Winning photo of “Beautiful Landscapes” awarded USD10,000 prize unveiled 

April 22, 2024

Mr Aung Chan Thar (Myanmar) and Mr Sadek Khafaga (Saudi Arabia) take top positions as thirteen winners of the photography competition themed “Beautiful Landscapes” are announced.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, warns that beautiful landscapes are under threat from land degradation and calls for public engagement to restore land to build environmental resilience.

The festival rises to a premier photography platform with close to 18,000 photos from 153 countries submitted and the largest ever single prize for a winning photograph and prize pool of any photography competition to date are awarded.

Winners Details

Kochi, 22 April 2024 – The winners of the 15th Greenstorm Global Photography Festival themed “Beautiful Landscapes” were announced on Earth Day, marking the end of the festival, which kicked off in September 2023.

The thirteen winning photographs, selected from the 17,716 stunning landscape images submitted from 153 countries, show unparalleled skill and creativity in capturing the essence of “Beautiful Landscapes.” 

The winners received prizes ranging between USD10,000 and USD750 from the USD30,000 prize pool. Both the prize pool and reward for the top position are unprecedented in photography competitions.

The festival aimed celebrate of both artistic excellence in photography and deliver a bold message on Earth Day: restoring land makes our landscapes, not just beautiful but our livelihoods and lives more resilient to the disasters driven by extreme weather events. 

The festival was jointly organized by Greenstorm Foundation and the G20 Global Land Initiative at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

Mr Aung Chan Thar of Myanmar won the coveted top position in the camera category, and USD10,000 in prize money, for his iconic photograph with stunning colors of Indonesia’s Bromo volcano at dawn.  

Second-place in this category is, respectively, Mr Roberto Corinaldesi of Italy, who received USD5,000, for his colorful picture of the landscape early in the morning in Cornwall. Mr Myat Zaw Hein, also of Myanmar, took third place and USD3,000 in prize money, for his photo of a family walking a single file in the middle of a gold-colored rice field in Myanmar.

Mr Sadek Khafaga of Saudi Arabia took first place in the mobile phone category for his captivating photo of a colourful rock formation that is reflected perfectly in a pool of water trapped at the feet of the rocks. He received USD3,000 in prize money.

Ms Soumya Nair of Canada took second place and was awarded USD2,000, while third-placed Mr Aleksandr Razumov of Russia received USD1,000.

Three Jury Mentions in the camera category went to Mr Andrea Curzi of Italy, Mr Anoop Krishna of India and Mr Morteza Salehi of Iran. Each received USD1,000 of the prize money.

The two top student winners in each category are from India, Myanmar, Poland and Spain. Each received USD750 of the prize money.

The photographs, which show the breathtaking beauty of our natural world, remind us that these beautiful landscapes are vulnerable to human action unless they are managed well.

In his keynote address, Mr Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, called for urgent action to restore land.

While we celebrate the stunning imagery captured in this year’s festival, we must also confront the stark reality of our planet’s decline. With one hundred million hectares of land lost every year, the need for action has never been more urgent,” Thiaw said, in an address delivered on his behalf by Dr Muralee Thummarukudy, Director of the G20 Global Land Initiative.

Dileep Narayanan, Executive Director of Greenstorm Foundation, said: “The overwhelming engagement with this year’s Festival underscores the profound power of creativity and the vast reach of online media as vital tools for environmental conservation. This surge in participation and the global dialogue it has fostered are testaments to the collective desire to protect our planet. Motivated by this enthusiastic response, we are dedicated to amplifying the festival’s impact in future editions, striving to make it an even more effective catalyst for change.

Renowned photographers, Charlie Waite from the United Kingdom, Latika Nath from India and Len Metcalf of Australia, made up the jury that shortlisted the fifty-four finalist images. The images were exhibited online for a month in February. The public cast close to 34,000 votes for their preferred photograph. The combined ratings of the jury and public voting produced the winners, with jury ratings carrying more weight, at 70 per cent, to keep artistic excellence at the fore.

About Greenstorm 

The Greenstorm Global Photography Award, from its humble origins in 2009, has caught the attention of millions of creative, environmentally conscious minds from more than 153 countries. What began as a small initiative is becoming a worldwide movement to impact the environment positively.

About UNCCD’s G20 Global Land Initiative 

The ambition of the G20 Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitats (G20 Global Land Initiative) is to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in degraded land by 2040. The Initiative, which was launched in 2020, under the G20’s Saudi Arabia Presidency, is hosted by United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification based in Bonn, Germany.

For more information about the Greenstorm Photography Festival and its winners, please visit

Watch the Award ceremony:

Greenstorm Foundation
Phone: +91 9961142800

Social Media
Twitter: @G20landinitiative
Facebook: @Greenstorm and @G20landinitiative
Instagram: @Greenstorm and @G20landinitiative

Winners in the Camera (DSLR) Category
Winner, 10,000 USD:  Mr Aung Chan Thar, Myanmar
First Runner-up 5000 USD:  Mr Roberto Corinaldesi, Italy
Second Runner-up 3000 USD: Mr  Myat Zaw Hein, Myanmar
Jury Mention 1000 USD: Mr Morteza Salehi, Iran
Jury Mention 1000 USD: Mr  Andrea Curzi, Italy
Jury Mention 1000 USD: Mr  Anoop Krishna, India
Student Winner 750 USD: Mr Iker Zubizarreta, Spain
Student Winner 750 USD: Mr Pyae Phyo Thet Paing, Myanmar

Winners in the Mobile Phone Category
Winner 3000 USD: Mr Sadek Khafaga, Saudi Arabia
First Runner-up 2000 USD: Mr Aleksandr Razumov, Russia
Second Runner-up 1000 USD: Ms Soumya Nair, Canada
Student Winner 750 USD: Mr Jan Dragan, Poland
Student Winner 750 USD: Mr Philip Liju, India