Sofía Alvarez Capuñay of Peru has won the XIV World Forestry Congress Forests and People photo competition.
Her photo, Eres una hoja (You are a leaf), features a woman standing in a Peruvian forest covering her face with a leaf.
“We live in a world full of traffic, buildings, smoke, factories and so much noise,” Alvarez Capuñay says of her entry. “We are so focused on our daily problems that we forget that we are part of a whole, and we are as fragile as a leaf. We should remember that we are very small compared to the power and grandeur of nature.”
FAO launched the photo contest to highlight the importance of forests to people in the run-up to the XIV World Forestry Congress, which will take place in Durban, South Africa from 7-11 September 2015.
Stuart Franklin of Magnum Photos, best known for his celebrated photograph of a man defying a tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and his photographic essay The Time of Trees, chose six finalists from over 900 submissions received from across the globe.
The six finalists were published on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Facebook page and received over 4,000 votes. Alvarez Capuñay’s photo was the runaway winner with over 2,100 votes. She wins a trip to the Congress and a portfolio review by Stuart Franklin.
The other finalists were Liliana Vanegas (Colombia), Aditya Sinugraha Pamungkas (Indonesia), Tolojanahary Ranaivosoa (Madagascar), Tsigie Befekadu (Ethiopia) and Somennath Mukhopadhyay (India).
Special commendations went to Dakshina Murthy (India), Yunita Kopjanski (Indonesia), Christopher Burns (United States of America), Jun Lu (China), Fernando Gumeta Gómez (Mexico), Tetra Yanuariadi (Indonesia), Salahuddin Ahmad (Australia), Yudha Lesmana (Indonesia), Leslie Robertson (United States of America) and Mauro Hilário (Portugal).
See all the finalists and special commendations in the Flickr photo gallery here.
The XIV World Forestry Congress is being hosted by the Republic of South Africa with support from FAO and this year marks the first time the event will be held on African soil since its inception in 1926.
Representatives from government organizations, NGOs, private companies, scientific bodies, universities and forestry societies will be among several thousand people attending the Congress to define ways to increase investment in forests and forestry, with a focus on the role of forests in income generation and employment creation as well as the vital links between forests and climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable water resources.