Meet the Finalists of the WIPO Photography Prize for Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Youth 2021-2022

March 22, 2022

The WIPO Photography Prize for Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Youth 2021-2022 (the Photography Prize) drew hundreds of participants from around the globe. A total of 30 shortlisted photos* are entering the final stage of the competition.

Image: WIPO

Themed Climate Change and Climate Action: Mother Earth through our Lenses, the WIPO Photography Prize is meant to encourage Indigenous and local community youth to express themselves on climate change and climate action – while raising their awareness on how copyright can be used to protect their creativity expressed in the photographs. To make the competition accessible to as many young people as possible, the participants were not required to use professional equipment for taking photographs.

The shortlisted photographs

A panel of judges constituted by four photographers from Indigenous and local communities evaluated all entries and selected a shortlist of 30 submissions available in our online gallery. There you will find out more about how Indigenous peoples and local community youth express themselves on the challenges they face due to climate change and how they attempt to mitigate its impact.

The WIPO Traditional Knowledge Division would like to thank everyone who submitted their photos, as well as the panel of judges.

Photo: Fernando Azevedo Gonçalves

“The earth is sister, daughter, aunt, mother, grandmother, womb, the succor and healing of the world and the strength of our future. This is the subject of the photograph”. – explains Fernando Azevedo Gonçalves, a shortlisted participant from Brazil.

What is next for the finalists?

The winners of the WIPO Photography Prize will be announced on April 22, 2022, International Mother Earth Day, across our online and media channels. Winners will receive a variety of awards, including photography equipment and related software licenses, with a total value of up to:

  • USD 3,500 (1st place)
  • USD 2,500 (2nd place)
  • USD 1,500 (3rd place)

We wish the finalists the best of luck in the next phase of the competition.

Additionally, all entrants to the Photography Prize will be invited to join a virtual training on photography and copyright. The interactive session will offer practical guidance on how copyright and its management can be useful to photographers.


The Photography Prize was launched on August 12, 2021, as part of the celebration of International Youth Day. This activity was designed in consultation with an Advisory Board comprised by Indigenous peoples and local communities representatives, including youth, and organizations, governments and individuals working on climate change, biodiversity, photography, intellectual property, media and entrepreneurship.

Photo: Laissa Malih

In this photo, Laissa Malih, one of the shortlisted participants, has depicted a river in Northern Kenya that may become a seasonal river or even dry out if no climate action will be taken.

Due to their close relationship with the environment and its resources and dependence upon them, Indigenous and local communities are among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change, such as increased drought, loss of biological diversity, poverty and displacement, hotter temperatures and the rising level of oceans, among many other. In the meantime, these communities are the key holders of traditional knowledge, which can play an important role in assessing the impact of climate change and promoting climate change adaptation. In recent years, the role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in mitigating the impact of climate change has been recognized in a number of public discussions on local, national and international levels.

Looking for more information on WIPO’s work on indigenous peoples and local communities’ engagement?

Visit the WIPO Traditional Knowledge website for more information on WIPO’s work on intellectual property, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

To learn more about WIPO’s activities on indigenous peoples and local communities’ engagement, check out our dedicated webpage on the topic.

For regular updates on WIPO’s activities, sign up for our Traditional Knowledge Updates.


1 One entry was withdrawn for not being eligible for the final phase. It was replaced by the runner up.