Name and ownership

The name of the competition is Arctic Biodiversity "Through the Lens" and is organized and owned by the Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora (CAFF) Secretariat. CAFF is a the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council and has the mandate to address the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and to communicate its findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic, helping to promote practices which ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources.


The photography competition is intended to raise awareness of the importance of Arctic biodiversity, raise awareness of the multiple challenges facing Arctic biodiversity and to celebrate the beauty of the Arctic. Furthermore, the goal of the competition is to raise awareness about the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment and the Actions for Arctic Biodiversity, which is the ABA Implimentation Plan.     


The competition is open to all photography enthusiasts from across the world, but is specifically aimed at submissions from Arctic residents with a special focus on young people and indigenous communities.


The competition will be accept submissions from two groups of people:

  • an adult competition, open to photographers aged 18 and over,
  • youth category which is for photographers under the age of 18 and under the age of 14

The competition is divided into four different themes (see below Compeition categories). Contestants can enter up to 7 images per theme

Competition categories

Competition categories

  • A) Arctic biodiversity - Images of migratory and resident wildlife inhabiting the Arctic regions
  • B) Landscape in the Arctic- Images of the natural habitat, scenery and landscapes of the Arctic
  • C) People of the North – Images showing daily life, culture and ethnography of the inhabitants of the Arctic
  • D) Business and science in the Arctic – Images of showing modern technology, business, research and logistics carried out in the Arctic  
  • There are three winners in each category (A-D) which will receive a prize, with one overall competition winner which receives the grand prize. The judging committee will determine 3 "youth" winners from all submissions of individualls under the age of 18 which also will receive a prize


Image usage and exhibition

22667963697 a009904033 zArctic Biodiversity Through the Lens Exhibit 2015 Harpa Opera House Reykjavik

The major output of the competition is a traveling photo exhibition of winning and select entries. The exhibition will have its grand opening at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress,, 9-11 October 2018 in Rovaniemi, Finland. Details of the photoexebitions to follow the 2018 competition are not fully known (February 2018) but will be anounched on the photography website as exhibitions are schedulled. The photography competition 2014 was exhibited in 10 locations in the Arctic and is modestly estimated to have attracted over 700.000 visitors.

Rights and ownership of images belong to entrants. However, by entering the competition, the entrant grants the organizers (CAFF) a non-exclusive, irrevocable license and permission to reproduce, publish and communicate the images, including through competition sponsors, in relation to the competition and the Arctic Biodiversity Congress for the duration of five years and in the case of the competition exhibition for a duration of seven years, starting from the date winners are announced (October 10, 2018). This public communication may use worldwide media including electronic and print mechanisms and tools. Entrants agree to permit CAFF to exhibit their image(s) at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress and in further photography exhibit tours. Authors will always be credited when their images are used. Once the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, the competition exhibition and competition are finalized all publications containing an image of the competition may be reprinted freely. If CAFF is interested in re-using some of the images after the five year period negotiations will be entered into with the individual photographer. The grand prize winner is required to provide our sponsor Visit Rovaniemi five images taken in the Rovaniemi area, during the photography trip, to be used freely in marketing purposes.


Organizing committee

Kári Fannar Lárusson and Courtney Price (CAFF International Secretariat) and Sari Sironen (Ministry of the Environment, Finland)


Judging committee

Winning entries will be determined by a judging committee: Carsten Egevang, Einar Guðmann, Gyða Henningsdóttir, Krista Ylinen, Lawrence Hislop, Kári Fannar Lárusson, Courtney Price.



The Arctic Biodiversity Through the Lens Photography Competition is sponsored by the following organizations

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