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Rainforest Alliance Launches First "Picture Sustainability" Photo Contest

January 23, 2008

What comes to mind when you picture conservation? A red-eyed tree frog in the rainforest? Migratory birds nesting in the shade canopy of a coffee farm?

The Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit conservation organization, is inviting United States residents to submit photos illustrating sustainable agriculture, forestry and tourism in its first "Picture Sustainability" photo contest.

With sponsorship from companies including Fujifilm, the organization is launching this contest to raise awareness about conservation issues while expanding its collection of photos for use in its publications and on its Web site.

"Images connect the general public to conservation," said Tensie Whelan, executive director of the Rainforest Alliance. "We hope this contest will engage people in sustainability, take them out of their back yards and foster emotional connections with some of the world's most sensitive ecosystems."

One grand-prize winner and a guest will receive a seven-day trip to the legendary Galapagos Islands -- including airfare, four nights on a cruise ship and two nights in Guayaquil, Ecuador, sponsored by Montana-based tour operator Green Spot, Ecuador-based tour operator Via Natura, Guayaquil-based Hotel Oro Verde and Ecuador-based airline Aerogal. Native Energy, a Vermont-based carbon offset company that supports renewable energy projects, will offset the carbon emitted from the flights.

The grand-prize winner and a guest will also receive a trip to New York City from May 15-18, 2008 -- including round-trip airfare for two from any major city in the US -- and a Fujifilm FinePix digital camera. The New York trip will also include a tour of the city, lodging at an eco-friendly hotel for three nights, dinner for two nights and seats at Fujifilm's table at the Rainforest Alliance annual gala.

Five first-prize winners -- one from each of the contest's photo categories -- will receive a Fujifilm FinePix digital camera and a book of photographs by award-winning nature photographer Art Wolfe. Up to seven other photos will be awarded honorable mentions, with winners receiving a Wolfe book.

All winners will receive an honorary one-year membership to the Rainforest Alliance. The grand prize and first prize winners's photos will be framed and auctioned off at the Rainforest Alliance's annual gala, with proceeds benefiting the organization.

Winners will be chosen from the following categories:

  • Wildlife on farms, forests or other natural habitats
  • Landscapes (forests, waterways, flowers and plants, beaches, wetlands)
  • Eco-tourism in Latin America (bird watching, hiking, surfing, scuba diving, kayaking and other nature-based activities)
  • Macro (a technique of close-up photography -- here, applied to insects, flowers and plants, leafy vegetation, birds, reptiles and amphibians, mammals, textures)
  • Conservation in action (people working to protect natural resources, including water, flora and fauna)

Rainforest Alliance staff members will select up to six finalists in each category. Art Wolfe will select the winning photos based on overall composition, creativity, artistic merit and relevance to the Rainforest Alliance mission.

Photos must be submitted by March 30, 2008. Winners will be announced on the Rainforest Alliance's Web site on April 18, 2008. All photos are considered donations to the Rainforest Alliance to be used in the organization's publications and Web site.

The Rainforest Alliance thanks the contest sponsors (Fujifilm, Via Natura, Hotel Oro Verde, Green Spot, Native Energy, Aerogal and Art Wolfe) for their generosity and support of conservation work.

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