A former Miss Denmark, Helena Christensen is perhaps best known as a magazine cover model and Revlon spokesmodel.
Now a successful photographer and environmental activist, she recently traveled to Peru—her mother’s native country—to document the serious effects of global warming.
“The impacts of climate change are extremely severe in the areas we visited,” says Christensen, who traveled with Oxfam. “The farmers we met and talked to are already living very hard lives and are now being forced to adapt to the effects of the rapidly changing climate.
“One of the women I spoke to, Elizabeth Ayma, told me that because rainfall is less frequent now and impossible to predict due to the climate changes, this is having a huge effect on crop production,” she adds. “As a result, her family has less food to eat and less produce to sell, resulting in her not being able to afford her children’s school fees. The lack of nutritional vegetables also affects her family’s health.”
Christensen documented her trip through photographs, which will be exhibited in New York, Washington, London and at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, to be held in Copenhagen in December.
“Peru is on the frontline of climate change, along with other developing countries, which have played little part in causing the problem,” says Frank Boeren, Oxfam’s coordinator in Peru. “It is crucial that rich leaders do the right thing at Copenhagen so that we can begin to stop runaway climate change and protect vulnerable people around the world.”
“We are at a critical tipping point,” Christensen adds. “We need to put pressure on our governments in order for them to take the necessary, radical steps that are needed. There’s no time left; it is absolutely imperative to act now.”
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Photo courtesy of Oxfam America