According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the desertification brought by climate change in recent years has already extensively reduced agricultural productivity in many regions of the world. Agriculture represents 70% of freshwater use worldwide and the current human population projections forecast an estimated 10 billion people by the end of the century. It is urgent then, to find an alternative method of ecologically sustainable cultivation for our future. This scenario fits perfectly with Nemo’s Garden: the first underwater greenhouses with terrestrial plants in the world. This completely self-sustaining project represents an alternative farming system dedicated to those areas where environmental or geo-morphological conditions make the growth of plants almost impossible. The microclimate and thermal conditions within the biospheres are optimal for plant growth and crop yields. It has been proven by Pisa University experiments that the plants grown in Nemo’s Garden have a higher concentration of essential oils and antioxidant activity than plants grown in the soil. The encouraging results of the last few years, where more than 40 different species of plants have been successfully cultivated, give us hope that we have found a sustainable agricultural system that will help us to tackle the new challenges brought by climate change.
Giacomo d’Orlando (b. 1990) is an award-winning documentary photographer born and currently based in Italy. He began his career as an advertising photographer, until he decided to move first to Nepal and then also Peru in order to enter the world of photojournalism. There he worked alongside several local NGOs and focused mainly on social issues. After these experiences he also lived in both Australia and New Zealand. This inspired him to concentrate on the environment, with particular attention to the possible future scenarios caused by climate change. Today, his work looks at how the increasing pressures brought about by climate change are reshaping the planet and how present-day society is reacting to the new challenges that will characterize our future. These projects include Nemo’s Garden (2021-2022), Submerged Conscience (2019-2021), Maheela Samsāra (2021), Freedom under control (2020), The echo of silence (2020), A backpackers far tale (2018-2019), The unexplored lands of Mid-Western Nepal (2017) and Tea plantation at the feet of Himalayas (2017).
His work has appeared in publications including National Geographic, The Washington Post, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, among others. It has also been shown worldwide in photographic festivals and galleries such as the Blue Gallery NYC (2022, US), Sorbonne University, Paris (2021, FR), Indian Photography Festival, Hyderabad (2021, IN), and in the New York Times Climate Hub at COP26. d’Orlando’s photography has received accolades as winner of the Climate Visual Open Call (2021), at Edition 365 by British Journal of Photography (2021), of the ZEKE Award for Systemic Change (2021), and of the Storytelling category of the World Water Day Photo Contest (2022), among many others.