Winner and Highly Commended Finalists - Global Wetlands Youth Photo Contest 2017

Winner and Highly Commended Finalists - Global Wetlands Youth Photo Contest 2017

12 April 2017

“Wetlands that help us cope with extreme weather events” was the theme of the Wetlands Youth Photo contest, organized by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from 2 February to 2 March 2017. Due to climate change, extreme weather events such as storms, floods and droughts are on the increase. When well-managed, healthy wetlands absorb excess rainfall and store it for the dry season, which helps communities cope with extreme weather events and protects them from disasters.

The Winning Photo, an aerial view of the Gabaldon floodplain of Nueva Ecija, Philippines is by 21 year old Gabriel B. Mejia. Floodplains can be compared to giant reservoirs that when left intact store flood waters. Gabriel B. Mejia wins the main prize, a free flight, courtesy of Star Alliance to visit a Wetland of International Importance.

The judging panel that selected the winning photo and the seven Highly Commended Finalists included Olivier Robert, Fine Art photographer, Vitalis Hirschmann, active freelance photographer, Janet Northcote, Director Communications, Star Alliance, Martha Rojas-Urrego, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and Staff of the Secretariat.

The Global Photo Contest received over 700 entries from young people between 18 to 25 years and was organized on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2017 under the umbrella theme Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction.


Gabriel Mejia, Philippines

Winner Wetlands Youth Photo Contest 2017 - Gabaldon Floodplain of Nueva Ecija, Philippines by Gabriel Mejia. Located between two rural towns, this floodplain absorbs flood waters and has been known to protect the communities in this region


Here are the six highly commended images:

First Highly Commended Finalist

Elena Landmann, France

First Highly Commended Finalist – Ill and Rhine River floodplain “Grand Ried” Alsace, France by Elena Landmann


Second Highly Commended Finalist

Aline Fidelix, Brazil

Second Highly Commended Finalist - Floating house, Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve, Amazon, Brazil by Aline Fidelix. For six months in the year when the Reserve floods, residents have to adapt to living  above water.


Third Highly Commended Finalist

Benjamin Bureau, Benin

Third Highly Commended Finalist – Mangroves, Djebadji coastal village, Benin by Benjamin Bureau. Mangroves shield coastal communities during storm surges, sea level rise and tsunamis.


Fourth Highly Commended Finalist

 Mustafa Abdulmttaleb Ali, Iraq

Fourth Highly Commended Finalist - Shatt aL-Arab River, Abu al khaseeb, Basra Iraq by Mustafa Abdulmttaleb Ali


Fifth Highly Commended Finalist

Andrés Ródenas, Kenya

Fifth Highly Commended Finalist - Mangroves along the Watamu coastal town, Kenya by Paloma de Andrés Ródenas


Sixth Highly Commended Finalist

Diana Elisa, Estonia

Sixth Highly Commended Finalist - Kakerdaja peat bog, Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve, Estonia by Diana Elisa. Peatlands store more carbon than all the world's forests which helps to mitigate climate change.


Seventh Highly Commended Finalist

Adriane B. Tobias, Philippines

Seventh Highly Commended Finalist - Mangrove Swamp, Pagbilao, Quezon, Philippines by Adriane B. Tobias.