“Zooming in on Biodiversity” photo contest winners announced

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity announced the winner of the ASEAN-wide photo contest “Zooming in on Biodiversity” at the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity on 21 October 2009 in Republic Polytechnic, Singapore.

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(Left to right) Ms. Helena Kalsom Binti Elias (Malaysia), first prize winner – Amateur Category; Ms. Christine Marie Bangero (Philippines), first prize winner – Student Category; Ms. Imelda Samson, Vice President; Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication; Dr. Robert Lee, Deputy Director, UNESCO-Jakarta; Ambassador Holger Standertskjold Nordenstam, Head of the EC Delegation to Singapore; Mr. Rodrigo U. Fuentes, Executive Director, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity; and Mr. Chalid Nasution (Indonesia), first prize winner – Professional Category.

The awarding ceremony was led by Ambassador Holger Standertskjold Nordenstam, Head of the European Commission Delegation to Singapore; Mr. Rodrigo U. Fuentes, Executive Director, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity; Dr. Robert Lee, Deputy Director, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Jakarta; and Ms. Imelda Samson, Vice President, Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC).

The contest, which was conducted from 22 May to 07 September, received 915 entries from 371 photographers from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
The three First Prize winners are:  Youth Category – Ms. Christine Marie Bangero (Philippines) for her photograph “Girl looking up at a dead tree”; Amateur Category – Ms. Helena Kalsom Binti Elias (Malaysia) for her photograph “Fish trapped in net”; Professional Category – Mr. Chalid Nasution (Indonesia) for his photograph “Large Flying Fox.”

The other winners include: Student Category, 2nd Prize – Mr. Lee Zcho Yee (Malaysia) for his entry “Amazing Architecture”; Student Category, 3rd Prize – Mr. Karlo Emmanuel Victoriano (Philippines) for his entry “Children plant trees in mining site”; Amateur Category, 2nd Prize – Ms. Diadem Gonzales (Philippines) for her entry “Teach ‘em Young”; Amateur Category, 3rd Prize – Dr. Victor Vesuna (Philippines) for his entry “Tree Frog”; Professional Category, 2nd Prize – Mr. Al Benavente (Philippines) for his entry “Hunter Preparing for a Feast of Birds”; and 3rd Prize – Mr. Kyaw Kyaw Winn (Myanmar) for his entry “Kids Collecting Water.”

A total of US$7,700 was received by winners in all categories. The first prize winners also received an expense-paid trip to attend the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity in Singapore including airfare and accommodations.

Conducted in partnership with the European Commission, ASEAN Member States, UNESCO, MTV Philippines, and AIJC, the photo contest seeks to popularize the values of biodiversity through the medium of photography.

“We received an impressive selection of photographs that capture not only various plant and animal Species, but also photographs featuring the relationship of biodiversity with gut issues such as Climate change, food security, livelihood, and health.  These powerful images will surely help boost the promotion of the value of biodiversity among various audiences,” Mr. Rodrigo U. Fuentes, Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, said.

The entries were assessed based on relevance to the theme (40%), composition (20%), creativity (20%), and technical excellence (20%).  Two rounds of evaluation were conducted.  The pre-screening was conducted by ACB and AIJC.  The final screening was conducted by Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, Head of the EC Delegation to the Philippines; Mr. Juan Echanove, Environment, Sustainable Development and Food Security Programme Officer, EC Delegation to the Philippines; Dr. Cora Claudio, President, Earth Institute Asia, Inc.; and Mr. Johnny Goloyugo, Scientist, International Rice Research Institute, and instructor, Asian Institute of Journalism.

For more information, log on to www.aseanbiodiversity.org.

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