Photo competition winners announced

Sun, 05/06/11

A team from Cyprus have been announced as the winners of 2011 Greening the Blue Photo Competition which has been run in collaboration with the UN Photographic Society to celebrate World Environment Day 2011.

The winning entry, which shows a group of UN staff posing in a recycling bin, was submitted by Nicolas Jarraud in collaboration with colleagues from the UN Development Programme and the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

In total, 377 photos from over 40 countries were submitted to the contest, which was open to everyone. In addition to choosing a clear winner, the judges chose to recognise three runners up.


Niclas Svenningsen, head of the Sustainable United Nations team which runs the Greening the Blue campaign and one of the competition’s judges, said the panel had a tough time deciding on a winner.

“There were lots of great photos reflecting the theme ‘Visions of a Sustainable UN’ in an imaginative and engaging manner,” he said. “But the winning photo’s use of creativity and humour stood out.”

The judges felt the winning entry managed to capture several important elements of how the UN can become a more sustainable organisation.  

“This picture reflects in an eye-catching way elements such as recycling, team work and staff engagement” he said.

It was hoped that the competition would spark interest and discussion on how to make the UN more sustainable.

This goal was very much reached, with the response on Facebook and Twitter surpassing all expectations. The contest also succeeded in increasing staff awareness of the Greening the Blue.

The winning photo will be framed and sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The winners, who are already Green Champions, can also expect to receive a special Greening the Blue Award in the post.

More entries can be seen by visiting Greening the Blue’s Facebook page.

The runner-ups

The judging panel selected three runner-ups that portrayed the theme ‘Visions of a Sustainable UN’ in a creative and engaging manner:

Sandra ten Zijthoff, a freelance photographer and designer from the Netherlands. The judges described her picture as: “Filled with symbolism: moving from darkness towards the light, through a landscape associated with the developing world, on a technology that is truly sustainable.”

Anthony Joseph Alioto and Nicola Jane Dowdall, UN Office at Vienna, from Italy and the United Kingdom. The judges described their joint submission as: “A picture most UN staff will recognise. Few things are as closely associated with long meetings and office work, as the coffee break. Bringing your own mug is a small, but important, way to contribute to a more sustainable UN.”

Mathew Lynn, a freelance photographer from Australia. His picture of a girl in a field was chosen by the judges because it shows “that sustainability is a part of UN’s key mandates in many ways: food, youth, and the environment in the developing world.”

The judges

Kerry Constabile

Kerry is the Environment Specialist at UNICEF. Kerry works on environment and climate change policy and programming and has an extensive background developing environment and economic development programmes in the private and public sectors. Kerry is a photographer and representative from the UN Photographic Society for the Greening the Blue competition.

Niclas Svenningsen

Niclas is the head of the Sustainable United Nations (SUN) programme at UNEP. He has a background in civil engineering, environmental law and journalism. With over 15 years working on various sustainable development issues, Niclas has a world of experience and insight on sustainability issues.

Imogen Martineau

Imogen is an expert in the field of communications and sustainability with a particular interest in strategies for behavior change. She manages the Greening the Blue campaign and is the key coordinator of the photo competition.