What do forests mean to you?
We asked the public to take a photo of a captivating shape in a forest and share a story about the image. The winning photos were exhibited at the Global Landscapes Forum at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco. These are the finalists & winners and their stories.
Vasyl Zelinskyi, Rahov, Ukraine - Finalist: "This picture was taken in October 2015 in a beech primeval forest in Uholka-Shyrokyi Luh massif of the Carpathian biosphere reserve. Natural beech forests have enormous potential as a producer of oxygen."
Shelley Stace, London, UK - Finalist: "I have seen through my travels that man must curb its thirst for destruction. We must give nature more room to breathe and this twisted, tangled mess of bark to me represents our choking the life out of our world's forests."
Emma, Krasnodar, Russia - Finalist: "This photo was taken in Nepal in 2014. The problem of forest conservation in Nepal is as acute as in India."
Shafayat Sultan, Dhaka, Bangladesh - Finalist: "This tree provides a feeling of comfort after a long walk. The surroundings, with all these trees and lake water and people jogging and walking around with fresh minds are just perfect combinations of human and nature."
José Sabino, Campo Grande, Brazil - Finalist: "Part of the Amazon forest is flooded every year during the heavy rains that fall in the region."
Mwangi Chege, Nairobi, Kenya - Winner: "This picture was taken at the Nairobi Arboretum, a place of cool retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Besides recreational benefits, the Arboretum offers numerous benefits to city residents such as cooling, erosion abatement, carbon storage, dust and pollutant removal. I enjoy visiting this urban forest, which is a reminder of the city's natural beauty."
Anushka Mirji, Budd Lake, USA - Winner: "The tree provides nutrients to these mushrooms and this provides food for animals and shelter for insects. In comparison, a whole forest provides us humans with food, shelter, shade and water: It's a whole other ecosystem just with that one tree, so you can only imagine how big of an impact an entire forest would make."
Igor Orlov, Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia - Winner: "I want to believe that the beauty of nature will be able to get people to take care of forests and nature in general. Deforestation is unacceptable, since it entails the destruction of flora and fauna wealth, and generally only harms the person."
Uriel Montúfar Butrón, Puno, Peru - Winner: "Forest of Intimpa ("tree of the Sun" in Quechua), in the Ampay National Sanctuary. This forest is of crucial importance to maintain the environment of the urban area of Abancay, since the forest works as a barrier of protection against natural disasters that could endanger the communities and populated areas of the city."
Jose Andres Ignacio, Malaybalay City, Philippines - Winner: "Our society now is behaving like this strangler fig in that it is using up the resources of our world which is our host, leaving us with a hollow shell. We need to recognise that we need to sustain the resources from which we depend so that we can maintain a symbiotic relationship that could sustain us in the uncertain future ahead."
We hope you enjoyed these images and stories - thank you to all of the entrants and congratulations to the winners!