Can you capture an image that showcases the Isle of Man as a special place for people and nature?
A digital photography competition is being promoted by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture as part of its bid to include the Island as a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve.
The winning image will become a focal point of the Biosphere Vannin campaign and appear in publicity material to support the Isle of Man’s nomination.
Biosphere reserves are designated by UNESCO as areas that balance the needs of people, business and nature. Their main purpose is to encourage conservation, sustainable development and active involvement in the environment.
In a similar way to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, biosphere reserves are acknowledged as shining examples to the rest of the world.
With a beautiful landscape and coastline, strong community spirit and thriving economy, the Isle of Man has the opportunity to become the first country in its entirety to be designated as a biosphere reserve.
If successful, the Isle of Man would join an illustrious list of international biosphere sites, including Uluru (Ayres Rock) in Australia, Cape Winelands in South Africa and the Camargue Delta in France.
As well as providing an opportunity to raise global awareness of the Isle of Man, the UNESCO bid also recognises that having an exceptional natural environment side-by-side with hi-tech industry is a key factor in the drive to grow and diversify the Manx economy.
DEFA, which is coordinating the Isle of Man’s nomination with a view to submitting papers by July 2014, is looking for photographs that illustrate the Island as the ultimate biosphere reserve.
The competition features six different categories – Glens, Uplands, Farmland, Coast, Culture, Towns and Villages – and carries a first prize of £250, with runners-up prizes of £50.
Phil Gawne MHK, Minister for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘Official recognition by UNESCO would be a tremendous reputational boost for the Isle of Man and place us alongside a number of famous locations. As part of the Biosphere Vannin campaign we want to celebrate our Island with images that will showcase it to the rest of the world.’
He added: ‘There is a wealth of photographic talent in the Island and we are on the lookout for powerful imagery that captures the real essence of what makes the Isle of Man such a special place to live, work and visit. The key thing to keep in mind is that Biosphere Vannin is about more than nature in isolation. It’s about people enjoying, learning from, interacting with, and helping to take care of our amazing natural environment in the Isle of Man.’
Information about the competition, criteria and rules can be viewed via the website www.biospherevannin.im
The deadline for all submissions is 5pm on Friday 15 November. A shortlist of up to 10 entries in each category will be drawn up in December, with the overall winner and category prize winners announced in January 2014.