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Photo Contest


The RLE team has organized a photography contest for amateur photographers from around the world and of all ages, as a way to raise awareness about the ecosystem diversity of our planet and the role that humans play in it, as well as to promote ecosystem conservation. Until 2016, it was carried out every two years, and its periodicity is currently being discussed, in view of a fourth edition.

The first edition of this initiative, "Ecosystems of the World in pictures", was inaugurated in September 2012, before the official adoption of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria. This first photo contest brought together more than 30 photos of ecosystems, presented by more than 20 participants.

For the second edition of the contest, inaugurated in July 2014, we reached higher thanks to the official collaboration of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), through its Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), the Ecosystem Management Programme (EMP) and the Red List of Ecosystems Thematic Group. During the Second IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Photo Contest, more than 50 photographers sent around 290 photos representing Wild Beauty and the Changing World of ecosystems around the globe. The public voted through social networks, selecting 40 finalist photographs representing each of the regions of the world (Africa, America, Antarctica, Asia, Europe and Oceania), in each of the two categories. These photographs went to a second round in which a qualifying jury selected three (3) general winners (first, second and third place) for each of the categories.

All the photographs that were finalists in the first round were displayed in the "Nature-Based Solutions" pavilion during the IUCN World Parks Congress, which took place in Sydney, Australia, in November 2014. Additionally, the overall winners of the contest that were chosen by the jury were announced in a special ceremony during the same congress.

In 2016 the initiative was taken up again, inviting the public to participate in the Third IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Photo Contest - Ecosystems at the Crossroads. In representation of each of the world’s regions (Africa, America, Antarctica, Asia, Europe and Oceania) more than 500 photos were received from all over the world. Of the 322 that fulfilled the technical and thematic requirements, 58 were selected as finalists by an outstanding international jury (including individual photos and series), between the two participation categories, Wild Beauty and Changing World. All the finalist photographs were exhibited in the IUCN World Conservation Congress’ Knowledge Center space, between September 1 and 9, where they could be appreciated by the more than 10,000 people attending this important event.

With three successful editions of the contest already completed, a fourth edition was launched in November 2018. The Fourth IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Photo Contest - My Place in Nature will accept applications from November 26th, 2018 through April 30th, 2019 and the finalists' photographs will be exhibited during the next IUCN World Conservation Congress to be held in Marseille, France in 2020.

The RLE team invites you to select your best photographs and submit them for the contest, as well as to stay informed about this initiative through our social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

Likewise, we invite you to enjoy the finalist photographs of the previous editions of the contest in our Gallery and all throughout our website.

IUCN Red List of Ecosystems


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