Submit your photos to the AUA Biodiversity Photo Contest!

In 2019, the UN published a report on global biodiversity and ecosystems that drew attention to the severe impact of human actions on animal and plant habitats. Seventy-five percent of land-based environments have been altered by human actions (66% for marine life). The report also found that 1 million species of animals are now threatened with extinction. This issue not only impacts animal and plant species, but also human beings: biodiversity is important for food and water supply, addressing climate change, supporting human health, and aiding economic development.

The first part of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) was held in Kunming, Yunnan, China in October 2021. At the event, delegates committed to negotiating a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. From April 25th to May 8th, 2022, COP 15 will continue with further negotiations on the framework.

To bring greater attention to this issue in our community, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School (Tsinghua SIGS) will be organizing a photography contest in collaboration with the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) Secretariat.  Under the theme
 “Community of Life: Biodiversity Through the Lens,” the contest will lead to a photography exhibition in April 2022. 

We are calling upon students, faculty, and staff in our member universities to contribute their perspectives on biodiversity through the camera lens. As a community, we can bring awareness to the importance of biodiversity in our everyday lives and join the global effort to protect nature.

Theme and Categories
The theme of the contest is “Community of Life: Biodiversity Through the Lens.”  Submitted photographs should center on the subject of biodiversity and can picture animals, plants, ecosystems, conservation and protection work, etc. 

Photos will be judged in two categories, those taken with a digital camera and those using a smartphone, based on creativity, originality, quality, and relevance to the theme. Each participant can submit up to 10 photos that will be judged individually.

All students, faculty, and staff from AUA member universities can participate in the photo contest. Participants should be at least 18 years old to enter the contest.

How to Enter:
Submissions should be sent to by March 15, 2022 (11:59 PM Beijing time, UTC+8:00), and should include:

1)    JPG photo(s) with original resolution (up to 10 photos are allowed per participant). Please name your photo(s) using the following format: UNIVERSITY NAME CATEGORY PHOTO TITLE (e.g., Tsinghua John SMITH Smartphone Blue jay at Dusk)

2)    Please download (via the QR code below or this link), fill out, and attach a completed participant form to the e-mail address provided above in Word or PDF format with a handwritten or electronic signature. Please make sure to write your full name in your preferred order with the last name capitalized (e.g. John SMITH).

3)    Please make sure that you receive a confirmation e-mail for your submission. If you have trouble sending your photos to the submission e-mail address, please contact If you have any additional questions about AUA, please contact the AUA Secretariat at

Only minor modifications to the photographs will be accepted (e.g. dodging and burning, aperture, cropping, color balance).

Judges will choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners in both categories. One person will be chosen for 1st place in each category, two for second prize in each category, and three for third prize in each category. 

The 1st prize winner will receive a prize equivalent to 500 USD, 2nd prize winners will receive a prize equivalent to 200 USD, and 3rd prize winners will receive a prize equivalent to 100 USD. 

Winners will also be sent digital award certificates. 

Selected entries will be displayed online on the AUA Five Year Anniversary website and offline at Tsinghua SIGS in Shenzhen, China. An award ceremony will also be held online in April 2022 (date TBD). 

First, 2nd, and 3rd prize student winners will also be given the opportunity to come to Shenzhen, China to participate in a summer program. (The timing of this program is dependent on relevant epidemic prevention and visa regulations. Only currently enrolled students at AUA member universities at the time of the program will be allowed to participate).

For more about AUA, visit:

AUA Biodiversity Photography Contest Terms & Conditions.docx

AUA Biodiversity Photography Contest Participation Form.docx

Source: Office of Communications & Outreach

Edited by Alena Shish & Yuan Yang