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Did you know that mangroves are among the most undervalued ecosystems on the planet? They help to reduce rising global temperatures, prevent food shortages and protect the world’s biodiversity. They are still considered by many as unimportant wastelands, but your images have the power to tell a very different story.

Mangrove Action Project has launched its 7th annual Mangrove Photography Awards to illustrate the importance and diversity of life in our mangrove forests, engage audiences in mangrove issues and stories, whilst inspiring people to take conservation action. The awards offer a chance for photographers, both amateur and professional, to raise their voices for the protection of one of our most critical and undervalued ecosystems.

Last year’s awards gave us a fascinating insight into the world of mangroves from all corners of the earth. Jaguars in mangroves, dancing trees, grinning crocodiles, pink waterscapes, and flamingos reclaiming a lost habitat were some of the intriguing images from last year’s awards with over a thousand entries from nearly 70 countries. Last year’s judge Cristina Mittermeier said, “Through impactful imagery and visual storytelling, we can rally people to action, sparking empathy and connection to our natural world.”

The 6 categories (see below) for this year will appeal to a range of interests and approaches, including a new youth category to encourage photographers of all ages to enter their best mangrove images.


Mangroves & Wildlife

Celebrating animals in our mangroves, all over the world, above the waterline; encouraging unlikely behaviour in trees and on land and rarely seen species, right down to the tiny animals and happenings, while conveying how the mangroves are integral to it.

   Once again being a Mother. Photo by Victor Hugo Luja Molina, Mexico.

Mangroves & Landscape

Captivating images of our mangroves with a unique perspective from expansive vistas down to the microscale of individual plants and other flora. Images may include unseen angles, patterns, closeups and views.

   Mangroves from the Air. Photo by Christopher Scarffe, Madagascar.

Mangroves & Underwater

Showcasing the world of mangroves below the water line; uncovering the diversity of aquatic life in this unfamiliar environment. Split-shots can expose relationships with other ecosystems and elements.

   Welcome Grin. Photo by Jenny Stock, Cuba.

Mangroves & People

Revealing intimate relationships between people and mangrove forests; encouraging images illustrating traditional connections with coastal communities and positive conservation efforts of people working to sustain our mangroves.

   Coastal Community. Photo by Morgan Bennett-Smith, Papua New Guinea.

Mangroves & Threats

Investigating the issues that threaten our coastal ecosystems; highlighting the negative impacts of humans on mangroves and presenting natural events that are increasingly putting pressure on our coastal forests.

   Photo by Juhel Laurent, Martinique.

Mangroves & Youth

Encouraging photographers under the age of 21 (on 05 June 2021) to explore their fascination with mangrove forests.

   The Dancing Mangroves. Photo by Harry Pieters, Indonesia

The awards launched on June 5th, World Environment Day, as part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This year, judges and ambassadors include world renowned photographers and conservationists; Robert Irwin, Dhritiman Mukherjee, Charlie Hamilton James, Octavio Aburto, Christian Ziegler, Daisy Gillardini and Mac Stone.

Deadline for entries for the Mangrove Photography Awards is Friday, July 17, 2021.

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This research forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.
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