After three months of fieldwork in the deciduous forests of Northern Thailand in 1998, Raf Aerts earned his masters degree in land and forest management in 1999, at the KU Leuven University (Belgium). He is now working as project coordinator in Mekelle, Northern-Ethiopia, within the framework of a joint research project on forest rehabilitation of Mekelle University (Ethiopia) and the KU Leuven. He was introduced to the tropics by his friend and soulmate, Eva November, in 1997. They have been exploring the globe together ever since.
Both fascinated and concerned, Raf and Eva started looking for an opportunity to help in the preservation of wildlife and nature. Inspired by natural history publications they decided to pick up the camera -- both have become passionate photographers.
"We would like to do something for nature, something substantial, something real. Our close involvement in the forest rehabilitation project in Ethiopia is our first contribution and in the meantime, we are happy to join the E-Cards Artist Community Program. It's the least we can do..."
The work of Raf and Eva focuses on flora and fauna of the tropics and beyond, with an eye for detail but without forgetting local people and their cultures. Recent trips have brought them to Sumatra, Malaysia, Thailand, Lao P.D.R., Cambodia, Costa Rica, Panama, Tanzania and of course Ethiopia - where they took up residence in the capitol of Ethiopia's northernmost regional state, Tigray.
Monks at annual Yi Peng festival