Kochi, Kerala: Rakayet Ul Karim Rakim, a native of Chittagong, Bangladesh, has won the 12th edition of the Greenstorm International Nature Photography Contest conducted in association with UNEP in connection with World Environment Day. Mohamed Noufal from Sharjah, UAE, and Kartikeya Grover from Ghaziabad, India, bagged the second and third prizes respectively. The photographs of Vladlena Lapshina from Russia, Abdul Momin from Bangladesh and Sreedharan Wadakkanchery from Kerala have bagged the consolation prizes. The annual contest is organized by Kochi-based Greenstorm Foundation, a not-for-profit trust promoted by Organic BPS, India’s first purpose-branding company.
Rakayet Ul Rarim Rakim won the first prize for his capture of a butterfly poised on a cactus, ready for flight. The second prize is won by Mohamed Noufal for his click of an Arab crossing the desert with his camel, over the wind-drawn sketches on the desert sands. Kartikeya Grover, the third-prize winner, has caught a cart puller napping, with his dog curled up beside him, on his pushcart.
The theme of this year's photography contest was ‘Nature in Your Neighbourhood’. Dileep Narayanan, Managing Trustee, Greenstorm Foundation, stated that though the theme was chosen considering the limitations on travel due to the COVID threat, the outcome turned out to be “surprisingly stunning” which proves again that, “Nature is all around us, we just need the eyes to see her”. The first three winners will be awarded cash prizes worth a total of INR 1,00,000/- added Dileep Narayanan.
While launching the online exhibition of selected photographs, Erik Solheim, Former Norwegian Environment Minister, former UNEP Executive Director and Former UN Under-Secretary-General mentioned that Greenstorm's Nature Photography competition was a highly commendable initiative. “As we cannot go everywhere and appreciate the beauty of nature, photographers would bring that beauty to us,” he added. He observed that the changes photography can bring about are incredible. Citing the example of the Vietnam War, he said that the photographs from Vietnam during the war helped to stop it by shaping public opinion against the war in the United States, which finally brought the war to an end.
This year, a total of 6811 entries were received from 52 countries. Thirty entries were shortlisted from the entire submissions by a jury comprising Advertising Guru Prathap Suthan, Climate Crusader Ranjan Panda and Photographer/Wildlife Conservationist Latika Nath. The public voted for their favourite entries from the shortlisted entries displayed on the Greenstorm Foundation website (www.greenstorm.green).