- From a grinning crocodile to human honey gatherers who make a living among the trees, the 8th annual Mangrove Photography Awards winners display a great range of activity and biodiversity among these coastal forests.
- The contest attracted 2,000 submissions from 68 countries, and the judges ultimately selected a set of winners who revealed aspects of mangroves from all corners of the planet.
- Mangroves are marine forests that adorn tropical coasts and are one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems.
- These forests also play crucial roles in protecting coastlines from erosion and providing communities with resources from food to firewood, and are one of the world’s most effective carbon sinks.
The eighth annual Mangrove Photography Awards attracted 2,000 submissions from 68 countries, and a jury recently selected winning images which revealed aspects of mangroves from all corners of the planet.
Vast and tangled, mangrove forests are one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems: they act as nurseries for fish, rookeries for myriad birds, and rich feeding grounds for creatures ranging from crabs to crocodiles.
The Mangrove Photography Awards celebrate mangroves every year and is the idea of – and is organized by – Mangrove Action Project (MAP), a conservation NGO working globally to protect, restore, and educate the public about mangroves.
“These winning photos from the Mangrove Photography Awards 2022 speak a thousand words,” MAP founder Alfredo Quarto told Mongabay. “The photos capture much of the beauty and spirit of mangroves, and give further incentive for saving these forests and the great biodiversity of life they support from the crushing jaws of unsustainable industrial development.”
From depictions of community groups managing mangrove forest restoration projects to gangs of young spiny lobsters finding shelter from predators among the trees’ wiry roots and stunning aerial shots of these highly biodiverse ecosystems, the contest winners provide a broad view of mangroves through the lens of photography.
“It’s been such a joy looking through all the submissions, and not just the winners. Every photo has a story behind it that tells us something about mangroves, and the set of images from this year have been the most compelling and thought-provoking yet,” said contest organizer Leo Thom. “The winners show such diversity of life in our mangrove forests around the world, and the difference between areas that are strictly protected, and places that aren’t. I hope it can inspire others to keep fighting for our fragile coastal wonders.”
View all of the winners of this year’s contest at its site, here.
Erik Hoffner is an editor for Mongabay, find him on Twitter via @erikhoffner.
Banner image: “Dreamlife of Mangroves” by Melodi Roberts of the United States was a runner up in the annual Mangrove Photography Awards.
Related listening from Mongabay’s podcast: Alfredo Quarto of Mangrove Action Project discusses the wonders of mangrove forests, why it’s important to restore these coastal ecosystems, and what makes for successful mangrove restoration projects, listen here: