05/09/2013. The overall winner of the UNCCD Third Photo Contest is Sudipto Das of India, whose picture titled, “Sand being scooped out of a silted riverbed,” was awarded the highest marks by a professional jury of photographers. Das will receive an award of EUR1,800 and an all-expenses paid trip to Namibia.
Das emerged as a suprise winner. His picture, below, made the top-sixty, but not top twenty shortlist, but was lated moved up after three of the top twenty pictures were disqualified for breaching the contest rules.
The first runner up is Subodh Naatu, India, for the picture titled, “Island Farming”, below, and in third place is Somenath Mukhopadhyay also of India, for the picture titled, “A laborer in a red soil excavation site.” They receive Euro 700 and 500 respectively.
Following a public online voting, the winner of The People’s Choice Award
, is Maria Virginia Cruz Sy from the Philippines, for her picture, below, titled, “Waterless. A man with gallons of water crosses the dried up bottom of Magat Dam.”
The winner from Namibia
is Nashilongo Amutenya for the picture below of dried up flood plains.
Winners of the Special Mention category from each region are Viola Husselmann also from Namibia (Africa), Mayank Prajapati, India (Asia), Alla Kobrina, Ukraine (Central and Eastern Europe), Hector Hernan Vanegas-Ochoa, Colombia (Latin America and the Caribbean) and Jaliya Rasaputra, Canada (Western Europe and North America). Their pictures are exhibited below in that order.
Announcing the winners, Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary said, “this is the largest number of photographs submitted since the UNCCD Photo Contest was launched in 2005. And overall, the quality of pictures has improved.”
“But photojournalism is about advocacy for change. A majority of the pictures portrayed the problems of desertification, land degradation and drought. They said a lot less about the stories of transformation happening at the local level, where land that was once degraded is rehabilitated or restored,” he stated.
“This is where photo journalism on land stewardship should move to. Photojournalists should and can transform the public’s stereotypical view of drylands and degrading land as lifeless and valueless. There is a growing demand for sustainable land management, including restoration, in order to avoid degrading new areas. Land restoration is critical, and evidence shows that it is affordable and feasible on a landscape level. We can and should improve livelihoods without degrading land,” he stressed.
The UNCCD Third Photo Contest was held in the lead up to the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP11), which will take place in Windhoek, Namibia, from 16-27 September. Over 1,600 photos were submitted, with the largest number of submissions from India. The winning pictures will be exhibited at the Conference of the Parties in Namibia, where overall winner, Das, will also receive his cash award and certificate.
The UNCCD Third Photo Contest was organized by the secretariat in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Trade, Namibia, in the lead-up to the COP11, and is sponsored by ENTICO Corporation, United Kingdom.
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