New Zealand biodiversity: captured - Photo competition

Photographers are being asked to celebrate New Zealand’s unique biodiversity by getting clicking in a national photo competition to mark the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.

The Department of Conservation, NZ National Commission for UNESCO, NIWA, and Forest & Bird are seeking entries now for winning photographs of our wonderful native wildlife.

The themes of this competition are: Biodiversity of land and sky, Marine and fresh water biodiversity and People and biodiversity.

The competition will be judged by wildlife photographers Craig Potton, Kim Westerskov, and Norman Heke. Winning entries receive cash prizes: winners of each theme, under both young and adult categories, will win a cash prize of $300.The overall winner will receive a $1000 cash prize and runner up $500.

The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. It is a celebration of life on earth and of the huge value of biodiversity for all of our lives. The world is invited to take action in 2010 to safeguard the variety of life on earth: its biodiversity.

UNESCO sees the International Year of Biodiversity as an effective instrument to advance the cause of biodiversity conservation.
DOC General Manager Conservation Engagement Nicola Holmes said that the global recognition of the importance of biodiversity was in reality a celebration of the variety of life.
“For New Zealanders, the photo competition provides an opportunity to take delight in our amazing natural environment, but also to think about the actions we need to take to protect the thousands of unique plant and wildlife species we have in this country,” she said.
“With increasing land-use changes, agricultural intensification, pollution, and development, much of our biodiversity is now under more threat than at any time since Europeans arrived,” says Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Kirstie Knowles. “This year and this competition are about getting out there and experiencing our fantastic range of plants and animals, and giving people a sense of responsibility to safeguard their future.”

NIWA Chief Scientist Biodiversity and Biosecurity Dr Don Robertson says, “Marine and freshwater biodiversity is at least as important as biodiversity on land. And small organisms – many that we can see only with a microscope – are at least as important as the plants and animals we can easily see.”

The winners and runners up will see their photos featured in a road show display touring New Zealand in 2011. Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony.

There are two entry categories:

1. Young entrant – less than 18 years of age
2. Adult entrant – 18 years and older

The closing date for entries is 30 July 2010 and photos can be sent via email to photos@doc.govt.nz

To find out more about the competition visit: www.doc.govt.nz/biodiversitycaptured

Biodiversity is life, biodiversity is our life. Ko te koiora kanorau, he tauoranga, ko te koiora kanorau to tātou tauoranga.