Photography competition celebrates UN International Year of Freshwater
Photographers can take part in a national competition this summer to celebrate
the UN International Year of Freshwater.
Organisers of the UK initiative to mark the Year, called H2O03, are asking
both children and adults to photograph a freshwater site local to them. Information
on how to get involved can be found on the website: www.H2O03.org.uk.
"We're interested in any site - from small ponds to streams, lakes and
rivers - as long as the entrant feels strongly about it," explained H2O03
organiser Rob Flavin from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. "It could
be a place where people walk, work or fish, or even use as an educational resource.
"We will select the images that best represent the diversity of freshwater
locations in the UK and upload them onto a website to be launched in September.
This National Collection will demonstrate the importance of these locations
to people and wildlife - and the need to protect them.
"There will be great prizes for the best photographs including holidays
at Center Parcs, trips to Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centres and hundreds of
pounds-worth of photographic equipment."
Rob Flavin is convinced that people should value water, and not just see it
as something that comes out of a tap.
"Freshwater is so fundamental to all our lives, it is important that people
connect with the subject and H2O03 will help to do that," he said. "There
are a myriad ways in which freshwater has an impact on our lives. For example,
we use it for leisure pursuits, as a workplace and it is a home for wildlife.
Floods and droughts can affect us too and climate change will have a major impact
on quality and resources."
H2O03 activities have been designed to put people in touch with a range of
freshwater issues, according to Mr Flavin, who acknowledged that the UK also
played an important role in helping to provide access to safe water overseas.
"The international dimension to the UN Year must also be stressed,"
he said. "Over 1 billion people in the world lack access to safe water
and 2.4 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. A child dies every 15 seconds
from diseases associated with lack of access to these basic resources.
"H2O03 is running a national writing competition on the theme 'Water for
all - who cares?' to encourage people to become engaged on this issue. People
can also take part in an art competition on the theme of freshwater."