There's a proverb that says: "When the last tree is cut, when the last river has been poisoned, when the last fish has been caught, then we will find out that we can't eat money."


Looking at this photo by Daniel Beltrá, I am reminded of this proverb. This shot won second place yesterday at the 'One Earth award' at the prestigious Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year of London's Natural History Museum. Daniel has won many awards for his photography of forest destruction. His photos are always beautiful, and do a great job at showing the problem. What saddens me is that he has been taking photos like this for years, yet deforestation, one of the main drivers of climate change and biodiversity loss, is still happening.

 

This photo, taken in the Amazon in 2006, earned Daniel second place in the prestigious World Press award for contemporary issues.

Four years apart, half a world away, the same scene and the same problem - cutting down trees to make way for palm oil plantations, soya plantations or cattle ranching, destroying rich biodiversity for short-term profits.

At Copenhagen last year for the Convention on Climate Change, and in Nagoya this year for the Convention on Biodiversity, governments have failed over and over again at stopping this disastrous practice.

What's it going to take?