Contest rules

Contest rules


The CIFOR-ICRAF photo competition welcomes participants aged 18 or older. You are encouraged to use the photography equipment with which you are most comfortable. Employees of CIFOR-ICRAF are not eligible to enter. 

By submitting photos to the competition, the contributor agrees to a creative commons, attribution, non-commercial share-alike license (BY-NC-SA).

By uploading the image, the contributor ensures that the image was taken legally and that they have the right to portray all people or other information contained in the image.

Competition organizers reserve the right to use all photos submitted through the competition for CIFOR-ICRAF materials and exhibitions during CIFOR-ICRAF events. Contributors will be given credit when the organizers publish or use their pictures. Contributors do not have permission to use the photos they submitted for commercial purposes.

Contributors who work for the media are required to attach an authorization signed by a representative of the media company employing them. This authorization should state that the contest organizers have permission to publish the author’s piece from the media outlet where the photo originally appeared. Please attach your approval (if applicable) in the submission form.

Please note the following rules:

  • Entries should not include watermarks, signatures, or captions.
  • Entries that have previously won other photography competitions will be automatically disqualified.
  • Submissions featuring children or minors are not eligible.
  • Entries generated using generative artificial intelligence tools or with their assistance are ineligible.
  • Images portraying the willful harassment of wildlife will not be accepted.
  • Photos taken in ways that cause or have caused environmental damage by the photographer, including capturing images in areas where human presence is restricted by authorities or property managers, are not eligible.
  • Photos taken before the year 2010 will not be eligible.

By submitting your entries, you are confirming your agreement to abide by the terms and rules of this competition.

CIFOR-ICRAF retains the exclusive right to determine the eligibility of entries. CIFOR-ICRAF also reserves the right to disqualify contestants in the case of suspicious activity throughout the voting period. Fraudulent activities will be monitored and may result in exclusion.

How to participate

  • To submit your entries, upload your photo here.
  • You may submit multiple entries with maximum three photos; however, you can only have one ultimate entry in the final round
  • The uploaded file must include the photo’s title, name, email address, social media handles (if applicable), and a caption stating the following:
  • The subject and location, and a short description of the story behind the picture.
  • You must have the full copyright to the submitted photos. Therefore, by submitting your entries, you will be presumed to have agreed to accept the contest rules and the terms and conditions.


All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges selected by the CIFOR-ICRAF team, who will select at least 30 photos from all eligible submissions received during the competition period. Finalists will be chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity (30%)
  • Photographic quality (30%)
  • Composition (30%)
  • Execution of theme (10%)

CIFOR-ICRAF will publish the finalist entries on its online platforms. The panel of judges will choose the first and second prize winners from the finalist entries, while members of the public will be invited to vote online for their favourite entry. The photo with the most votes will receive the ‘popular vote’ award. The CIFOR-ICRAF team will ensure that the first prize, second prize and popular vote winners are all selected from different participants.


The CIFOR-ICRAF team will email all finalists in November.  They will be invited to share a short video message about their photo and work. The best videos will be exhibited in our art gallery on CIFOR-ICRAF’s digital platform  (more information to be announced).

Looking for inspiration? Look no further than the amazing winners of the 2022 CIFOR-ICRAF Photo Competition. These talented photographers captured the beauty and significance of forests in unique and inspiring ways, showing us all just how to protect their richness through the power of photography.