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Dennis Hissink : June 8th 2004 - 02:07 CET
UNEP launches International Photographic Contest

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CanonProfessionals and amateurs alike are today being urged to unclip their dust caps and load up their cameras for the world's biggest environmental photo competition. As part of the annual World Environment Day celebrations in Barcelona, Spain, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is launching its fourth International Photographic Competition on the Environment, sponsored once again by Canon Inc. Nineteen launches in addition to Barcelona are planned in key cities and centres around the globe including Beirut, Buenos Aires, Dakar, Berlin, New York and Tokyo. The competition, called "Focus on Your World" and centred on the theme "Celebrating Diversity," will run until 24 October, 2004 and is open to all nationalities and ages.
UNEP launches International Photographic ContestAlso supporting the competition are JAL (Japan Airlines), TIME Magazine, National Geographic Society, and Earth Report/Television Trust for the Environment.

A Gold Prize of $20,000 will be awarded to the winner of the General category, which is open to applicants aged 25 years or over. There are also separate categories and cash prizes for "Youth" and "Children".

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director, said: "The previous three competitions have proved highly successful, generating huge interest within the photographic world and significant public awareness of environmental issues globally. We are again extremely grateful to Canon for its sponsorship and those companies and organizations who will be promoting this important event."

Fujio Mitarai, president and CEO of Canon Inc., said: Our corporate philosophy is kyosei, which means living and working together for the common good. In accordance with this philosophy, we believe that a harmonious coexistence with nature and the environment is essential for society to achieve sustainable development. I hope that the photographers participating in this competition, through the images they have captured, will be able to share the kyosei philosophy ideal with the world.

The fourth competition has, as in the previous ones, secured the full support of the United Nations family through the United Nations Department of Public Information and more than 20 agencies who are members of the United Nations Communications Group.

To restore Planet Earth, its people, wildlife and ecosystems back to health requires sound science, assessments and policies, suggested Mr Toepfer. "But it also requires an unleashing of the human spirit with its capacity for compassion, fairness and respect. Images have, since primitive times, been sources of inspiration and contemplation able to reveal the joy and tragedy of our place in the world," he added.

"I hope the pictures submitted for the fourth competition will, like those from the previous ones, help catalyze the political and social changes needed to reach our goals and targets on issues from water and sanitation to wildlife, waste and poverty reduction. I hope they will also delight and illuminate, while bringing to the notice of the global public new names and a new generation of talented photographers," he said.




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