Our entire future must be sustainable

This month, our photo in the spotlight is ‘Traveling in your own country’, taken by Pieter Vandenheede in Belgium. The photographer told us the story behind his photo and why we have to take good care of our forests.

Our entire future must be sustainable

7 December 2021 Forests in photos

This December, let’s hear from Pieter Vandenheede, a runner up in our 2020 ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest. Pieter tells us how his photo ‘Traveling in your own country’ came about and why our forests are so important.

How do you feel about forests, both professionally and personally?

I feel very strongly about forests. They are a big part of our planet’s lungs. As an environmental lawyer and gardener, I notice that still too many old and majestic trees get cut. Young trees in cities like Brussels have a hard time growing. Lots of them die off in the first years. The city heat is making it difficult for them. Urban areas probably need more forests close by than rural areas.

How did the forest inspire you to take your winning photo?

My photo came about entirely by chance. Near Brussels, our former king planted a forest with sections of trees from different parts of the world. A bit like a world map for trees. I wanted to learn more about the different species in this arboretum, so I biked there on an early winter day. Deep in the forest, the morning sun came through. There was a lot of mist, so I was lucky with my shot. I only had my iPhone with me and it perfectly captured the atmosphere.

What do you think about the work that an organization such as PEFC does to care for forests?

I do not know in detail all activities of PEFC, but I understand that PEFC is very active in sustainable forest management. Our entire future must be sustainable. PEFC has understood this and is thinking of our common global future.

About the contest

In 2020, we held our ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest for the fourth time. Taking place in 12 countries, we received nearly 8000 stunning photos, taking us to the wonderful world of forests. Our top 12 images of the 2020 contest can be seen here.


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