23 May 2009

Zoom in on biodiversity: a photo contest by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

There is an urgent need to popularize biodiversity. A picture paints a thousand words. The photographic eye can encapsulate a very complex issue in a single image.

Thus the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity is running this first ASEAN-wide photo contest on biodiversity. In the hope that powerful images can translate the difficult-to-grasp concept of biodiversity and its relationship with health, food security, climate change and other everyday human issues.
The competition runs from 22 May 2009 to 30 August 2009. It is open to all residents of ASEAN Member States.

ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity invites photographers to zoom in on biodiversity
ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity press release 23 May 09
Calling all professional and amateur photographers, photography enthusiasts and students!

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has announced that it is now accepting entries to the First ASEAN-wide photo contest “Zooming in on Biodiversity” during the International Day for Biodiversity 2009 (IDB 2009) celebrations at the SEARCA Auditorium, Los Baños, Laguna on 22 May.

Conducted in partnership with the European Commission (EC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), the photo contest seeks to popularize biodiversity among its stakeholders and the general public through the medium of photography.

“Among environmental issues and concerns regionally and globally, biodiversity conservation is among the least known, yet one of the most important. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of the global population, mostly scientists and environmentalists, understands the key role that biodiversity plays in humankind’s survival. This lack of knowledge often translates to the lack of care for the very environment that nourishes us,” ACB Executive Director Rodrigo U. Fuentes told about 100 scientists, ambassadors, students, and media practitioners who participated in the IDB 2009 programme.

He added that there is an urgent need to popularize biodiversity. “One effective way to accomplish this is to use the power of photos. An old cliché but still very true, a picture paints a thousand words. By translating biodiversity and its relationship with health, food security, climate change and other everyday human issues into powerful images, we can generate a greater awareness for this often-difficult-to-grasp concept,” Fuentes said.

For his part Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines Delegation Ambassador Alistair MacDonald said the contest "is an excellent means of increasing public awareness on the importance and beauty of biodiversity. One's photographic eye can encapsulate a very complex issue in a single image."

The contest, which will run from 22 May 2009 to 30 August 2009, is part of ACB’s key thrust to promote regional public awareness on biodiversity conservation. It was also designed to increase the involvement of media practitioners, professional and amateur photographers, young photography hobbyists, and the business sector in generating awareness for biodiversity conservation.

Open to all residents of ASEAN Member States Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, the contest welcomes entries which are exclusive to the contest, unpublished, and not submitted to previous contests.

Entries should capture various images related to biodiversity (plants, animals, marine life, ASEAN Heritage Parks) or the many benefits that biodiversity brings to human beings, its importance, the threats biodiversity face (deforestation, climate change), or how biodiversity affects lives. Photos showing initiatives to protect biodiversity resources such as plants, animals, and marine species are also welcome. Entries can also depict: biodiversity as source of food (food and agriculture); biodiversity as source of medicine (health and medicine); biodiversity as source of shelter; biodiversity and climate change; the aesthetic value of biodiversity; biodiversity as source of livelihood; and biodiversity and ecotourism.

For contest details and mechanics on the ACB website.

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