The award ceremony of the ‘Mountains and People’ Global Digital Photo Contest 2008 was held on July 9 at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Khumaltar.

According an ICIMOD press statement, the ICIMOD Hindu Kush Himalayan Prize was awarded to Prem Hang Banem. ‘Special Mention’ awards went to Rajesh Sharma and Rabindra Roy. Other contestants who received the ‘Top 60’ Mentions were Anup Gatraj, Nabin Baral, Susheel Shrestha, Pradeep Sitaula, John Gautam, Rajesh Sharma, Bimal Chandra Sharma, Radha D Gurung, Kiran Pandey and Ashwin Dhakal.

Kishor Kayastha, Raju Bhandari and Pradip Shaka were the judges.

Dr Andreas Schild, Director General, ICIMOD put the photo contest in context saying it had been organised in the frame of ICIMOD’s Silver Jubilee, which falls in December 2008. He underscored the need to use ‘photos’ as a visual tool for outreach as well as to sensitise the public about the changing mountain world, especially in the context of climate change and globalisation.

Ujol Sherchan, Senior Programme Officer, Mountain Forum Secretariat, as well as Coordinator of the Global Digital Photo Contest 2008 said that this year’s photo contest received some 1,102 entries from 336 contestants representing 65 countries.