Finalists of UN World Wildlife Day photo competition announced

Updated on 12 January 2021

For use of the media only;
not an official document.



Finalists of UN World Wildlife Day photo competition announced

Geneva, 24 February 2017 – The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the facilitator of UN World Wildlife Day (WWD), today revealed the 10 finalists in the World Wildlife Day 2017 photo competition. The winner of the competition will be announced at a high level event to observe the Day at the UN Headquarters in New York.

World Wildlife Day 2017 aims to motivate, engage and empower young people in wildlife conservation issues, echoing a strong call to better engage with youth from the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17). The competition, themed “Through young eyes”, invited young people aged 10 to 24 from around the world to submit their photos of wildlife as a way to highlight their vision and use their artistic talents to galvanize other young citizens in the protection of wildlife.

CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, said “We are inspired by the stunning photos entered by young people from every continent. They truly celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wildlife. These images, captured through the eyes of youth, are a graphic reminder of what we strive to protect every day. They graphically illustrate the talent of these young people and their passion for protecting wildlife. We are most grateful for the generous support of the US Fish and Wildlife Service for this wonderful competition”

A distinguished judging panel narrowed down the 500 photographs submitted by young people from every continent to 10 finalists. As the competition is aimed to promote broad engagement of youth from all countries to protect all wildlife, the panel has taken into consideration of geographical balance and a broad representation of species.

The panel of international judges included (in alphabetical order of names):

  • Thea Carroll, Chief Director of Biodiversity Planning and Development, Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa, representing governments and co-proponent of the CoP17 resolution on Youth Engagement
  • Jina Choi, intern working at the United Nations, representing youth
  • Jean-Louis Fel, photographer and photo-journalist, representing professional photographers
  • Danielle Kessler, Chief, Office of Outreach & Communications, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's International, representing the sponsor of the photo competition and co-proponent of the CoP17 resolution on Youth Engagement
  • Richard Lee, WWF Communications Manager, Freshwater Practice, representing Non-Governmental Organizations
  • John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, representing CITES as the organizer of the photo competition

This competition is generously supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One grand final winner will be announced at a high level event to mark the global celebration of World Wildlife Day at UN Headquarters in New York on 3 March 2017.

Here are the 10 finalists and their entries (by alphabetical order of countries):

By Md Rashuidul Rabby, Bangladesh

By Damaris Lopez Zamora, El Salvador

By Gàbor Li, Hungary

By Swaroop Singha Roy, India

By Jorge Figueroa, Mexico


By Ali Javed, Pakistan

By Breech Asher Harani, Philippines

By Samson Moyo, South Africa

By Nathan Horrenberger, Switzerland

By Gabriel Best, United States of America

See more beautiful photos entered into the competition.

Note to editors: 

For more information, please contact Liu Yuan at [email protected], Amy Reid at [email protected]


About the United Nations World Wildlife Day

On 20 December 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival. World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.


With 182 Parties, CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, housing, health care, ecotourism, cosmetics or fashion.

CITES regulates international trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable.

CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975.

Learn more about CITES by visiting or connecting to: