17th SEARCA Photo Contest (2023)

The world is seeing and experiencing the worsening effects of climate change so much so that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres alerted the public on 21 July 2023 saying, "we are past the era of global warming and we are now experiencing global boiling." Citing the hotter-than-usual July in comparison with the temperatures throughout the century, UN Secretary-General Guterres used those words to plea for critical actions to reverse the trend.

The agricultural sector is in the hot seat as the food systems contribute 19–29 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions through methane and nitrous oxide according to a paper published by the Annual Review of Environment and Resources (2012). Fortunately, a solution to the climate change dilemma can also be found within the agricultural sector. By changing the farming practices through the principles of carbon farming and circular economy from the farm to family's table, agriculture can help combat the climate change crisis. Read more.

What to Capture

The 17th SEARCA Photo Contest (2023), with the theme Regenerating agri-ecosystems, lowering "global boiling",  seeks images from Southeast Asia, which  focus on agricultural technologies and practices that help abate climate change and promote less pressure to natural resources, recycle, or re-use by-products to lessen wastage, and with low carbon footprint. (Please click here to see examples of these technologies.) 

Photo submissions should ideally showcase farmers and farming families, researchers, inventors, and even students and the youth using technologies and practices in the field. The images could be part of agricultural production or experimentation across the broad spectrum of crop cultivation, livestock and animal husbandry, or fisheries.

Photos may depict technologies and practices
  • That increase productivity, yield or income for farmers and farming families in crop cultivation, livestock, or fishery while reducing wastes;
  • That make crops or livestock more sustainable and resilient against unfavorable environments such as drought, flood, and salinity as well as resistant to pests and diseases among other stresses;
  • That are developed by local communities or the youth using indigenous materials or tribal knowledge that aims to conserve resources or reduce, re-use, or recyle farm wastes;
  • And images that foster partnerships resulting in breakthrough agricultural technologies and innovations or sustainable knowledge and technology transfer to farmers and farming communities.
Examples of technologies under the theme

When we talk about regenerative farming, practices such as, permaculture, agroforestry, organic farming, and peri-urban farming, among other practices, comes to mind. Below are specific examples of technologies related to the theme.

  • To save water, examples are alternate wetting and drying technique, drip irrigation, sprinklers, mulching, etc.
  • For soil health, examples are composting, vermiculture, zero-till, fallow, and cover crops.
  • To reduce postharvest losses, examples include use of use of hermeneutic bag, silos, and moisture meter, among others.
  • To re-use and recycle farm wastes or by-products, examples are use of rice straw as bio-char or as substrate for mushroom farming; farm wastes could also be used as feed, energy, or material for contruction or cottage industries.
  • Use of renewable energy in farming, for food processing, and agroindustrial processing such as solar, hydropower, wind, etc.
  • To reduce and recycle food wastes, examples include biotechnologies in food production and preservation, leather processing, production of bio-based polymers, and construction materials of fibers.
  • Rethinking the food system so that the food are locally produced to lessen use of transportation (meaning decreased CO2 emission); examples are urban farming and vertical farming, among other technologies and practices.
  • Lastly, include images that depict partnerships, entrepreneurship, and skill and technology transfer such on these technologies, among other similar practices.
What to Capture

Guidelines and Mechanics

  • The 17th SEARCA Photo Contest (2023) is open to all Southeast Asian nationals except SEARCA staff and their immediate family members.

  • All entries must be submitted via https://photocontest.searca.org during the submission period (18 September –30 November 2023). A contestant can enter an unlimited number of entries for as long as these meet the photo contest specifications.

