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Biodiversity and Development Through the Lens: Photo Contest

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Biodiversity is all around us; it is the different types of animals, plants, bacteria, and ecosystems that sustain life and that we benefit from every day. But unfortunately, the planet's biodiversity is under threat, and the loss of biodiversity is increasing more each day due to different factors. This year GDN would like to invite interested individuals based in low- and middle-income countries to participate in a photography contest that will accompany the theme of the 2023 Global Development Conference to be held in Quito, Ecuador: Biodiversity and Sustainable Development.


The photo contest is open to all photography enthusiasts and professionals based in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and is organized by the Global Development Network. The purpose of the contest is to help raise awareness in society in general about the crucial importance of biodiversity in the pursuit of equitable and sustainable development. Through the images, the contest aims to show the interconnection between biological diversity and human well-being, highlighting how the responsible conservation of ecosystems can contribute to long-term social, economic, and environmental progress. In addition, the contest seeks to stimulate the creativity and artistic talent of the participants, encouraging them to explore how nature and sustainability can coexist in harmony.


  1. Preserving Biodiversity: Images that celebrate the diversity of life on our planet. You can focus on portraying flora and fauna species in their natural habitat, showing their vital importance to our ecosystem. Let your photograph highlight the beauty and need to preserve this natural wealth for future generations!
  2. Biodiversity Loss: Images that show how human action is negatively impacting the variety of life forms on Earth. Have you noticed changes in species distribution? Have you observed habitats that are disappearing? Through your lens, you can raise awareness about the challenges our biodiversity faces and how we can take steps to halt its loss.
  3. Climate Change Impact: Climate change is a reality affecting every corner of the world. In this category, you can capture images that reflect how this phenomenon is transforming landscapes, affecting flora and fauna, and even impacting human communities. Whether you choose to show the drift of glaciers, the rise in sea level or changes in weather patterns, and its relationship with biodiversity, your photos can demonstrate the urgent need to address climate change.
  4. Drone-based nature photography: Including aerial wildlife, wildlife behavior, marine wildlife from above, conservation tracking and monitoring, and aerial landscape. 

We want to see photographs that excite the imagination with their originality, innovation and inspiration. Explore undiscovered places, capture new perspectives on life in all its forms, reveal amazing behaviors or provide us with your unique interpretation of the known. We yearn for your vision to immortalize the richness of diversity, the enigmatic beauty and the fragile wonder of life on our beloved planet.


Contest deadline October 7, 2023 at 11:59 pm (Quito time)
Request for JPGs August 15 - October 7
Receipt of RAWs Finalists will be contacted before September 30
Communication to finalists Starting October 10
Presentation and awards ceremony October 31
Exhibition of winning photographs October 30 to November 1, 2023

The awards ceremony will take place on October 31 at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. The event will be part of the 2023 Global Development Conference. Global Development Network will contact all finalists to confirm their attendance at the awards ceremony.


The jury's decisions are final, so no claims or appeals against its members will be accepted. The jury reserves the right to transfer entries from one category to another when applicable or appropriate. Jury members may be replaced if necessary.

Adriana Claudia Sanz

Her passion for this activity has led her to actively work with organizations related to nature photography (such as the Argentine Association of Nature Photographers "AFONA," Portfolio Natural, Nature First), participate in conferences, serve as a judge in photography contests, engage in exhibitions, and take part in activities promoting books and magazines. She was the winner of the Animal Portrait category in the Golden Turtle and Nature Photographers of the Year (NPOTY) contests in 2020, received the Montphoto biennial scholarship in 2021, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Biodiversity category of the Memorial María Luisa Contest in 2022, and received an Honorable Mention in the Artistic category of ASFÉRICO in 2023.

Juan Manuel González Villa

Dedicated to working and studying reptiles and amphibians, wildlife photographer, guide for photographic expeditions, president, and co-founder of Turi_pache Wildlife Expeditions S.A. Wildlife photographer whose work has been published in national and international media, including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and European magazines like Anima Mundi from Italy, the book "The Best of Nature Photography in Mexico," "Natural Wealth of Mexico" in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and other books about Mexican fauna. His work has been featured on the cover of the scientific journal "Journal of Zoology" and the book "Sea Turtle Research and Conservation," as well as in various scientific publications.

