Earth Day 2023 American Embassy Sri Lanka Photo Competition
Aligning with Earth Day 2023 theme of Invest in Our Planet, the U.S. Embassy Sri Lanka is hosting a photo competition to showcase the importance and beauty of Sri Lanka’s ecosystems and the wildlife that live in them, demonstrating the partnerships we have for protecting and conserving the environment, and applauding the innovative ways we can make a positive environmental difference.
Sri Lanka, with its verdant hills, low marshes and dots of inland lakes as well as miles and miles of coastline, offers a mix of eco-regions, that offer home to birds, mammals, butterflies, insects, and a vast array of aquatic life.
According to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered worldwide, while close to 30,000 more are understood to be endangered or vulnerable. Based on these estimates, it is suggested that over a million species are threatened with extinction. With Sri Lanka having one of the highest rates of endemic flora and fauna in the world, meaning the plants and animals we find here are unique only to the island the list of endangered flora and fauna here numbers almost 700.
Continued loss of species, habitats and ecosystems threatens all life on Earth, not just plants and animals. People everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs, from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. Millions of people also rely on nature as the source of their livelihoods and economic opportunities. Sri Lanka’s unique ecosystems remain largely under-researched, whether it’s the unique nature of its blue whales, local yellow flowers that have been used for generations to manage diabetes, or the large number of venomous snakes whose venom could be harvested to produce anti-venom. Without action to preserve and conserve these as well everything else Sri Lanka has to offer, the world stands at risk to lose so much. We need to change our heavy reliance on fossil fuels, stop our over-use of non-recyclable materials and stop overfilling landfills; we need make a positive difference turning instead to renewable energy sources, taking action to fight the climate crisis and supporting a global green economy. We need to offer the Earth protection as much as she offers to us and to all living for a and fauna.
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement; Earth Day is now celebrated in more than 190 countries taking action towards a greener, more equitable future for our planet, a worldwide festival of environmentalism and activism, representing one important thing: hope. Not just for the future of the planet, but for our own collective future as a species. Regardless of where we are or what we do, we all have the power to yield real change and be a champion for Earth. To protect our planet, we must invest in it.
In 2023, Earth Day’s theme Invest in Our Planet focuses the conversation on issues arising from overpopulation, loss of biodiversity, and depleting quality of the environment. Earth Day 2023 will center on accelerating solutions to combat our greatest threat – climate change – and to activate everyone to do their part. We have a collective responsibility to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all. U. S. Embassy Colombo joins in partnership around the globe to do good work together in the environmental space, to join efforts and make a positive difference. Mother Earth deserves our combined efforts.
In honor of Earth Day 2023, Public Diplomacy Section of the Embassy is hosting a Photo Contest, to celebrate Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity, in particular its endangered flora and fauna as photography can connect people to wildlife and encourage them to appreciate the beauty of the unseen natural world, leading to a greater understanding of wildlife which will in turn lead to deeper caring which hopefully results in active support and greater public interest for conservation.
On Earth Day, April 22, 2023, people all over the world celebrate and honor the environment and draw attention to the beauty of the most simple to the most profound of fauna and flora, and to drive discussions towards imagining and implementing solutions to conserve them. Let’s invest in Mother Earth, and make a positive difference.
Each entry must clearly connect to the competition theme: Sri Lankan Wildlife and Environment Partnership: Invest in our Planet
Submissions are open to all Sri Lankan residents over the age of 13 who are amateur photographers. Professional photographers and any employees of the U.S. Embassy of Sri Lanka and their family members are not eligible to enter.
A submission must be an original digital photograph, taken by and the property of the submitting contestant. Photos may be digitally-enhanced, however submitter must detail the enhancements done.
The photo contest opens on April 1, 2023 at 00:01 IST. Submissions are due by midnight 11:59 IST April 18, 2023. Submissions made after this time will NOT be considered. Judging begins as soon as the submission period ends, and winners will be announced on Friday, April 28, 2023.
Top three entries from each age category will be published on the U.S. Embassy social media pages from April 24 – 27 for public vote for the Most Popular Entry.
Submission limit is 3 photos per individual.
Submissions for Young-Adult and Adult categories must be in HD quality, at least 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.
Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright, are not eligible.
Photos previously submitted to a U.S. Embassy contest are not eligible.
All photos are subject to pre-screening to ensure compliance with these Official Contest Rules. Any photos out of compliance will not be included.
Participation in this contest is deemed as acceptance of these Official Contest Rules.
- Youth: 13 to 18 (Parental or legal guardian consent is required for participation)
- Young-Adult: 18 to 25
- Adult: 25 and older
- Mobile Device photo (e.g. Android, Iphone, Ipad)
Photos will be judged on their merit and on their connection to both the contest theme Sri Lankan Wildlife and Environment Partnership: Invest in our Planet and Earth Day.
Entries who use fraudulent methods to garner votes in the social media votes will be disqualified.
Upload your photo to an online sharing site (e.g. Flickr, Snapfish, etc.) with full/public access. Attach a link to your photo (no more than 3 photos per individual submitter) in an email to ColomboContest@state.gov with a subject line “Earth Day 2023 Photo Contest”. Submissions that do not use this subject line and any submissions beyond 3 photos per individual will not be considered.
In the body of the email, please include the following information for each photo submission:
- Name of photographer
- Category of Submission
- Title of image
- Contact email and mobile number of photographer
- Location where the photo was taken
- Date photo was taken
- A brief caption that explains how the photo relates to Earth Day and the contest theme Sri Lankan Wildlife and Environment Partnership: Invest in our Planet (no more than 75 words).
- Device used to capture the image; and
- What, if any, digital enhancements have been used
Please note: Personal and contact information will not be shared.
The competition winners will be announced on Friday, April 28, 2023, and will have their photo displayed in the American Center in the U.S. Embassy Colombo.
Note: Submitters will not be compensated or reimbursed for submissions.
Each winning photo will be celebrated on the social media of the Embassy, with the back story of the photo as well as a brief bio of the photographer.
Each winning photo will be printed and displayed in the American Center of the U.S. Embassy for public viewing.
- Sinhala translation (PDF 154 KB)
- Tamil translation (PDF 132 KB)