July 2nd, 2010, posted by Myoo Create Tags: Arts, Campaigns, Challenges, Myoo Create

Feast for your eyes, it’s time to celebrate the winning photographs in the Innovation for Biodiversity Photo Contest. Fresh off his Plastiki journey, our very own adventurer Luca Babini helped judge the finalists. Congratulations to Harry S. Pasimio, Jr. and Artemio Andaya the contest winners.

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 colours 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, Andaya 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.

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