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ASEAN - Peatlands highlighted in International Contest
“Our Precious Peatlands” Photography Contest

KUALA LUMPUR, DECEMBER 18, 2012 - YB Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia and HE Ambassador Luc Vandebon, the Head of EU Delegation to Malaysia gave away the winning prizes of the “Our Precious Peatlands” photography contest during the Third National Seminar on Biodiversity (MyBioD 2012), organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia  held in The Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.  

The contest which was open to the public from 1 July to 15 October 2012, celebrated the natural beauty, uniqueness and importance of peatlands and their biodiversity as well as the interactions with communities living in and around them through the eyes of each photographer.
The photography contest was organised by the Global Environment Centre (GEC) with the support from the IFAD/GEF-ASEAN Peatland Forests Project (APFP), EU-SEApeat Project, Canon Marketing (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Canon Opto (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Photogroup was intended to promote sustainable management of peatlands in Southeast Asia. The entries were judged by members of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Photogroup and selected judges from ASEAN countries as well as GEC.
More than 3000 entries were received from 23 countries for the photography contest, with 13 contestants walking away with a big smile as their submissions took the prizes. This does not include another 3 popular vote prizes to be decided by 23 December, 2012 through online voting.
The entries include powerful images of Southeast Asian peatland ecosystems and the interconnected relationship between people and nature. Malaysia, followed by Indonesia contributed the largest number of entries, and Indonesia garnered two out of the top three places. Mohammad Yusuf from Sulawesi, Indonesia took home the top prizes with his entry judged the best which depicted illegal logging activity in the Sampit Peat Forest, Central Kalimantan. He received a cash prize of US$1,000 as well as a Canon EOS60D camera. The problem of illegal logging is still serious in parts of the region and contributed to peatlands degradation.
Second prize winner, Armin Hari, who is also from Indonesia made his winning shot with the aerial view of a small settlement in Mappi peatland, Papua with traversing waterways as his subject won a cash prize of US$500 and a Canon EOS600D camera. Third prize winner, Md. Khairulamin of Brunei, received US$250 and a Canon EOS1100D camera with his aerial view of the Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park, Brunei. In addition, ten other entries from photographers from other countries including Malaysia, Philippines, USA and Spain each received a consolation prize which consists of a Canon camera IXUS240HS. All the cameras are sponsored by Canon Marketing (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Canon Opto (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. Total cash prizes of USD 2350 and a tour to the Raja Musa Forest Reserve for top three winners are supported by European Union and IFAD-GEF.
Although the top 13 prizes have been announced, the public can still vote for their popular choice at http://www.aseanpeat.net/contestas the voting will only close on 23 Dec 2012. The top three popular choices will receive US$300, US$200 and US$100 respectively.

“We are pleased with the strong response from most countries in the ASEAN region and we hope that the contest will help to raise the interest of the public in the importance of peatlands and stimulate more support for peatlands protection and rehabilitation”, says Faizal Parish, founder and Director of GEC.



First Prize Winner: Mr. Yusuf Ahmad (Sulawesi, Indonesia)

Illegal loggers cut the trees in the middle of the peatlands in Sampit, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
(Sampit, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia)

Second Prize Winner: Mr. Armin Hari (Jogyakarta, Indonesia)

View of small settlement in Mappi District, Papua, Indonesia with its "water-paths". The people use small boats for the transportation from one settlement to others, or as vessel for fishing. 
(Mappi District, Papua, Indonesia)

Third Prize Winner: Mr. Md. khairulamin Abdullah Sungkai (Kapok Muara, Brunei)

The forest 
(Merimbun, Brunei)


Consolation Prize Winners (in no particular order)

by Dr. Matthew Warren (USA)
Black water characteristic of peat swamps drains into a shallow lake which feeds the upper Kapuas river watershed.  The color is caused by high concentrations of particulate and dissolved organic carbon
Danau Sentarum National Park, Indonesia
 Mr. Joel C. Forte (Philippines)
Peatlands are home to some beautiful flora and fauna like this tiny frog and pitcher plant. Destroying peatlands means killing this plants and animals and a possibility of permanently eliminating or putting a specie to the brink of extinction.
Mindanao, Philippines
 Mr. Galih Nofrio Nanda (Indonesia)
A women trying to putting off the fire at the peatland near Jalan Perdana, Pontianak, West Borneo, Indonesia, Friday (4/1/2011). Clearing the peatland by set a fire for new plantation, residences that causes haze in Borneo is usual in Indonesia which sometimes haze went to neigbours country and addresses complain
Pontianak, West Borneo, Indonesia
 Mr. Zainon bin Kasim (Malaysia)
Between life and Deforestion
Sungai Karang Peatswamp Forest, Selangor, Malaysia, Malaysia
 Mr. Albert Bachtiar (Indonesia)
This photo  is the atmosphere of peat  forests in Riau province Siak district that is still quite awake from illegal logging
Siak, Indonesia
Mr. Shodik Purnomo (Indonesia) 
Memanfaatkan tumbuhan di lahan gambut sebagai ekonomi kerakyatan
Thailand, Thailand
 Mr. Andaman Muthadir (Indonesia)
Sun set in Peat Land
Centar Kalimantan, Indonesia
 Mr. Domi Yanto (Indonesia)
Fishermen are tracing the edge of a lake in the village of Kampar regency china reed
Desa Buluh Cina Kabupaten Kampar Provinsi Riau, Indonesia
 Ms. Yudia Apridianti Scheel (Indonesia)
The Flock
Banjarmasin, Kalimantan, Indonesia
 Mr. Bernat Ripoll Capilla (Spain)
Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps)
Sabangau National Park, Indonesia