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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Photo and Video Contest on Soil Biodiversity

Updated on May 04, 2020 932 views
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Photo and Video Contest on Soil Biodiversity

Soil biota constitutes the greatest concentration of biomass of any part of the planet, and is composed of an immeasurable amount of mega, macro, meso and microorganisms. This diverse community of living organisms keeps the soil healthy and fertile. This vast world constitutes soil biodiversity and determines the main biogeochemical processes that make life possible on Earth. 

In the framework of GSOBI20, FAO and its Global Soil Partnership (GSP) is launching a photo and video contest on soil biodiversity.


The competition is divided in two main categories: 

  1. Mega & Macrofaunae.g. Toads, moles, beavers, rabbits, badgers,  earthworms, termites, ants, millipedes, woodlice…etc
  2. Meso & Microfauna: e.g. Small invertebrates such as tardigrades, mites, insects like collembolans, diplurans and proturans, bacteria, protozoans, fungi, nematodes…etc

For both categories, competitors can submit either high definition pictures or short videos/time-lapse taken through any devise, including a microscope

The winners for the two categories will be awarded a cash prize of $ 500. The five finalists will receive soil related gadgets, an official certificate of recognition and special promotion on FAO media. 

IMPORTANT: The deadline to send your submission/s is 30 June 2020. Do not forget to fill out the registration form!

Main objectives

The objectives of the contest are to:

  • Promote and give visibility to the importance of soil organisms;
  • Raise awareness on the urgency of protecting soil biodiversity;
  • Stimulate engagement and participation of a wider broader audience on social media in relation to soil biodiversity.

Rules for participation

  • Each participant can submit up to five entries by filling and submitting the registration form.
  • Entries should be sent by email to by 30 June 2020 using any file transfer services.
  • Entrants must own the copyright and must have taken the photographs/ videos themselves. They may have been taken at any time prior to the contest launch.
  • Photographs and videos should fall under one of the categories mentioned above. 
  • Participants should not forget to post their photos/videos if they have social media accounts, using the competition hashtags: #SoilBiodiversity,#GSOBI20 and #Biodiversity2020. The FAO corporate social media may share and retweet the winning photos on corporate accounts.

Conditions and copyright

  • The FAO-GSP respects photographers and video-makers rights and does not claim copyright over images/videos submitted to this contest. The author retains full copyright in each entry. Whenever the image/video is published, the author will be credited. 
  • Participation in the contest grants FAO-GSP permission to use the image/video for the preparation of FAO material and FAO digital channels. 
  • FAO-GSP does NOT own copyright and authors are free to use the image/video for other purposes at their choosing. 


  • Photographs must be submitted in .jpeg, .png, .psd, .raw or .tiff format. Images should be submitted with the highest quality regarding file size, bit depth and resolution. Both colour and/or black and white images will be accepted. 
  • Videos must be submitted in .mp4, .mpg, .wmv, .avi, .or .mov format. They may not exceed twenty seconds. Videos should be submitted with the highest quality regarding file size, bit depth and resolution.
  • The material must not violate or infringe tierce’s rights, including but not limited to trademark, privacy, publicity or other intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement.
  • The submission must not contain dates, texts, brand names, logos and/or trademarks;
  • The submission must be in any of the following FAO official languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.


The jury is comprised of an independent group of 5 individuals with different areas of expertise in photography, science and scientific communications from the GSP Secretariat and the GSOBI20 Organizing Committee.

The jury will shortlist the finalists based on the following criteria:

  1. Creativity/Originality;
  2. Informational Content;
  3. Technical Proficiency; and
  4. Artistic and Visual Impact. 


  • The winners of each category will be awarded a prize of USD 500. 
  • Additional prizes will be given to the 5 shortlisted finalists of each category. They will receive soil related gadgets, an official certificate of recognition and will have their entries printed and exposed in the FAO Atrium during the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity, on UN/FAO websites and social media channels, and on a special article featuring the winners of the contest.


  • Submission opens: 5 April 2020
  • Submission closes: 30 June 2020
  • Shortlisting of the 5 best submissions for each category: July-August 2020
  • Public vote opens: 7-9 September 2020*
  • Public vote closes (announcement of the winner): 9 September 2020

*Shortlisted entries may be posted on social media accounts for the public voting. GSOBI20 participants will be encouraged to vote for their favorite photographs/ videos through an online poll.

Read More About this Contest on the FAO Website

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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