The BMUB-IKI-funded Protected Area Management Enhancement (PAME) project, which is implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)  celebrated the International Biodiversity Day on May 22, 2016 by organizing the Selfie for Biodiversity and Livelihood photo contest.

pame selfie4biodiversity second1st Runner Up Winner (Selfie Category): "Ancient Sea Turtle of Apo Island" by Danny OcampoA nationwide contest, it involved taking a selfie or groupie and sharing stories of protecting and conserving biodiversity. The winners were awarded during the first day of the bureau’s three-day celebration, starting on May 20, 2016, where GIZ also held a three-day exhibit at the DENR-BMB Training Center.

This was the third year that GIZ partnered with DENR-BMB for this initiative and the bureau would sustain this in the years to come, to continuously promote the importance of biodiversity among the youth, through social media.

“We are supporting the DENR-BMB again in getting simple commitments from everyone through the Selfie for Biodiversity photo contest. Biodiversity and livelihood are intertwined, and we want the photos to inspire others to appreciate this interconnectedness and how we all cannot get by without it,” said Berthold Schirm, GIZ Protected Area Management Enhancement (PAME) Project Director.

Also as part of the celebration for the International Day for Biodiversity, PAME launched its webpage with its DENR-BMB partners.

Local rock star icon Raymond Marasigan became one of the ambassadors for the #selfieforbiodiversity photo contest and promoted the contest to his followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Aside from social media, 702 DZAS – a local radio station that received Golden Dove Award for “Best Noncommercial Station in Metro Manila” by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas – hosted Mr. Berthold Schirm to promote the #selfieforbiodiversity contest.

PAME received over 400 entries for the contest and because of the overwhelming number of "non-selfie entries" that were received, PAME gave due recognition and awarded a Non-Selfie winner and had 8 finalists (highest scores for non-selfie photos) with some small prizes from the DENR-GIZ PAME Selfie for Biodiversity Organizing Team.

pame selfie4biodiversity firstGrand Prize Winner (Selfie Category): "The Livelihood Stairway" by Allan Jay QuesadaThis year’s Selfie for Biodiversity and Livelihood photo contest was supported as well by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), an intergovernmental organization that facilitates coordination and cooperation among the ten ASEAN Member States in conserving and protecting the rich biodiversity of the region.

GIZ and ACB remain committed to help the Philippine Government educate the public on the need to be more proactive in protecting the environment and its rich biodiversity.

“Through the Selfie for Biodiversity contest, we will take you to one of the 37 ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHPs) in the ASEAN Region so that you can enjoy the beauty of nature while learning how an AHP conserves and protects its biological resources,” said Atty. Roberto V. Oliva, ACB Executive Director.

“AHPs are protected areas of high conservation importance, preserving a complete spectrum of representative ecosystems of the ASEAN region. Simply put, these are the best of the best protected areas in the ASEAN in terms of biodiversity richness,” added Oliva.

A panel of judges composed of a veteran photographer and executives from DENR-BMB, GIZ, and ACB selected the winner. The first placer, Mr. Allan Jay Quesada with his “The Livelihood Stairway,” won a trip for two (covering airfare and accommodation) to an ASEAN Heritage Park while the first runner-up, Mr. Danny Ocampo with his “Ancient Sea Turtle of Apo Island,” was awarded with a trip for two (covering airfare and accommodation) to any protected area or biodiversity area under the jurisdiction of the DENR-BMB, or to a project site of the GIZ-PAME Project, except in the island of Batanes.

The #selfieforbiodiversity photo contest can serve as a learning experience on how biodiversity issues and caring for our environment can be mainstreamed to our youth through social media, which is fast becoming one of the most cost-effective methods of getting our messages across.

This contest reminds us all to take action and become an active and a responsible citizen of the world. #


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