Winners of UNEP’s “Focus on Your World” Photo Competition


From Wildlife and Waste Tips to Slums and Stewardship

From Wildlife and Waste Tips to Slums and Stewardship

The three works have clinched Gold in the General, Youth and Children’s categories of the competition, which has again been sponsored by Canon under the theme "Focus on Your World".

The Head of the Judging Panel was Takeyoshi Tanuma.

Winner of the General Category Gold Prize is Resmi Chandra Senan of India.  Tanuma said,
"The photo of several deer scavenging through the garbage dump, jostling for the contents of a plastic bag, really forces us to think long and hard about humanity’s impact on the environment."


Wildlife Refiugees Photo by Resmi Chandra Senan of India


Winner of the Youth Category Gold Prize is Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan of Mexico. Tanuma said,
"The striking contrast between the neighbouring slum and upscale housing reflects a message of better living for tomorrow."


The Change in the Garbage Place of Mexico City Photo by Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan of Mexico


 Winner of the Children’s Category Gold Prize is Chamaiporn Pongpanich of Thailand.   
"I can see many levels of meaning in this photo. This photo of Buddhist monks draping washed cloth out to dry upon a tree in the jungle symbolizes man’s simple coexistence with nature, yet also underscores the Buddhist reverence for life and the importance nature plays in ascetic training," said Tanuma.


Buddhism to Conserve Photo by Chamaiporn Pongpanich of Thailand


The winners, along with those taking the silver and bronze awards and those awarded with special prizes, will be honoured at a ceremony taking place at the United Nations Pavilion on 26 March during Expo 2005 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, said: "The ability of the human eye and the camera lens to illuminate the beauty and tragedy of the world is again brought into sharp focus by our fourth International Photographic Competition. I know the world-renowned judges had a tough task trying to sift and choose from the truly astonishing range of photos and the high numbers of submissions."

"Amateurs and professionals alike from nearly 170 countries took part. In total, over 32,000 photographs were submitted which is nearly double the number of the previous competition held five years ago", he said.

Mr. Toepfer added: "The winning photographs will, I am sure, become famous and popular in their own right, touching as they so ably do the human emotions, the human spirit. But I believe they can go even further, triggering real action by changing the hearts and the minds of all those who glimpse them. This will be their lasting legacy and one so important in this, the UN’s 60th anniversary year, the year of UN reform and the year when we review the achievements of UN Millennium Development Goals on poverty eradication."

Fujio Mitarai, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canon, said: "We are delighted at the enthusiastic response to the competition. We are also heartened that so many people share our concern about global degradation and are joining with us to promote environmental responsibility and sustainability."

The judges, which included such award-winning photographers as Takeyoshi Tanuma, Raghu Rai, Susan Meiselas and Enny Nuraheni, chose Resmi C. Senan of India for the $20,000 Gold in the General Category for her portraits of deer feeding on refuse and rubbish tips.

Silver was awarded to Brent Stirton, a South African living in the United States, for his image of a Zambian man sitting among the sad stalks of a drought-hit farm. An Australian, a Chinese and an entry from the Dominican Republic shared Bronze.

Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan from Mexico secured Gold and $5,000 in the Youth Category for her simple but stark portrayal of the gap between rich and poor through the imagery of posh, up-market housing set above the slums below.

The Silver went to David Collier of the United States for a photograph showing river and spires of Hunan, China. Bronze was shared by entries from Viet Nam, France and Iran.

The $2,000 Gold in the Children’s Category was clinched by Chamaiporn Pongpanich of Thailand for a moving and reverential portrait of monks, draping a brown and gold cloth round the trunk of a huge tropical tree.

Silver went to Thien Anh Huynh of Viet Nam for the hope-inspiring image of saplings being watered in a bone dry desert landscape. Bronze was shared by a Briton living in Switzerland and two other entrants from Viet Nam.

The UNEP-Executive Director’s Special Prize was awarded to Paulo Cesar Lopes Alvadia, a Brazilian professional photographer and previous winner of Brazil’s Esso Prize.

It shows a stranded whale surrounded by teams of people, courageously battling against the waves to rescue and re-float the beached leviathan.

The Canon Special Prize was awarded to Chidchanok Senanunsakul of Thailand for an enigmatic photo of young boys, sitting in a blue lake, yelling in joy or perhaps frustration, to the sky.

Mr. Tanuma, head of the judging panel, said: "The competition’s global scope and worldwide participation are truly noteworthy, and Web entries contributed to the increase in total entries this year."

Ms. Nuraheni added: "Overall, the entries were great from children while the Youth and General categories depict most of the typical problems associated with the environment."

The award winning photographs, including 120 Honorary Mentions, will be on display in the UN Pavilion at Expo 2005 until September.

The new winners, plus those from previous competitions, are to be incorporated into the design of the Pavilion’s outer wall. A travelling exhibition, after September, is planned in major cities.

This year’s winning photos will also be shown during UNEP’s World Environment Day observances on and around 5 June. WED 2005 is being hosted by San Francisco, the city where the UN charter was signed 60 years ago. This year’s theme is Green Cities with the slogan "Plan for the Planet".

List of winners

General Category:
Gold, Resmi Chandra Senan, India
Silver, Brent Stirton, South Africa
Bronze, Jian Qiang Chen, China
Bronze, Jesus Rodriguez, Dominican Republic
Bronze, Andrew Merry, Australia
Honorary Mention, 40 recipients

Youth Category:
Gold, Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan, Mexico
Silver, David Collier, United States
Bronze, Faraji Vahid, Iran
Bronze, Matthieu Marquenet, France
Bronze, Thy Phuong Nguyen Hoang, Viet Nam
Honorary Mention, 40 recipients

Children’s Category:
Gold, Chamaiporn Pongpanich, Thailand
Silver, Thien Anh Huynh, Viet Nam
Bronze, Joel Rosen, United Kingdom
Bronze, Lam Vu Duc Hanh, Viet Nam
Bronze, Dinh Cung Vuong Tran, Viet Nam
Honorary Mention, 40 recipients

The UNEP Executive Director’s Special Prize: Paulo Cesar Lopes Alvadia, Brazil

The Canon Special Prize: Chidchanok Senanunsakul, Thailand

For more information, please contact: Eric Falt Spokesman/Director UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information, in Nairobi, on Tel: +254-20-623292, Mobile +254-733-682656, e-mail or Nick Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media, on Tel: +254-20-623084, Mobile +254-733-632755, e-mail

UNEP News Release 2005/15

Jim Sniffen
Information Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
tel: +1-212-963-8094/8210

 UNEP is solely responsible for the contents of this press release. It has not been reviewed by Horizon's Scientific Review Board.

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