Water and Life: 2013 ICIMOD Digital Photo Contest

homeThe International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is organizing a Digital Photo Contest on the theme of ‘Water and Life’ to celebrate its 30th Anniversary. This contest also coincides with the United Nation’s International Year of Water Cooperation 2013. 

The photo contest is aimed at raising awareness about the diverse aspects of water and related resources in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region in terms of their uses and benefits; various ways they interact with society and ecosystems; and associated hazards, conflicts, and issues, not to mention good practices on water and related risk management, including water cooperation.


  • The photo contest is open to anybody from anywhere in the world as long as he/she is above the legal age of 18 at the time of participation.
  • There is no entry fee required to participate.
  • Each participant can submit up to three photos per category. As there are a total of three categories, each participant can contribute up to nine photos.
  • ICIMOD staff, ICIMOD consultants, and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate.


The top three photos judged the best, second best and third best by a panel of judges will receive cash Prizes of USD 1,000, 800, and 600 respectively along with certificates of achievement.The next top 30 photos (10 from each of the three categories) will be eligible for the People’s Choice award. This award will be decided based on week-long voting on Facebook. The photo with the highest number of ‘likes’ on the ICIMOD Facebook page in each category will receive a People’s Choice award of USD 200 along with a certificate of achievement.

The remaining 27 photos will receive Honourable Mentions, along with certificates.

The winning entries and those receiving Honorable Mentions may be exhibited in Hindu Kush Himalayan countries in future, including as part of ICIMOD’s 30th Anniversary celebrations.

Thematic Scope

Each category listed below provides possible themes for the photo contest and a basis for the stories your photos could tell. The list of possible themes is by no means exhaustive. The entrant is permitted to submit photo(s) under a related theme not listed below, as long as it is relevant under the chosen category.Rather than enter stand-alone photos of lifeless ‘objects’ like watermills, rooftop water harvesting tanks, or water spouts, the entrant is encouraged to use his/her creativity to capture and submit photos that tell compelling stories of water or related resources or issues in relation to, but not limited, to:

  • human needs, biodiversity, environment, and poverty reduction;
  • population growth, migration, urbanization, socioeconomic development, changing lifestyles, pollution, tourism, and climate change and adaptation; and
  • gender, equity, access or rights to water, and water cooperation.

Category 1: Uses and benefits of water and related resources
Themes in this category could include: the significance of high altitude wetlands both spiritually and as wintering grounds for migratory birds; waterways for transport of goods and people; (micro)hydropower generation; water sports and adventure (fishing, rafting, kayaking, etc.) for promoting tourism; aquatic resources, including fisheries; water mills; panning for gold; irrigation for farming; water for human needs, biodiversity, and environment.

Category 2: Hazards, conflicts, or issues related to water (or lack thereof)
Themes in this category could include: landslides; flash and riverine floods; glacial lake outburst floods; drought; desertification; overextraction of ground water; siltation/sedimentation; water logging; displacement; water pollution with health implications; water-related diseases; water disputes or conflicts arising due to lack of access to water or related resources.

Category 3: Good Practices in Water and Related Risk Management
Themes in this category could include: good practices based on traditional, indigenous, or modern knowledge, e.g., traditional irrigation systems; micro-irrigation; water-related adaption measures; rooftop water harvesting; early warning systems for floods/glacial lake outburst floods; water-related disaster preparedness; bioengineering/reforestation to prevent water-induced landslides; water storage and distribution systems; water purification; water-powered renewable energy technologies; integrated water management approaches; equitable water sharing; technologies/approaches for reducing drudgery for women, such as the time spent fetching water or irrigating a farmland; cryosphere or river basin monitoring; hydrological/meteorological data collection; good examples of water cooperation.

Terms and Conditions

By submitting photos, the participant agrees to the terms and conditions listed below. Please read the terms and conditions carefully as failure to comply could result in disqualification.

  1. Entries must be digital black and white or colour images, submitted in a .jpeg, or .jpg format, between 2 to 8 MB in size (300dpi). Color images changed to black and white as well as scanned (digitized) images of non-digital photographs, negatives, or transparencies are also acceptable. Watermarks are not acceptable.
  2. Entrants are encouraged to submit more recent photos even though those taken in the distant past – say 7-8 years ago – are also acceptable.
  3. Entries must be about water or related resources or issues in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region AND must have been taken in any of ICIMOD’s regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, or Pakistan.
  4. Each contestant may submit up to three photos in each category.
  5. Minimal cropping is permitted. Minor adjustments, including dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast and slight color adjustments, are acceptable as long as the integrity of the original photo is maintained. High dynamic range images (HDR) and composite images are not acceptable.
  6. Entries should be the work of the entrant, and he/she must own the copyrights. Entries that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyrights, are not eligible.
  7. Photos that have already been contributed to ICIMOD in the past; photos that have been awarded or given honourable mentions in any photo contest, either online or in print; and photos that have already been used in print or online publications (including but not limited to posters, online and print media, publicity materials, books, and articles) are not eligible. However, you may submit photos that you have already used in your personal or social spaces such as blogs, Facebook and Flickr.
  8. For a photo in which a person is recognizable, the entrant may be asked to secure a model release from the subject or, in the case of a minor, from the subject’s parent or guardian..
  9. The entrant retains the rights to his/her photographs; however, by entering the photo contest, he/she grants ICIMOD and its media partners a non-exclusive license to display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries and texts, in whole or in part, in any media now existing (such as publications, websites, and social media) or subsequently developed, for any educational, promotional, publicity, exhibition, archival, scholarly and all other standard purposes of ICIMOD. Due credit will be given to the entrant each time his/her photo is used, wherever feasible. ICIMOD will provide a digital copy (print copy on request) to the entrant of any publication that includes his/her image. Photos and text will not be used for commercial purposes.
  10. Entrants may be requested to send in original image files of their entries.

ICIMOD reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to tamper with the photo contest; violate the above terms and conditions; or infringe on the rights of third parties. Decisions of ICIMOD are final.

How to submit entries?

Each entrant may submit up to three entries in each category. He/she must submit one entry at a time, using the online Submit Image Form. If you are unable to submit online, please contact: photocontest@icimod.org

Deadline for submission

20 May 2013

Criteria for judging the entry

Entries will be judged by a technical panel consisting of scientific experts in the field of water as well as experienced professional photographers. Entries will be judged on:

  • Technical quality, clarity, and composition; visual impact.
  • Overall effectiveness in conveying a compelling/interesting story through the photo on water or related resources in relation to human needs, biodiversity, environment, climate change and adaptation, gender, etc. Therefore, the choice of subject and how you choose to describe it in the entry submission form, including captioning, are very important.
  • Novelty, flair for the unexpected, ability to capture a photo-perfect moment, ‘wow’ factor, etc.

Announcement of winning entries

The winners will be announced on World Environment Day, 5 June 2013.

Queries or clarification

For queries or clarification, please contact
ICIMOD Photo Contest Organising Team
Email: photocontest@icimod.org
Website: http://www.icimod.org/photocontest/2013/Note: In order to keep abreast of the news and developments related to the photo contest, the entrants are requested to visit the photo contest website regularly, and read emails sent by the ICIMOD Photo Contest Organizing Team.

Source: http://www.icimod.org/photocontest/2013/

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