Adaptation Fund Global Contest Draws 125+ Impact Photos from Around World Showing Climate Change and Efforts to Adapt

Contest Focused on Adapting Coasts and Inland Watersheds to Climate Change 

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2016) — The Adaptation Fund’s 2016 Global Photo Contest promoting coastal and watershed adaptation concluded this month with 127 impactful photos depicting the effects of climate change and adaptation solutions submitted from all over the world.

Nongovernmental organizations, Adaptation Fund accredited National Implementing Entities in countries ranging from South Africa, Costa Rica to India, multilateral implementing entities, other Fund partners, country government programs like Nepal’s Climate Change Support Program and independent photographers were among those to submit photos in the contest.

An independent panel of four judges separately selected their top three winners and several honorable mentions, and the results were tallied on a points system to determine the final winning photos. Criteria was based on relevance to the contest theme; the Adaptation Fund’s mission of helping vulnerable communities adapt to climate change; visual impact considering artistic and engaging qualities; originality; and informational/educational value as well as raising awareness to the importance of climate adaptation.

“We are thrilled to see so many captivating as well as informative photos that tell the story of climate change and adaptation from the ground level across a diverse range of countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chair Naresh Sharma. “Projects that manage coastal zones from rising seas as well as those that enhance watershed resources through sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation and disaster risk reduction are among key areas served by the Adaptation Fund and pivotal in enhancing community resilience to climate change.”

The judges said it was a challenging process since there were so many high quality and captivating photos submitted, and the winners reflect the overall excellence of the submissions well.

“We’d like to thank everyone who submitted photos,” said Adaptation Fund Manager Marcia Levaggi. “There were so many outstanding photos, and each of you has contributed to helping spread awareness of the importance and urgency of adapting the world’s coasts and watersheds to climate change.”

Here are the winners of the juried contest:

  • 1st Place: “Climate Refugee”, by Mohammad Ponir Hossain, a freelance photojournalist for Zuma Press in the U.S. The stunning photo depicts climate refugees getting into a boat to migrate to Dhaka in Bangladesh and escape rising waters in Bhola Sadar, where climate change is causing forced migrations after extreme weather calamities like cyclones, floods and riverbank erosion.
  • 2nd Place: “Cuban Coast’s Greatest Hope”, by Carlos Ernesto Escalona Marti. The photo shows children of Surgidero de Batabano learning to plant mangroves as part of environmental education activities on the importance of protecting the coast against climate change that are conducted by local coast guard and forestry workers. It is part of a series about an Adaptation Fund-funded project in Cuba in the south of Artemisa and Mayabeque provinces to reduce vulnerability to coastal flooding through ecosystem-based adaptation.
  • 3rd Place: “Step Pond Excavation: Fetching Water for Storing Water”, by Malay Mukherjee. The photo depicts a woman of the Jahergarh Farmers’ Group of Kashidi village in Purulia, India balancing water on her head a long distance for others in the group digging rainwater harvesting structures as part of an Adaptation Fund project to provide lifesaving irrigation to local agricultural paddies.

In addition, eight juried Honorable Mentions were awarded to photos depicting climate change coastal and inland watershed impacts and a variety of adaptation solutions in countries such as Bangladesh, Jamaica and Nepal. See all the winning photos here.

In a separate Facebook voting process open to the general public, the Adaptation Fund also awarded a ‘People’s Champion’ to the photo, “Power of Unity to Build a Dam” submitted by the Nepalese government’s Climate Change Support Program. The photo drew the most likes (96) of the 127 photos submitted, which all appeared on the Adaptation Fund’s Facebook album. The winning photo shows local communities constructing a dam for an irrigation canal in the Lalpur-1 of Khairichandanpur Village Development Committee within the Bardiya district in midwestern Nepal.

All 11 juried winning photos and the Facebook-voted People’s Champion will appear in a dedicated album on the Adaptation Fund’s Flickr site, and will also be displayed at the Fund’s upcoming Global Climate Finance Readiness Seminar at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. July 13-15.

The photo contest, which was launched on April 22 to coincide with Earth Day and the Paris Climate Agreement Signing Ceremony held in New York, was the Adaptation Fund’s fourth. The Fund also held photo contests focused on “Urban Climate Adaptation and Resilience” in 2013-2014, “Food and Agriculture” in 2012 and “Climate Change Adaptation” in 2011.



Since 2010, the Adaptation Fund has committed US$338 million to support 52 concrete, localized climate adaptation and resilience projects in 46 countries, with 3.57 million direct beneficiaries.

Communications: Matthew Pueschel, or +1 202 473 6743


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Press release June 22, 2016 Adaptation Fund Photo Contest Results PDF 233 KB