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> Know more about biodiversity and climate change

Background to the Competition

The expression “a picture is worth a thousand words” may be an old cliché, but the great power of a photograph to inspire people or move them into action is not.

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and GIZ are inviting professional and budding photographers from ASEAN countries to use the power of photography to promote awareness of biodiversity and climate change.

Among environmental issues and concerns, the crucial relationship between biodiversity and climate is among the least understood, yet one of the most important.

The relationship between biodiversity and climate change is a two-way street. While climate change is a driver of biodiversity loss, the deterioration of habitats and loss of biodiversity also worsen climate change. Deforestation, for example, is currently estimated to be 20 percent of all human-induced CO2 emissions.

Citizens of the ASEAN region are therefore encouraged to take part in efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Fighting global warming and its impacts is a shared responsibility among all people who stand to lose so much – the planet and its various natural treasures that sustain humans’ very existence.

Unfortunately, only a small fraction of the global population, mostly scientists and environmentalists, understands the relationship between biodiversity and climate change, and the impact of these issues in humankind’s survival. This lack of knowledge often translates to the lack of concern.

Thus, there is an urgent need to popularize the link between biodiversity and climate change. One effective way to accomplish this is to use the power of photos.

As part of their key thrust to promote public awareness on the link between biodiversity and climate change, ACB and GIZ launched “Zooming in on Biodiversity and Climate Change,” an ASEAN-wide photo contest at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP11) in India in October 2012. The contest forms part of the activities under the ACB-GIZ Biodiversity and Climate Change Project.

The contest is in line with Article 13 of the Convention on Biological Diversity which calls on Contracting Parties to  (a) promote and encourage understanding of the importance of, and the measures required for, the conservation of biological diversity, as well as its propagation through media, and the inclusion of these topics in educational programmes; and (b) cooperate, as appropriate, with other States and international organizations in developing educational and public awareness programmes, with respect to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. 


“Zooming in on Biodiversity and Climate Change” seeks to help draw public attention to the challenge of climate change, and the need for both global and local action to address this issue, and protect our own future, as well as that of generations to come. Specifically, it will: 

  1. Popularize the link between biodiversity and climate change among the general public in the ASEAN region through photographs;

  2. Increase the availability of photographs which showcase the intricate relationship between biodiversity and climate change;

  3. Ensure greater involvement of media practitioners, professional, amateur and students photographers, as well as the business sector in generating awareness for biodiversity and climate change; and

  4. Use the photos generated from the contest as educational tools for the ACB-GIZ Biodiversity and Climate Change Project

Contest Categories

The contest is open to all residents of ASEAN Member States: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar / Burma, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand  and Viet Nam.

There are three categories:

  1. Professional – Photographers who derive income from the  sale of photographs or provision of photographic services

  2. Amateur – Budding photographers (25 years old and above)

  3. Student – Students (16 to 24 years old)

Selection Criteria

Entries will be assessed based on relevance to the theme, composition, creativity and technical excellence. Two rounds of evaluation will be conducted. There will be a pre-screening where a panel of experts will review the entries and come up with a short list of entries. The short list will then be turned over to a panel of judges for the final screening.


A. Professional

1st Prize

$ 1,000

2nd Prize

$ 500

3rd Prize

$ 300


B. Amateur

1st Prize

$ 500

2nd Prize

$ 300

3rd Prize

$ 200


C. Student

1st Prize

$ 500

2nd Prize

$ 300

3rd Prize

$ 200

Their works will also be published in the ASEAN Biodiversity Magazine and featured in an exhibit.

For questions, contact the contest organizers at