The Prince of Wales marked World Oceans Day, last 8 June by launching a new photography competition for Commonwealth citizens to celebrate the beauty and importance of our oceans and seas: Out of the Blue: The Prince of Wales's Commonwealth Environmental Photography Awards.
The announcement was made at a public meeting on the future of the ocean held at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The competition is collaboration between The Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit (ISU), The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) and National Geographic, and aims to highlight the value and importance of the marine environment to Commonwealth countries.
In a video message played to participants of the meeting, entitled World Oceans Day – Realizing the Potential of our Oceans and Coasts, the Prince encourages Commonwealth citizens to explore their relationship with the marine environment through photography and submit images that remind people of the beauty of the oceans and seas, as well as our dependency as human beings on them.
The Prince of Wales has, for many years, been interested in the conservation of the marine environment and has supported numerous initiatives in pursuit of that cause.
“Good pictures can tell stories in ways that words sometimes cannot and it is my sincere hope that by inviting people to submit their finest photographs, depicting not only the astonishing beauty of the ocean, but also the nature of our relationship with it, that we might deepen efforts to ensure a more secure and sustainable future than might otherwise be the case”, said the Prince.
The competition has been organized by The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, which seeks to build consensus around solutions to pressing environmental and developmental challenges. As such, the ISU works to highlight the benefits of the transition to a more sustainable use of the natural capital of our seas and oceans.
The Prince highlighted the fact that half of Commonwealth countries are island states whose future prosperity is inextricably linked to the future of the ocean. He urged young people in particular to enter the competition with a hope that it will help deepen their passion for safeguarding the future of our 'blue world', as well as help get key messages across to global leaders.
Michael Lake CBE, Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a co-organizer, says: The Commonwealth is comprised of a global girdle of countries and islands with both maritime ecology and commercial interests. The Royal Commonwealth Society aspires to encourage them to pursue imaginative, energetic and coordinated initiatives that will draw public and community attention to the need for sensible management of seas and oceans, for the well-being of future generations. This competition, with which the Royal Commonwealth Society is pleased to be involved, is a timely initiative.
Entries can be submitted through the competition website (www.outofthebluecompetition.com). The closing date for images will be 6th September. A panel of judges will select winners and finalists in three categories, all of which will be included in an exhibition to be shown at this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in November, where among other things, the critical importance of the continued viability of economic activity dependent on oceans, seas, rivers and coasts will be discussed.