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European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) photographed at Ichleul Lake in Tunisia. © El Goulli Mohamed​

2015 CEPF Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 CEPF Photo Contest!

These striking images celebrate the people, species and ecosystems that CEPF supports through its grants to civil society organizations to help protect biodiversity hotspots, Earth’s most biologically rich yet threatened areas. They also include images of nature-based solutions to climate change, representing work by CEPF grantees to build climate resilience through innovative adaptation and mitigation activities.
Below you will find the winning photos for each of the categories, as well as information about the project that each image represents. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest – and stay tuned for additional stories featuring each of the winning images.

First Place Winner: Biodiversity

With support from CEPF through its investment in the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot, the Association Les Amis des Oiseaux (AAO) is developing ecotourism activities for the conservation of key biodiversity sites in northern Tunisia. This includes supporting the full participation of local communities in the management of five of the most important bird areas of Tunisia.
Through the project, which is being implemented from July 2013 to December 2015, AAO has increased local capacity for conservation activities, and now local conservation groups survey and care for key biodiversity sites and important bird areas thanks to AAO’s efforts.

First Place Winner: Climate Change

Participants unanimously acclaim the improved cook stove, one of the many solutions identified during a CEPF workshop to improve climate change resilience in Burundi
Participants unanimously acclaim the improved cook stove, one of the many solutions identified during a CEPF workshop to improve climate change resilience in Burundi © Resilience Now – Florence Gibert
With support from CEPF through its investment in the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot, French NGO Resilience Now built the capacity of populations living next to Burundi’s Kibira National Park to improve their land and wood resources management. This involved a series of activities to introduce sustainable practices in the fields of agriculture, energy and income generation.
After mapping local best practices, which aim to reduce pressure on natural resources and alleviate poverty among local communities, Resilience Now worked with the communities to assess their resilience, visit and discuss solutions implemented by other communities, and draft an action plan that fits the community’s needs and priorities. A few of the solutions discussed included improved cook stoves, beekeeping and integrated fish farming (a system of farming fish in combination with other livestock or agricultural crops).

People’s Choice Award

Baobab trees are naturally hollow inside to store water so many communities use these as water tanks in southwestern Madagascar. © Andry Petignat
Baobab trees are naturally hollow inside to store water so many communities use these as water tanks in southwestern Madagascar. © Andry Petignat

​With support from CEPF through its initial investment in Madagascar, Malagasy NGO Arboretum d’Antsokay developed the Antsokay Arboretum from 2005-2007 as a center for biodiversity study and ecotourism in southwestern Madagascar. This unique facility was created to serve as a center for the scientific study and documentation of the flora of the spiny forests ecoregion.

 Arboretum d’Antsokay received a second grant from CEPF in 2009 to develop an environmental education center and associated materials featuring the spiny forests of Madagascar. This education center now acts as a resource for local schools, community groups and visitors, highlighting the importance of this unique but threatened habitat and educating people on means to improve land-use practices to protect the spiny forests.

Honorable Mention

 Hatchling green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Moorea Island. © Rodolphe Holler​

Hatchling green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Moorea Island. © Rodolphe Holler​
With support from CEPF through its investment in the Polynesia-Micronesia biodiversity hotspot, French Polynesian NGO Te mana o te moana completed a dual research program on sea turtles in the Society Islands archipelago. From 2010 to 2011, Te mana o te moana developed innovative approaches for the scientific monitoring and conservation of the Critically Endangered hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas) throughout French Polynesia. Te mana o te moana also established a nationwide awareness program for sea turtle conservation, which resulted from a stakeholder workshop to improve sea turtle status through coordinated conservation and sustainable management efforts.​

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