Estefanía Charvet

Estefanía Charvet is Director of Programmes and Research at Southern Voice where she leads the design and implementation of research initiatives. Before joining Southern Voice, Estefania worked for research organizations and think tanks in South America and Europe. She was responsible for conducting research on political inclusion, gender, participation, and accountability. Estefanía holds a Master in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute Geneva and a Bachelor in Economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador

Anaid Simone

Founding member and president of the ECUSLV Foundation, a manager of socio-environmental projects and humanitarian aid. Director of the educational campaign "Ecuador Saves Life" and scientific advisor for the book "SOS Ecuador: Endangered Animals" (a campaign that reached over 540,000 students nationwide). With studies in biological sciences in the fields of mammalogy, herpetology, and bio-speleology; specialized in research and environmental education.



  • The photo contest aims to raise awareness in society about the fundamental role of biodiversity and sustainable development and is guided by a humanitarian spirit, so no cash prizes will be awarded.
  • The first-place winner will receive a trip to attend the Biodiversity Conference in Quito and will have the opportunity to join WWF Ecuador on a photographic journey during one of their missions in the heart of the Amazon, focusing on the protection of river dolphins and Amazonian rivers.
  • The selected photographs will be exhibited at the 2023 Global Development Conference as well as on the official channels of the organizers and sponsors.
  • The authors of the selected photos will receive a gift set from our sponsors.
  • A recognition will be given by the Global Development Network.


The winning and selected photographs will be presented in the main hall of the University of San Francisco de Quito where the conference will take place, from October 30 to November 1. The exhibition will also be published on the official conference website as well as on official channels of the organizers and sponsors.


  • Fill out this form and upload your photos in JPG and RAW format with a resolution of 300 dpi and an approximate size of 30x40 cm. 
  • Each participant may submit a maximum of 15 photographs and freely choose the distribution of the images among the categories, without repeating photos in any category. A form must be filled out per photograph.


  • Interested parties must read and accept the contest rules.
  • Anyone over 18 years old may participate. The contest is open to people based in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), regardless of their level of photographic skill.
  • The photograph must be from low- and middle-income countries and must be accompanied by a short description explaining how the photo relates to the theme.
  • No registration fee will be charged.
  • Authorized photographs must be the authorship and property of the sender and must be free of rights or responsibilities to third parties: people, models, companies, institutions, publications, contests, or any instance requesting authorization for the use of the image. In the event of submitting protected or copyrighted material, the participating person accepts any resulting responsibilities.
  • Contestants must submit original and unpublished photographs that do not expect the ruling of another contest, have not been winners in other contests or are in the process of being published.
  • Photos including an identifiable person will need explicit permission from that person and the assignment of image rights. Global Development Network assumes no responsibility for possible legal claims and the lack of permissions could result in the disqualification of the photo.
  • Photographs will be accepted from the date of publication of this call until the deadline indicated.
  • The organizers reserve the right to extend the duration of the contest, modify the deadline for receiving photographs, as well as cancel the contest.
  • Any questions, clarifications or comments can be directed to the email:


  • The photographs may be used in promotional activities and projects, such as reproduction, printing, publication, exhibition and any other dissemination that the organizer deems appropriate, mentioning the name of the author and title of the work, without implying any remuneration and/or economic compensation.
  • However, the authors retain their Intellectual Property Rights in accordance with the law and are responsible for compliance with the legal provisions relating to said law and the right to their own image.


Photographs that are the result of multiple exposures made with the camera will be accepted, provided they were taken in the same sequence, place and time. This condition will be verified through the metadata tags of the image. The authenticity of the photographs submitted to the contest will be verified by comparing the edited JPG version with the original RAW file. An exhaustive analysis of the editing or processing actions applied to the original image will be carried out, both globally and in specific areas. Images that present the following will not be admitted:

  • Unauthorized modifications to the original image, such as distortions in dimensions or alterations in perspective.
  • Excessive global or local processing.
  • Evidence of alterations or pixel manipulations in specific areas of the image (deletions, cloning or modifications).
  • Use of unsupported RAW obtaining options, such as "Overlay" or "Non-sequential Multiple Exposure".
  • Images should not have frames, borders, watermarks or additional texts.
  • Images created using artificial intelligence.
  • In the event that an evident intention on the part of the author to maliciously deceive the public is detected, we reserve the right to disqualify the image presented by said author.


  • Images of pets or farm animals, or of cultivated plants, are not accepted.
  • It is necessary to specify if the animal is in captivity.
  • The photos must be recent to reflect current reality as best as possible.

It is suggested that a brief description accompany the photograph to help the jury understand and assess the image. It will be required when providing the RAW file, which will initiate a process of review and update of the descriptions.