fishing village on Lake Edward, Virunga National Park, DRC, March 8 2012. There are over 800 registered legal fisherman on Lake Edward, they supply the main food source to over 40 000 people who live around the edges of the lake, the lake is also an important tributary for the Nile. Socco Oil, a UK based oil company, are attempting to prospect for oil in Lake Edward, located in Virunga National Park. This is illegal under Congolese Law and in 2011 the then Minister of the Environment declared that there would be no oil exploration in Virunga, a world heritage site and Africa's first National Park, the second ever after Yellowstone in the USA. Since then that Minister has lost his seat and Socco has worked hard to obtain partners under suspicious circumstances which will allow them to begin oil exploration in Lake Edward in Virunga National Park. The fisherman of Lake Edward and the vast majority of people living around the Lake are firmly opposed to this, believing that there will be catastrophic damage to the environment from which they make their living and feed the local population. Socco and their local political allies have tried to sell them on the idea that there will be job creation, roads, schools and hospitals but the locals believe that the only people who will benefit will be certain politicians and not their local villages. Socco previously prospected in Selous National Park in Tanzania and created environmental damage there, locals fear the same now for Lake Edward. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 AUGUST 2013: Scenes from the fishing village of Kavanyongi on the Northern shores of Lake Edward inside Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 August 2013. This lake shore village relies on fishing for its livelihood and for all its water needs. It is the biggest village on the lake shores on the Congolese side, with a population of 30 000. SOCO, a British oil company, has acquired the rights to prospect for oil on the shores of of Lake Edward under dubious circumstances, changing Congolese law from a no prospecting in Virunga rule to allowing prospecting within one year. This prospecting block places them inside the Park, a world heritage site and Africa's first ever National Park. Drilling for oil could prove disastorous for the fishing villages all around the lake shores as well as for all tributaries carrying water for Lake Edward, the source of the nile. If the lake is poisoned, it will affect fresh water supply, fish, hippo, multiple other species as well as migrating and local bird populations and the livelihood of more than 30 000 fisherman on the Congolese side of the lake. There is also danger to the Ugandan side and to other countries who benefit from Lake Edward as a water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, MARCH 2012: Fishermen on a traditional Dhow sail past the docks in Zanzibar, Tanzania, March 20 2012. The docks of East and Southern Africa have long formed an essential link in the smuggling of illegal Ivory from Africa to Asia. Last year in Zanzibar and Mombassa significant amounts of illegal ivory were found in containers labeled as something else on their way to the Far East. It is estimated that for every shipment found, at least another 20 make their past customs, often with the complicity of the customs authority. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

PARAVOOR, KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant festival at Paravoor, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

PARAVOOR, KERALA, INDIA, 15 APRIL 2013: An elephant festival at Paravoor, Kerala, India 15 April 2013. Elephants have become increasingly popular at religious festivals in Kerala, for centuries they have been used by the Hindu faithful because of their role in Hinduism and also as a symbol of power. In recent years both Christian and Islamic factions have introduced elephants into their festival. As a result these elephant have become heavily overused during the festival period. They have little rest, are surrounded by a roaring crowd, loud music and concussive fireworks. Elephants that are in Must have also been used, despite their increased aggression in this period. Accidents and killings have been commonplace, panicked and aggressive elephants have killed a number of spectators, as recently as January 2013 an elephant killed 3 woman spectators yet was allowed to continue performing. The elephant owners charge large fees for appearances and there are devout, fanatical followings for individual elephants. Despite the danger, people continue to flock to these events. Elephants are typically wild animals who have been caught and broken, then trained to obey commands. Elephants in Kerala spend their whole lives chained, living in small spaces like open air prisons and performing manual labor or appearing at these festivals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

ULAAN BATAAR, MONGOLIA, 7 JULY 2013: Scenes of the city of Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia, 7 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GOBI DESERT, SINGING DUNES, MONGOLIA JULY 15, 2013: A storm breaks in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, July 15, 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Scenes from the Salton Sea, a inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

ASSEKREM, TASSILI DU HOGGAR, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: Images in the Tassili Du Hoggar, a series of beautiful rock plateaus that begin approximately 300km's south of Tamanrasset and extend all the way to the Niger border, 17 April 2009, Assekrem, Tassili Du Hoggar. These images were photographed from a small mountaintop cloister run by followers of the Frenchman Charles De Foucald. Foucald, once a hedonistic 19th century playboy, became devoutly religous and moved to Tamanrasset and in 1911 chose Assekrem as the site of his hermitage. He was assasinated by Tuaregs in 1916 after he was suspected of being a French spy. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

KARAKORUM ROAD, MONGOLIA, 8 JULY 2013: The Monastery at Karakorum is reflected after a rainstorm, this is one of the largest in Mongolia and has 108 stupas which surround it, Mongolia, 8 July 2013. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Image of the plant life in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Images of the tropical forest surrounding ICCN Congolese Conservation Ranger headquarters in Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 March 2012. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of community life in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations. This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010: A Songhay man walks with his animals back into Timbuktu after a day of grazing in the desert outside of the city, Timbuktu, Mali, January 8, 2010. Many of the traditions of Timbuktu remain unchanged for the last thousand years and this is surely one of them. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

RANGPUR, NORTHERN BANGLADESH - JULY 2008: An impoverished farmer in rural Rangpur, Bangladesh on 2 August 2008. This farmer is a labourer on rice growing land. During his lunch break he takes a break from planting to try to catch small fish. These he sells in the market in the evening. This allows him to buy his family one full meal a day. A great deal of rural labour is sourced a year ahead by landowners. A small fee is agreed but because of the recent massive rise in food costs the very poor can no longer afford food on the agreed salaries. The price of rice has more than doubled in the last five months. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, a loss of government subsidies for food staples and subsequent price increases from merchant stockpiling has meant that many poor people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Scenes at a Baptism in a Tuareg Nomad camp, Ingal Region, Niger, 11 October 2009. Tuareg Baptism is very simple, three names are discussed by elders and then straws are drawn to choose the final name. The women perform a ritual of walking around the tent in a line with the leading woman brandishing two knives to symbolically cut away misfortune from the future of the child. The women then dance and sing and play the drums while men prepare goat mead and drink tea and discuss things while people visit from the surrounding nomad camps. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and will soon move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

MIDDLE SEPIK, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-DECEMBER 2008: Images of the Karawari people of the middle Sepik river, 15 December 2008. The Karawari are the most remote of the floodplains people, with many vllages along the river barely a generation old. The most recent settlements date only from 1996. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party catches wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, JANUARY 2009: A hunting party gathers to catch wild pig and Kassowary in remote areas along the shores of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. These communities live lives very closely connected to the natural world. They hunt and fish and practise agriculture but always in harmony with the environment. Members of this community also chased away Malaysian Loggers in the area, citing exploitation and environmental damage. They now practise their own kind of sustainable eco-logging. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, MARCH 2012: Fishermen on a traditional Dhow sail past the docks in Zanzibar, Tanzania, March 19 2012. The docks of East and Southern Africa have long formed an essential link in the smuggling of illegal Ivory from Africa to Asia. Last year in Zanzibar and Mombassa significant amounts of illegal ivory were found in containers labeled as something else on their way to the Far East. It is estimated that for every shipment found, at least another 20 make their past customs, often with the complicity of the customs authority. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

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