The COVID-19 outbreak is a tragic moment in human history. The pandemic has claimed many lives and continues to have an extremely negative impact on our economies and societies. It came suddenly and forced many of us into lockdown. This long period of isolation made us reflect on the vulnerability of our society and on the need to #buildbackbetter, including by promoting biodiversity and the restoration of ecosystems.
The sights of nature during lockdown kept us positive, reminding us of nature's beauty and power. While locked down at home, we have seen some remarkable images of animals walking through deserted cities, ducks and dolphins reappearing in canals and nearing shores, birds settling in gardens, butterflies flying undisturbed, plants growing in the cracks of empty streets. Images like these are unique and historical.
We know many of you have immortalized these scenes with your cameras and smart phones. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, based in Geneva, is inviting you to share your images.
By taking part in this contest, your photographs will gain a chance to appear in a web-based gallery and will be promoted by the United Nations. The best 13 photographs will be used to illustrate a 2021 calendar of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe which will be widely distributed among delegates worldwide, as well as a photography exhibition which will be organized in the Palais des Nations in Geneva in autumn 2020 to celebrate and promote the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
These photographs will be used to reinforce the message the United Nations is trying to send: we need to take urgent action to protect and restore species’ natural habitats, use natural resources in a more sustainable manner, and preserve the environment. This action is central to a healthier environment for humans, in which nature can develop undisturbed to provide us with the essential functions such as fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink.
Join us in this global campaign, share your photographs and help spread our message to the world!
To take part in the contest, please submit up to 3 of your best photographs and provide the information using the form below by 15 September 2020.
Entries will be judged by a panel composed of members of the Bureaus of the UNECE Committees on Forests and the Forest Industry and on Environmental Policy as well as a nature photographer. The selection criteria include technical quality, visual impact and originality of the photograph. While only the best 13 photographs will be included in the UNECE calendar for 2021 and the photography exhibition, all other outstanding photographs received which meet the submission criteria will be shared through our web site or social media accounts.
Invite your friends to participate in the contest on social media by tagging them while using the hashtags
#Time2unlockNature and #ForNature
on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.