Airbus honours talented young photographers at Washington awards ceremony

Airbus honours talented young photographers at Washington awards ceremony

7 December 2009 Press Release

Airbus has rewarded eight talented young winners of its international biodiversity photography competition, 'See the Bigger Picture', with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Washington, D.C. The youngsters, chosen from 99 countries, spent three nights in the American capital where National Geographic has its historic headquarters.

As part of their prize, from 3rd to 6th December the young photographers, accompanied by a guardian, visited the National Geographic Headquarters, where they saw the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibition at the National Geographic museum, toured the city, and took part in a photography workshop with world-renowned National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History.

The talented winners are: Anthony Avellano, 12, from California, USA; Chad Nelson, 12, from the Dominican Republic; Alex Marttunen, 11, from Finland; Clémence Bonnefous, 8, from France; Vinzent Raintung, 8, and Julia Kresse, 15, from Germany; Patryk Majchrzak, 16, from Poland; and Prerona Kundu, 11, from Washington D.C., USA.

The international photography competition was developed through a partnership between Airbus, National Geographic and the Secretariat of the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and it encouraged young people to engage in nature and consider the global loss of biodiversity.

The highlight of the D.C. visit was a red-carpet awards ceremony at National Geographic on Friday 4th December, where the 8 winners were presented with a certificate and signed photograph from Joel Sartore and Executive Secretary of the CBD, Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf. The ceremony was attended by ambassadors of the winners' countries along with high-profile figures from Airbus, National Geographic, the CBD and other environmental groups.

Allan McArtor, Chairman of Airbus Americas, speaking at the awards ceremony, said: "This photography competition is part of a wider acknowledgement of our responsibility as an international company to support a more sustainable world, and we are using our global outreach to raise awareness of the need to preserve the variety of life on earth. Our relationship with the CBD and National Geographic has allowed us to play a small part in the important task of raising awareness of the issue biodiversity amongst the youth of today."

The competition was developed as part of Airbus' support for The Green Wave, a youth engagement programme of the CBD to encourage young people to learn about the complexity of life on earth and its role in their future. CBD Executive Secretary Djoghlaf, said: "We are delighted Airbus and National Geographic are working with us to inspire the next generation about the importance of protecting the rich biodiversity of the world we live in. This competition is helping to deliver that commitment, engaging and educating today's children in the task of safeguarding the planet."

Sartore was a member of the global panel of judges, who were impressed by the range of subjects that engaged the entrants. Photographs featuring insects, animals, plants and landscapes were submitted by photographers as young as six years old. As well as eight main prize winners, 20 young people were also awarded an honourable mention for their entries.

"Biodiversity loss is a global problem that needs to be addressed today if we want to retain the diversity of the natural world for the generations of tomorrow. It is about the food that we eat and the air that we breathe," said Sartore, ambassador for 'See the Bigger Picture'.

To view the winning entries and learn more about how to get involved in The Green Wave, visit the website www.seethebiggerpicture.org.

'See the Bigger Picture' 20 honourable mentions:

  • Joshua Hartmann, 12, from S.Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Malik Babi, 6, from Beauzelle, France
  • Richard Guerre, 9, from Blagnac, France
  • Zoe Hamelin, 16, from Paris, France
  • Lénaïg Allain-Le Drogo, 12, from Saint Luce Sur Loire, France
  • Marvin Pulter, 14, from Germany
  • Jonas Harms, 16, from Norderstedt, Germany
  • Arjun Shankar, 16, from Chennai, India
  • Chaitra Godbole, 14, from Pune, India
  • Sachin Vijayan, 13, from Thodupuzha, India
  • Tobias Abrahamsen, 16, from Sarpsborg, Norway
  • Vince Ellison B. Leyeza, 11, from Laguna, Philippines
  • Sara Cuenca Uñac, 13, from Alicante, Spain
  • Mariló Moreno Ruz, 15, from Cádiz, Spain
  • Diego Adrados, 13, from Tarifa, Spain
  • Eleanor Bennett, 13, from Stockport, UK
  • Afton Carpenter, 14, from Gilbert, Arizona, USA
  • Alex Sorensen, 14, from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
  • Julian Kiesel, 12, from Nyack, New York, USA
  • Samantha Shapiro, 14, from Chappaqua, New York, USA

Competition statistics:

  • Total of 2,597 entries from 99 countries around the world.
  • This includes 247 entries from the children of Airbus employees in 6 countries.
  • Over half of the photographs taken were of land-dwelling animals and the greatest proportion of these were insects.
  • Some children experimented with underwater shots requiring a high level of skill.
  • Just over 40% of entrants took photographs at home, showing awareness that biodiversity can be found in our own back yard.
  • See separate document for details of each winning entry and why it was chosen.

The Green Wave:

  • The Green Wave is a global biodiversity campaign to educate children and youth about biodiversity.
  • The CBD is a United Nations intergovernmental treaty, whose objectives are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the CBD is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • 2010 is the United Nations' International Year of Biodiversity. On May 22 2010 (The International Day of Biodiversity), as part of The Green Wave initiative, young people are invited to plant a tree at 10:00 to celebrate biodiversity. This will create a wave of tree planting as the activity passes through each time zone across the world.
  • Photos and stories from the moment can then be uploaded to The Green Wave website to create a virtual wave on the internet.
  • Visit greenwave.cbd.int.

Airbus-specific notes:

  • Airbus believes that growth in air travel is a global need and that the essential social and economic benefits derived from a more connected world can still be unlocked and deliver a greener world, if everybody plays their part.
  • Airbus acknowledges the 2% that aviation contributes to global man-made CO2 emissions, but believes that it also has a responsibility to support others in tackling the remaining 98% of CO2 emissions. Deforestation alone, for example, generates nearly 20% of man-made CO2, so Airbus is working with the CBD and using its global outreach to raise awareness of the importance of the need to preserve the variety of life on earth.
  • This is why it has committed to support the CBD's The Green Wave initiative.