A red carpet welcome was provided today for the eight winners of Airbus’ "See the bigger picture" youth contest – including two U.S. photographers whose images were chosen from more than 2,590 entries received across the globe.
The winners were honored at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of National Geographic, where this international competition was praised for raising awareness of growing threats to the world’s variety of life – which is called biodiversity.
Airbus organized the photo competition in a partnership with National Geographic and the Secretariat of the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity, with the goal of encouraging young people to engage in nature and better understand the world’s loss of biodiversity.
The two U.S. winners were 12-year-old Anthony Avellano from California and Prerona Kundu, 11, of Washington, D.C. Both of their images were described as unusual and innovative by Joel Sartore, the world-renowned National Geographic photographer who was involved in the photo judging, and served as the contest’s “ambassador.”
Avellano’s photograph was of a banana slug eating a berry at California’s Redwood National Park, and it “demonstrated the photographer’s ability to get eye-to-eye with the image’s subject – which is not always easy,” Sartore said. The photo from Kundu, which showed frogs among lily pads and flowers at National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., was described by Sartore as a fresh look at what otherwise could have been a routine scene.
The “See the bigger picture” contest is part of The Green Wave, an international project for children and youth that helps to educate and raise awareness on biodiversity. It encourages young people to learn about biodiversity, as well as engage in local action, build friendships and partnerships around the world. The Green Wave supports the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity on communication, education and public awareness.
Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, thanked Airbus for its lead role in organizing the photo contest. "As life on Earth is at stake, we need to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow by educating the children of today," he stated. "I pay tribute to Airbus and its corporate foundation - along with National Geographic - for the fantastic contribution of this photo competition in reconnecting children with nature."