The Aral Sea, a lake in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, was once the fourth largest lake in the world. But a decision taken by the Soviet Union to redirect its tributaries to irrigate the nearby desert proved disastrous. By 2007, the lake had shrunk to 10 per cent of its size. By 2014, the eastern basin had a new name – the Aralkum Desert.
As a result, communities which depended on the lake have lost their livelihoods. And according to NASA, which has made a time lapse video of the lake's disappearance, intervention by the Kazakhstan government has proved even more disastrous.
In a last-ditch effort to save some of the lake, Kazakhstan built a dam between the northern and southern parts of the Aral Sea. Completed in 2005, the dam was basically a death sentence for the southern Aral Sea, which was judged to be beyond saving.
Advancements in video technology has meant that videos surface every few weeks of the growing destructions of the Earth's resources by human activities. Recently, drone footage of the extensive damage to forests in Indonesia came to light because of the palm oil industry. While the company responsible says that it is doing everything legally, the activities are destroying wildlife habitats and will lead to a rise in global warming. Tree kangaroos, native to the area, are on the brink of extinction as a result of this deforestation.
The footage below is the result of months of effort by NGOs in South Korea, Indonesia and the United States.