  • To minimize cases of plagiarism, the contestants will be asked to certify that:

    1. they own the photographs submitted and that they grant SEARCA full permission to use it in knowledge packaging, sharing, and advocacy related to SEARCA's mandate. SEARCA shall ensure that the photographer will be properly credited for photos used, such as in print and digital publications;
    2. the photographs are original, have not won any previous photo contests, published elsewhere (whether print or electronic), or submitted as entries to any other photo contests during the 17th SEARCA Photo Contest period. The same or similar photos submitted to past SEARCA photo contests may not be submitted again; and
    3. that the photos have not been digitally altered and/or enhanced in any way other than simple cropping.
  • Entries must be digital, colored, in JPEG format, and at least 3,000 pixels wide for a horizontal image, or 3,000 pixels tall for a vertical image at 300 dpi.

  • Each entry should have the following details in English:

    1. Photographer's full name, age range, and gender;
    2. photographer's country of origin;
    3. photographer's professional status;
    4. photo caption;
    5. place where the photo was taken (include township/municipality, province/state, and country);
    6. complete date taken; and
    7. other information that may be deemed necessary for reference purposes.
  • Winners will be notified via e-mail. SEARCA has the right to offer the prize to the next winning entry if the winner does not respond within two weeks after notification.

  • Winners will be asked to provide their bank information for cash prizes remittance; certificates of recognition will be sent by mail.

Guidelines and Mechanics

Criteria for Judging

Relevance to the theme
Technical quality
(clarity, use of tones and color, photographic composition)
Impact (regional flavor)
Criteria for Judging

Deadline for Submission

All entries must be submitted online at http://photocontest.searca.org on or before 30 December 2023, 11:59 p.m. (GMT +08:00).

Deadline for Submission

Prizes and Special Awards

1st Prize

USD 1,000

2nd Prize

USD 800

3rd Prize

USD 500
SEARCA Director's Choice
USD 500
Philippine Department of Education Secretary's Choice
USD 500
People's Choice Award
USD 400
Best Youth Photographer
USD 300
Note: Remittance of cash prizes will follow any current SEARCA administrative/financial standards/guidelines (e.g., payout to Philippine winners will be in Philippine pesos).
Prizes and Special Awards

Submit Your Entries

Kindly read our guidelines before submitting your entry.
Recommended web browsers: Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Fields marked with asterisk (*) are required.

1. Your entry

Browse Image*
Maximum file size: 8 MB
Place taken*

Date taken*
Camera used*

2. Your profile

Enter your Profile ID
Enter Profile ID to get your personal information saved on our database. Profile ID will be generated after your first submission.

Or input your personal information

Online portfolio

Link to samples of your work.
How did you find out about the SEARCA Photo Contest?*
Are you a professional photographer?*
Are you considered youth (18–35 years old)?*
Will be used in the judging of Best Youth Photographer award
Photo of yourself*

Maximum file size: 500 KB

3. Certification

  1. That I own the photograph, and that I grant SEARCA full permission to use it in knowledge packaging, sharing, and advocacy related to SEARCA's mandate. On the other hand, SEARCA shall ensure that the photographer will be properly credited for photos used especially in mass-produced print publications;
  2. That the photograph is original, and that it has not won any previous photo contest/s, has not been published elsewhere (print or electronic), and has not been submitted to any other photo contest/s during the SEARCA Photo Contest 2023 period. Furthermore, the same/similar photos submitted to past SEARCA photo contests will be disqualified;
  3. That the photo has not been digitally altered and/or enhanced in any way other than simple cropping minor adjustments on brightness, contrast, and saturation; and does not have watermark or any other mark in the photo itself; and
  4. That in case this photograph contains an identifiable child/minor subject, the child's parent/guardian has given me consent/permission (written or verbal) to use the photograph for the purposes deemed appropriate by SEARCA.

If you encounter any problems, email us at fotos@searca.org.
Note: we do not disclose your personally identifiable information to any person or company except where you have given us permission to do so or if the law requires it. Learn more.

Photo by: (1) Marrel Dela Vega, (2) Pham Quoc Hung, (3) Dennis Ivan Chavez Baliguat, (4) Nguyen Linh Vinh Quoc, (5) Budi Prakasa Karyadi, and (6) Hansa Tangmanpoowadol.