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Thursday, February 15, 2024

World development from the lens of Young photographers

Recently United Nations organized an international photography contest welcoming the young photographers to encapsulate their ideas and feelings about the optimistic sustainable development goals. A paradigm of 17 goals and 169 targets, sustainable development goals were architected in 2015 with the motives to eradicate poverty, ensure balanced inclusive human progress for all and reduced climatic adversities by 2030.

The Captivating Illustrations

The contest received 600 photo submissions from 47 countries covering 5 continents. The photograph of Nicolas Monteverde Bustamante, a local university student from Peru won the first prize in the contest.

His photo was an illustration of a boy removing the tire from Lima Beach.


The young photographer was shocked to see the tires strewn all over the conservation area in Callao, near Lima. Pollution of sea and ocean was a disturbing visual for photographer Nicolas, who now perceive indiscriminate throwing at beaches as a tragic thing to the human environment.

A photograph of children having lunch at a village school in Myanmar submitted from China was a heart-warming tale of how villagers living without electricity sacrificed their needs and compensated the limited resources for the construction of a primary school for their children.

Another photograph of a normal landscape, with a tiny plant growing amidst the tall tree in the forest was also a prizewinner in contest submitted from Tokyo.

A tiny plant growing amidst tall trees

The photography contest brought in spectrum some very intriguing and enthusiastic perspectives, which were the illustrations of pollution, overall human development and the sensitive reflection of the feelings of photographers for their environment.

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Director of UN information sector said that pictures have tremendous powers to disseminate message more effectively than words. Where youth is the agent of change, engaging them in the successful implementation of internationally recognized SDGs by 2030 must be appreciated.

Youth is the Fulcrum of Change

With an innovative approach, UN is increasingly looking towards the youths around the globe as the potential vehement sources in driving the progress of global goals in their communities.

This year, 11,000 girls from all over the world worked in teams to address the internationally agreed upon UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). In partnership with UN Women, the STEM nonprofit organization invited girls to learn to apply technology to solve their community problems. Their projects had to address at least one issue using ICTs within the overall SDG focus areas: poverty reduction, quality education, good health and well being, climate action, peace, and justice or gender equality.

The contest was held in the context of the teenage girls in Kenya who developed a mobile application for the sufferers or women at high risk of Female Genital Mutilation. Africa, where FMG is a national outcry yet widely ignored, the app will provide moral support to the sufferers. Along with the facility, to ask for help by pressing the panic button for those who are at imminent risk.

In the recent report released by UN it has been assessed that the progress is too slow and uneven. The on-going war and violence in different regions, with disproportionate resources diverted for security are the pinning reasons for this lethargic progress by governments.

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The photography contest also coincided with the High-Level Political Forum, convening to review the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The forum discussed the recent progress report. Also recognized that in past there have been obstacles faced in communicating campaign messages to the public delayed the progress. It also recognized the Youth as the drivers of change and innovation. The President of UN General Assembly Peter Thompson asserted, that being the beneficiaries of the SDGs there is the potential support for the goals at the same time. More coherent plans are required to harness their skills and capabilities in order to transform the world into a better place.