Winners announced in the Innovation for Biodiversity Photo Contest

National Geographic, the United Nations Environment Programme and Adventure Ecology announce winners of international photo contest celebrating biodiversity

24 June 2010
National Geographic, the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day, and
Adventure Ecology are pleased to recognize the winners of the Innovation for Biodiversity Photo Contest. The
contest brought to light projects and actions that help save and restore biodiversity - through the story of a
photograph. The judges awarded the first place prize of $1,500 to Harry S. Pasimio Jr. for his photograph “local
communities, local solutions.” Second place was awarded to Artemio Andaya, for his photograph “Mangrove Planting
Activities.” Artemia Andaya also received the $500 crowd favorite prize for his photograph “communion with the

1st place photograph “Local Communities, Local Solutions” depicts a member of the Banao tribe tending an organic vegetable plot in Balbalasang- Balbalan National Park, the Philippines. This park is an important biodiversity jewel in the Philippines, as one of the few places in the Cordilleras still not subject to large-scale logging and mining activities. The Banao tribe’s success in protecting the park illustrates the importance of community-based forestry management (CBFM) approaches. According to Pasimio: “CBFM contends that the best guardians of the forest are the forest communities themselves: they are not only motivated to protect the environment that sustains their survival and livelihood, their location also allows them to provide an immediate physical presence that is especially important in monitoring, maintaining, and protecting critical forest areas.” The judges were not only struck by the rich colors and contrast in this photograph, and its effectiveness at communicating the story behind this important forest management approach for preserving biodiversity, but the visual message communicated by this lone individual. As Elisabeth Guilbaud- Cox, Deputy Director of the UNEP Regional Office for North America points out: “This photo illustrates the power of one – one individual, one action.”



Artemio C. Andaya snapped both 2nd place photograph “Mangrove Planting Activities” as well as the crowd favorite “communion with the environment.” Similar to Pasimio, Artemio is from the Philippines, and his photographs depict the importance of stakeholder and community engagement in preserving biodiversity. Specifically, his photographs focus on one community’s innovative efforts to preserve coastal biodiversity in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte Philippnes. In his second place photo “Mangrove Planting Activities”, local community members are replanting mangroves as part of a larger, community driven initiative to rehabilitate local eco-systems.



Andaya’s photographs depicted a range of innovative approaches to ending the marine biodiversity crisis, from bringing in artificial reefs to create habitat, to replanting mangrove eco-systems, and engaging youth to better understand the environment thereby creating biodiversity champions. Artemio’s photos captured both the community voters’ and our judges’ attention with the creativity of their composition, the importance of the story, and the range of innovative techniques exhibited in efforts to bring back and preserve marine biodiversity.



The aim of the photo contest was to raise awareness of projects and actions that help save and restore biodiversity.
By collecting photographs that tell the story of efforts to end this crisis, the contest sought to increase the
engagement around this striking and complex problem.

Finalists were announced as part of the World Environment Day Celebration June 5th, which was the largest global
day of environmental celebration ever. The judges had the difficult task of narrowing down these twelve diverse and
deserving finalists to a $1,500 first place winner, and $1,000 second place winner. When evaluating the
photographs, they considered the technical excellence of the photo, creativity of the composition, as well as
relevance to the theme of the challenge “Innovation for Biodiversity.”






The winners will be featured on the World Environment Day and National Geographic web sites. The photo contest has been run through Myoo Create, a new online community for social and environmental innovation that was conceived and launched by Adventure Ecology. Contact: Rebecca Petzel at Myoo Create for more information: +1 847 261 4845

Judging panel
Satinder Bindra: Director of the UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information
Satinder Bindra is the Director of the Division of Communications and Public Information (DCPI) based at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi. He brings twenty-two years of knowledge and experience in international communications. Santinder has worked as a Special Correspondent for CBS San Francisco and produced investigative films focusing on conservation issues as an independent documentary filmmaker. Additionally, Satinder worked as a Senior International Correspondent/South Asia Bureau Chief for CNN New Delhi, India where he covered breaking news, filed documentaries, investigative reports, stories and hosted half hour specials from eight South Asian countries.

Luca Babini: Photographer & Filmmaker, Plastiki Crew
With many accolades to his name Luca is now considered a world renowned photographer, including shooting for Vogue Italia, L’Uomo Vogue, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Esquire, Men’s Journal, Casa Vogue, and Vanity Fair to name a few. During his career Luca has shot, produced and directed many documentaries, films and television episodes. Luca has held numerous solo exhibitions whilst also being a part of many collaborative projects, contributing to books and archives continuously. His films have been a part of the Houston Film Festival as well as the Sundance Film Festival.

Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox: Deputy Director of the UNEP Regional Office for North America
Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox’s career in the field of communications and public information spans almost three decades.
She has worked for the non-profit and private sectors, as well as for government and inter-governmental
organizations. She joined UNEP’s Regional Office for North America with responsibility for enhancing the
organization’s visibility in the region. In this role, she is promoting collaboration between UNEP and the
Governments of Canada and the United States, and with the private sector and outstanding environmental,
academic, and scientific institutions in the region.

Melissa Wiley: Director of Photography and Video for National Geographic Digital Media
Melissa is responsible for the overall editorial direction of the Photography and Video sections of National Geographic
online, as well as overseeing photography and video assets across the National Geographic web sites. Melissa works
closely with all areas of the National Geographic Society to best highlight National Geographic cohesively as a leader
in the industries of photography and video.


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