Adaptation Fund Global Photo Contest Promotes Coastal and Watershed Adaptation to Climate Change

Launch Celebrates Climate Agreement Signing Ceremony and Earth Day

Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2016) — To coincide with today’s Paris Climate Agreement Signing Ceremony and Earth Day, the Adaptation Fund has launched a global Photo Contest to promote the importance of adapting the world’s coasts and watersheds to climate change.

The contest is aimed at involving all Adaptation Fund stakeholders, countries and projects, implementing entities, project staff and beneficiaries, executing entities, governments, nongovernmental organizations and the general public to raise awareness of climate change issues affecting vital resources around the globe and the importance of developing adaptation solutions.

“We wanted to launch this contest to celebrate the signing ceremony and Earth Day,” said Marcia Levaggi, Adaptation Fund Manager. “Coasts and inland watersheds are among the most vulnerable areas to climate change and major sources of food and water security. Many of our projects are focused in these areas, so we feel this is a great opportunity for stakeholders at all levels to help us tell their visually captivating stories and raise awareness of the importance of adaptation.”

The United Nations invited world leaders to New York for a special signing ceremony on the historic, universal climate agreement, with April 22 representing the first day the accord is open for signature. At least 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions are needed to ratify the agreement before it can take effect and the ceremony is aimed at spurring early implementation, continued momentum, and collaboration with business and civil society.

The Adaptation Fund was an active participant at COP21 in Paris, and was included in the final accompanying language – which established a roadmap that allows the Fund to serve the agreement, subject to a process that has already started.

“We were honored to be included in the language accompanying the Paris agreement and are working hard to support its implementation through our continued concrete adaptation projects to the most vulnerable countries and innovative climate finance modalities,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chair Naresh Sharma.

The photo contest, “Adapting Coasts and Watersheds”, is the Fund’s fourth and follows previous themes such as “Urban Climate Adaptation and Resilience” (2013-2014), “Food and Agriculture” (2012) and “Climate Change Adaptation” (2011).

With half the world’s population living within 60 km of the ocean and 75% of all large cities located by the sea, coastal areas are a major source for livelihoods through fishing, natural resources, trade, tourism, boating and recreation, but are under increasing threat from climate change due to sea level rise, storm intensification, flooding, erosion, rising water temperature, species migration and pollution. Inland watersheds are equally endangered by climate change-related droughts, floods and extreme rainfall variability, as well as damage to natural protective ecosystems like degraded forests, wetlands, grasslands and river pollution from runoff or contamination.

Coastal zone management projects that include seawalls, salt barriers and restoration of mangroves, and programs to enhance urban and rural watershed resources through disaster risk reduction, forest protection, biodiversity conservation, water harvesting, drip irrigation agriculture and landslide control offer tremendous benefits in improving sustainability of both the natural ecosystem and people’s livelihoods over the long term. The Adaptation Fund also recently approved a new Gender Policy and Action Plan to streamline its policies and procedures on equal access to programs among women and men. Many Fund projects additionally have strong gender components.

Photos depicting the effects of climate change on coasts and inland watersheds, as well as adaptation actions to address them can be submitted to by June 3, 2016 with the email heading of ‘AF Photo Contest’. Photos should be clear with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Photographers should include their name, a photo title and caption describing what is taking place, when and where. Complete contest criteria, including relevance to the theme, and the Fund’s vision of helping vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, as well as visual impact, originality and informational value, can be found here.

A panel of four judges representing civil society, climate change, communications and country-level specialists from diverse regions will vote for gold, silver and bronze winners, and a select number of honorable mentions. A separate open public vote will be held to determine a ‘People’s Champion’, where all photos will be posted on Adaptation Fund’s Facebook photo album. The one to receive the most public likes and engagements will win.



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

Communications: Matthew Pueschel, or +1 202 473 6743


Attachment Type Size
Press release 042216: Adaptation Fund Photo Contest PDF 216 KB
AF Photo Contest Flyer PDF 85 KB