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Photo contest

Unsung warriors: Breaking the bias for disaster resilience in the Koshi basin



Date & Time

08 March 2022 to 23 September 2022


Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the multi-hazard nature of our region, it is imperative that we prepare for disaster. That requires leaders to emerge from many corners of society and for them to be supported in these roles. To that end, we seek to identify leaders – in disaster preparedness or response, in community resilience or adaptation – for the Koshi River Basin through a photo contest that collects compelling visual stories to celebrate such individuals.



The theme for this photo contest is “Unsung warriors: Breaking the bias for disaster resilience in the Koshi basin.” 

Although intersecting issues of gender inequality and disaster risk reduction (DRR) have been mentioned in global mechanisms such as the Sendai Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals, women and other marginalized groups still face obstacles to lead or contribute to disaster preparedness or resilience-building activities.

With the UN declaring 2022 as the International Year for Sustainable Mountain Development, we would like to acknowledge the struggles and achievements of individuals who have shattered biases while significantly contributing to disaster preparedness and response or enhanced resilience in the Koshi basin. Our sub-themes include the following:

  • Water-induced disasters like glacial lake outburst floods, landslides, floods, flash floods, and debris flow
  • Green or resilient technologies for DRR
  • Nature-based and scalable solutions for community resilience and adaptation


Deadline for submission

Participants can submit their entries from 8 March 2022 to 23 September 2022. The result will be declared on 13 October 2022 on the International Day for Disaster Reduction.



First prize: USD 500
Second prize: USD 300
Third prize: USD 100

The winners will be given a space to present their story during the Koshi DRR Knowledge Hub (KDKH) annual dialogue, which is a platform that strives to strengthen regional collaboration and deepen the interface among research, policies, and practices in a transboundary setup.


Mode of submission

Interested participants are encouraged to submit at least three photos with an accompanying caption of no more than 250 words, preferably written in English. Each entrant may submit up to three entries for any thematic category by properly filling in the image submission form.

For our participants from China, send your entries to:


Terms and conditions

  • Entries must have been taken in the countries sharing the Koshi River basin from any of the following countries: China, India, and Nepal.
  • Entries must be digital black and white or colour images, submitted in a .jpeg, or .jpg format, between 3 and 10 MB in size (300 dpi). Colour images changed to black and white as well as scanned (digitized) images of non-digital photographs, negatives, or transparencies are also acceptable.
  • Minimal cropping is permitted. Minor adjustments, including dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast, and slight colour adjustments, are acceptable as long as the integrity of the original photo is not compromised.
  • Entries should be the work of the entrant, and he/she must own the copyrights. Entries that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyrights, are not eligible.
  • By participating in the photo contest, the entrant grants ICIMOD and its media partners a non-exclusive right to display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivative works of the entries and texts, in whole or in part, in any media currently existing or subsequently developed, for any educational, promotional, publicity, exhibition, archival, scholarly, or all other standard purposes of ICIMOD. Due credit will be given to the entrant each time his/her photo is used, wherever feasible. ICIMOD will provide a digital or print copy to the entrant (upon request) of any publication that includes his/her image(s).
  • It is also strongly recommended that the photographer seek prior permission from the subjects in the photo to use their photo.
  • Entrants may be requested to send in original image files of their entries.



  • Photos that were submitted to ICIMOD-organized photo contests in the past; photos that have been awarded or given honourable mentions in any photo contest, either online or in print; and photos that have already been used in print or online publications are not eligible. However, you may submit photos that you have used in your personal or social spaces such as blogs, Facebook, and Flickr.
  • Photos with watermarks or date/time are not permissible. Photos that have been digitally manipulated, compromising the integrity of the originals, are not eligible. High dynamic range images (HDR) and composite images are not acceptable. Minimal cropping, however, is permitted.
  • Photos that are culturally insensitive or portray subjects, especially children or minors, in the nude or in compromising situations are not acceptable.
  • ICIMOD staff are not eligible to participate in the contest.

ICIMOD reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to tamper with the spirit of the digital photo contest; violate the above terms and conditions and exclusionary provisions; or infringe on the rights of third parties. Decisions of ICIMOD are final.


Judgement criteria

Entries will be judged by a technical panel consisting of experts in the relevant themes as well as experienced professional photographers. Entries will be judged on the following:

  • Technical quality, clarity, composition, and visual impact
  • The overall effectiveness of the photos and the caption should convey a compelling story of breaking the bias in leadership of disaster preparedness or response, community adaptation, and building climate resilience. Therefore, the choice of subject and how you choose to describe it in the entry submission form are very important.
  • Novelty, flair for the unexpected, ability to capture a photo-perfect moment, “wow” factor


For any inquiry or clarification

Neera Shrestha Pradhan

Sharmila Dhungana