ELEGY FOR A TREE
Elegy for a tree is a mournful and melancholic song for the lost forest. A lament for the dead, a plaintive poem that sadly acknowledges the certainty of a repeated pattern, like a memory of death that with each occurrence becomes a deeper rooted part of our shared cultural landscape.
These photographs were taken in Cambodia in February 2012, between the regions of Mondulkiri in the North-East very close the vietnamese border, and the Cardamom Mountains in the south, not far from the Thai border. Cambodia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, third to only Nigeria and Vietnam, according to a 2005 report conducted by the FAO. Cambodia's primary rainforest cover fell dramatically from over 70% in 1970 at the end of the Vietnam War to just 3.1% in 2007. Deforestation is accelerating at an alarming rate, with overall rate of total forest loss at nearly 75% since the end of the 1990s. In total, Cambodia lost 25,000 square kilometres of forest between 1990 and 2005, 3,340 square kilometres of which was primary forest. As of 2007, less than 3,220 square kilometres of primary forest remain, with the result that the future sustainability of Cambodia's forest reserves is under severe threat.