Plants and Planet
New category for IGPOTY 13
Photography by Dennis Frates
Plants and Planet is a new main competition category that recognises and raises awareness of the many environmental challenges facing plant life, in particular, climate change.
The title is a reference to the 1974 work, Plant and Planet, by Anthony Huxley, who said: “In the final analysis, man, be he botanist, gardener, or plain Homo sapiens, is utterly dependent on plants.”
This massive global issue is due to affect every living thing on earth and plants will play a significant, if not the most significant role in the story of climate change.
Not only can they help ameliorate some of the problems we are due to face in the next century, such as food supply, carbon capture and urban air pollution they will also face existential threats.
Botanic Gardens Conservation International lists temperature effects, rainfall and other factors such as a changing soil type and herbivory (consumption of plants by animals) as current issues. There are also many more future potential effects on species with long life cycles or slow dispersal periods, isolated species, coastal species and increased invasions by alien species.
Images can, therefore, depict a plant or area facing a current or future threat. And the list of threats is severe, particularly when coupled with other human factors such as a growing population and economic drivers.
In the spirit of Huxley’s final analysis, this category encourages documentation of plants affected by the above as well as a celebration of how they are used to mitigate the consequences of climate change and other environmental problems.
This includes any initiative which uses plants in this way, from local tree planting schemes to wider environmental projects.
It is important to capture both sides of this story and both have the ability to find new and exciting ways of engaging with climate change and environmental pressures. How are plants helping the planet and in what ways are they at risk?
Images should inspire others to action. Where there is creativity, community and passion, solutions can always be found to our problems and photography can help us arrive at the answers.
-- special category prizes to be announced --