Best of 2016: Before-and-after photos reveal forest’s quick recovery

Schoolchildren planting trees with CI on the edges of the Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park, Indonesia

Schoolchildren planting trees with CI on the edges of the Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park, Indonesia. (© Jessica Scranton)

Editor’s note: As the end of 2016 approaches, Human Nature is revisiting some of our favorite stories of the year. To support crucial conservation work like this, consider making a donation to Conservation International.

Some of the world’s most iconic photos are famous for capturing a fleeting moment and infusing it with meaning. But photos can have another power, too: revealing the difference between what was and what is.

This year, Conservation International sent photographer Jessica Scranton back to the Green Wall project in Indonesia’s Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park, four years after her first shoot there, to document the changes in the landscape — and people’s lives.

See what she found for yourself in this photo essay.

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Molly Bergen is the senior managing editor of Human Nature. Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for email updates. 

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