March 10, 2016
An Information Technology Specialist, a Medical Doctor and Corporate Planner are the winners of the 2016 World Wetlands Day Photography Competition.
The competition was organized by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) to sensitize the public about Jamaica's wetlands.
First place was awarded to Debbie-Ann Powell for her photograph, "Fisherfolk Tours", second place went to Sherard Little for his photograph, "Shared Resources" and third place was awarded to Damion Cameron for his photograph "You have my back, I have yours".
Ms. Powell said, "The competition was fun for me. It required that I educate myself on what bodies of water are considered wetlands, it sent me hunting a bit to find suitable locations here in Jamaica that satisfied the definition and it allowed me to display my work to a number of persons beyond my immediate network, which is indeed priceless."
The second place winner, Sherard Little, a physician, said his love for nature and the outdoors drove him to enter the competition, a decision which brought winning rewards.
Meanwhile, third place winner, Damion Cameron, a corporate planning manager at the Norman Manley International Airport, said of his entry," When I examined all the images I took, the photo of the birds was one of my immediate favourites. I think the positioning of the birds was interesting. It says in the struggle to survive "you’ve got my back I’ve got yours". The irony of the shot is that just beneath the tree, which was filled with birds, were crocodiles lying in wait, if any were to fall from the tree."
The Competition was held under the theme, Wetlands for Sustainable Livelihoods, 38 persons entered the competition, submitting a total of 69 photos from all across the island.
World Wetlands Day, celebrated on March 2, 2016 marks the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention, signed on that day in Ramsar, Iran in 1971. During the final judging period, the photos were displayed on NEPA’s various social media platforms for the general public to view and vote on.
Dionne Rose, Manager, Public Education & Corporate Communication said, "This is the first year we are having a competition of this nature. The response has been overwhelming. I think we have achieved our objective, which was to raise public awareness of the value of our wetlands."
The winners were announced at a ceremony held at the Institute of Jamaica, on Thursday, March 3, 2016 which was attended by many of the agency’s partners and industry shareholders, the awardees and various well-wishers.
The winning photographs will be displayed at the Norman Manley International Airport.