Ricardo Funari, Shortlisted Photographer for the Climate Visuals Photography Award
WHAT IT SHOWS: Large family of drought refugees hitchhiking on the road, at the border of Pernambuco and Bahia States, in the semiarid region of Northeastern Brazil known as Sertao, trying to escape from extreme poverty, dreams for a better life in the distant Sao Paulo megalopolis. Sertão is the most populated semiarid region in the world located in Northeastern Brazil comprising parts of 9 states. In the period from 2012 until 2017 this region has undergone the hardest drought in the last 40 years. It has killed more than half of the region´s cattle herd . No government has ever taken really effective measures against this historic tragedy, even though severe droughts strike the region every 12 to 15 years—the previous one was in 1998-1999—and moderate drought conditions are nearly always a problem.