Mentawai Islands: destruction and surfing

In October 2010, the Sumatra earthquake and tsunami killed more than 500 people and  displaced more than 20,000. Less than three years later, SurfAid returned to Mentawai Islands and Nias to check how the initial help has evolved.

The Mentawai Islands offer some of the best surf spots in the entire planet. As a surfer's dream destination, it delivers the most incredible wave riding experiences of a lifetime.

When the 2010 Mentawai tsunami hit the region, SurfAid answered with health care facilities for pregnant women and children under five, work in malaria, water and sanitation, and emergency preparedness.

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Albatross: being killed for the sake of plastics

On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific garbage patch.

The "Midway" film project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy.

Returning to the island over several years, photographer Chris Jordan and his team witness the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times.

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Europe: sandy beaches and high quality waters | Photo:

European surfers have reasons to smile, as 94% of bathing sites in the European Union meet minimum standards for water quality.

European Environment Agency's 2012 report on bathing water quality in Europe reveals that there are excellent conditions at 78% of spots and almost 2% more meet the minimum requirements compared to last year's report.

Cyprus and Luxembourg stand out with all listed bathing sites achieving excellent water quality. Eight other countries have excellent quality values above the EU average: Malta (97%), Croatia (95%), Greece (93%), Germany (88%), Portugal (87%), Italy (85%), Finland (83%) and Spain (83%).

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