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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 V O L U M E 8 5 | N O 9 Publisher Graeme Gourlay Editor Geordie Torr Staff Writer Olivia Edward Art Editor Angela Finnegan Sub-editor Charlie Furniss Equipment Editor Paul Deegan Cartographer John Plumer Operations Director Simon Simmons Accounts Ramesh Parshotam Advertising Manager Nada Vulic Editorial Advisory Board Chris Bonington, Ron Cooke, Nicholas Crane, Rita Gardner, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Annabel Huxley, Vanessa Lawrence, Nick Middleton, David Rhind, Anthony Sattin, Nigel de N Winser Address Geographical, Suite 1.17, QWest, Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0GP Telephone: 020 8332 8434 Fax: 020 8332 8438 Email: magazine@geographical.co.uk Advertising Department Telephone: 020 8332 8445 Fax: 020 8332 8438 Email: nada@geographical.co.uk Subscriptions Geographical, Freepost (SCE 12967), Thatcham RG19 4BR Telephone: 01635 588 496 Fax: 01635 868 594 Email: geographical@circdata.com Annual subscription rates UK: £54, EUROPE: £67, USA: £76, REST OF THE WORLD: £77 Newsstand sales and marketing Imagine, London Telephone: 0845 612 0092 Email: anything@imaginemag.net Newsstand distribution Fastmag, Circulation Department Telephone: 01582 475 333 Email: comments@fastmagltd.co.uk © Geographical Magazine Ltd Registered No. 07457559 Printed by Polestar, Colchester, Essex CO4 4HT

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Geographical © is the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and was founded by Michael Huxley in 1935. The publishers of Geographical pay a licence fee to the RGS IBG. This fee is assigned to a fund for the advancement of exploration and research and the promotion of geographical knowledge.The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers or the Society. The publishers cannot be held responsible for loss of, or damage to, or the return of unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Published monthly.

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Geographical

ISSN: 0016 741X

04 | September 2013

A colossal waste

Over the weekend, I was chatting to another dad at my daughters’ birthday party when the conversation turned to party bags. As usual, I launched into my mouth-frothing diatribe about a particular pet-hate of mine – a small thing, a yo-yo. Not just any yo-yo mind, but a yo-yo sold by Tesco as a treat to put into party bags, a yo-yo so poorly designed that it’s completely unable to function as a yo-yo – it goes down, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t make it come back up.

Now why, you may ask, do I get so worked up about this little piece of plastic tat? Because I see it as emblematic of our throwaway society and all of the ills that come with it. This absurd trinket has been manufactured from various raw materials, transported halfway across the globe (I’ve never checked, but I’m sure it’s pretty safe to assume that it was made in China) and then distributed around the UK, and its only discernable function is to be ‘ iller’ in a party bag, destined to become either clutter or land ill.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no eco-puritan. I recycle what I can; I compost; I take bags when I go shopping; I’ve even been known to switch to a different product when faced with what I consider to be excessive packaging, but I’m far from perfect. And despite my best efforts, the amount of rubbish my family sends to land ill each fortnight is quite disturbing.

Which makes the idea that we could soon be incinerating our rubbish and using the energy generated to power our homes quite appealing (page 38). But like several of those that Mark Rowe interviewed for his Dossier on waste, I fear that such an option could stymie attempts to reduce the amount of waste that we produce, and hence the amount of resources that we consume, which would be a real shame.

C O N T R I B U T O R S

Irish geographer Fearghal O’Nuallain writes about his 220-kilometre walk across Rwanda on page 65. ‘Rwanda is a fulcrum, where the montane forests of West Africa give way to the dry savannah of the east,’ says Fearghal. ‘Travelling at walking pace allowed me to watch this profound change in physical geography. As I walked through Akagera National Park at dawn on my final day, I could literally see the world changing beneath my feet’

Chongqing in southern China is the world’s biggest municipality, with more than 30 million inhabitants (page 16). Spanish photographer Markel Redondo spent a month documenting the metropolis a er studying for a photojournalism MA in Beijing. ‘You could see whole neighbourhoods demolished and new ones built within weeks.’ But, despite, falling for its friendly citizens, Markel says he couldn’t live there himself. ‘I like visiting, but it’s just too big for me’

British photographer James Gifford, writes about attempts to explain recent declines in Botswana’s wildlife on page 30. He moved there in 2006, a er becoming hooked on Africa during his first safari, aged seven. He’s o en asked which wildlife he most likes to photograph, but says the answer really depends on what the animal is doing. ‘Watching little bee-eaters hunting for insects is much more rewarding than watching a sleeping lion’

On the cover: A leopard rests in a tree in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The region has seen serious declines in its wildlife populations in recent years. Photograph by James Gifford

September 2013 | UK£4.50

Geographical www.geographical.co.uk

MAGAZINE OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY (WITH I BG)

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Rwanda • Italy • Gabon • China • Sierra Leone PLUS

06/08/2013 13:55

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