UNEP

March 17, 2005 19:00 ET

From Wildlife and Refuse Dumps to Slums and Stewardship


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: UNEP

MARCH 17, 2005 - 19:00 ET

From Wildlife and Refuse Dumps to Slums and Stewardship

NAIROBI, Kenya and AICHI, Japan--(CCNMatthews - Mar 17, 2005) -

Winners of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) International
Photographic Competition on the Environment 2004-2005 Announced

Images of deer scavenging among rubbish, the housing of the rich set
against the slums of the poor and Buddhist monks solemnly draping cloth
round a tree trunk have scooped the top prizes in the latest UNEP
International Photographic Competition on the Environment.

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

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 2005 World
Exposition, Aichi, Japan (EXPO 2005).

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 number 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 sixtieth 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 Inc.,
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.

Silver was awarded to Brent Stirton, a South African living in America,
for his image of a Zambian man who sat among the withered 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 America for a photograph showing the
river and spires of Hunan, China. Bronze was shared by entries from
Vietnam, 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 Vietnam 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
Vietnam.

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. The photo shows a stranded whale surrounded by
teams of people, courageously battling against the waves to rescue and
refloat 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 winning works, 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 on 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."

Impressions on Gold Prize Works by Head of Judging Panel Takeyoshi Tanuma

General Category Gold Prize: Resmi Chandra Senan -- India

"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."

Youth Category Gold Prize: Monica Alexandra Terrazas Galvan -- Mexico

"The striking contrast between the neighboring slum and upscale housing
reflects a message of better living for tomorrow."

Children's Category Gold Prize: Chamaiporn Pongpanich -- 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."

For additional information regarding the award winners and their works,
please visit www.unep-photo.com.

For press-related matters, works can be downloaded at
www.unep-photo.com/index_fpo.html

About the United Nations Environment Programme

Established in 1972 and based in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP is the voice for
the environment within the United Nations. Its mission is to provide
leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by
inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their
quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

About Canon

Canon Inc. and the Canon Group develop, produce and market a wide range
of products used in the home, offices and industry, including business
machines, conventional and digital cameras, lenses, digital video
camcorders, semiconductor production equipment, television broadcasting
lenses and medical equipment. Established in August 1937 and
headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the group employs about 100,000 people
worldwide.

For More Information Please Contact Eric Falt Spokesman/Director UNEP
Division of Communications and Public Information, on Tel: 254 20
623292, Mobile 254 (0) 0733 682656, e-mail eric.falt@unep.org or Nick
Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media, on Tel: 254 20 623084, Mobile 254 (0) 733
632755, e-mail nick.nuttall@unep.org

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