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Who Are We?

The Children's Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest 2012 was initiated by IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action),  in collaboration with photographer Reza. The project is supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan, WPO (World Photography Organisation), National Geographic Kids magazine UK, SDN (Social Documentary Network) , FotoEvidence, Webistan Photo Agency and NGO Ainaworld.

Children's Eyes On Earth Team
Children's Eyes On Earth International Jury
Children's Eyes On Earth Advisory Board
Children's Eyes On Earth Ambassadors

Founder of IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action), Leyla Aliyeva, initiated the Children’s Eyes On Earth project with Reza.

Leyla saw quite clearly, through her youth work, that the environment was a key cause of concern for young people in the country of Azerbaijan in Eastern Europe. Children in Azerbaijan and throughout the Southern Caucasus grow up proudly learning that they live in a region which boasts nine of the world’s eleven climate zones. But it's also a region with serious environmental challenges, with a growing number of endangered species, a high level of industrial pollution and basic issues of water supply and safety. The IDEA campaign is all about working with young people to put environmental awareness and action at the heart of family, community and national life. Now the beginnings of a government-led environmental programme are beginning to be seen in Azerbaijan, with industrial clean-ups, a strong National Parks project, mass tree planting, and the first moves into using renewable energy.

"Around the world, young people are waking up to the challenge of the environment. It is in our hands to create a future where we live in harmony with the nature which supports us and gives us life,” says Leyla.

Reza initiated the Children’s Eyes On Earth project with Leyla Aliyeva, founder of IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action).

As a philanthropist, humanist, architect and extraordinary photographer, Reza has criss-crossed more than one hundred countries, photographing conflicts and human catastrophes, but also the beauty of the humanity. Since 1983, he has set up many photographic training programmes around the world and in 2001, he founded Ainaworld, a non-governmental organisation which is committed to children’s education.
Reza's eye-witness testimonies have been distributed through the international media, books, exhibitions and documentaries and he is one of the world's most awarded and honoured photographers.

Reza says: “The world is my field of vision. From war to peace, like the ineffable moments of poetry, my images are intended as a testimony of our humanity, as we follow the roads down which the world leads us.”

Lauren is the Chief Editor for the Children's Eyes On Earth project. She oversees all the editorial content on the website and helps with ideas for the competition!

Lauren was previously Editor of National Geographic Kids magazine in the UK, and also Editorial Director of Kraze Club, Merlin, KiCK! and Sugar magazines. She loves photography and can’t wait to see all of your fantastic images showing how you see YOUR world.

Her motto is: “Do one thing every day that scares you!"




Emily is the Social Media Manager for the Children's Eyes On Earth project. She will be sharing the latest competition news with you and re-tweeting your thoughts!
With a background in Public Relations after working in Apple's Press Office and now interning at WPO, Emily brings knowledge and experience of helping to organise many events to the team, including this year's Sony World Photography Awards.

Her motto is: "Live to make new memories"




Lydia is the Children's Eyes On Earth Project Manager. It’s her job to keep up the “team spirit” and make sure that everything to do with the competition happens on time!

After more than 12 years as Personal Assistant in International Digital, Communication, Advertising agencies and Politics, Lydia decided she wanted a new challenge and adventure. She joined "Children's Eyes on Earth" project, becoming part of a team united by the same values: excellency, efficiency and respect of humankind.

Her motto is: "Work hard, play soft!"



Franck is the Digital Marketing Manager for the Children’s Eyes on Earth project.  He monitors all the Social Media actions and contributes to develop the awareness of this contest on the Web.

After graduating in Journalism & Communication, Franck joined the eBay Company to manage Corporate Communication & Public Relations of the French subsidiary for 10 years. Then, he worked as a Marketing Digital consultant for different brands, especially Expedia.fr, Danone Waters France et Dalloz publishing. Member of the Social Media Club France and photo blogger, he is a Digital Humanities enthusiast, in particular all issues related to digital pictures.

His motto is : “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”

International Jury Members

Born in Bangladesh, this multi-awarded photographer set up Drik picture library and Pathshala: South Asian Institute of Photography. He is also a director of Chobi Mela, the festival of photography in Asia. Jury member on numerous competitions, Shahidul Alam was the first person of colour to chair the international jury in World Press Photo history.






As a senior editor at National Geographic Magazine France, a travel writer and an independent filmmaker, Sylvie Brieu has been covering human rights and cultural diversity issues worldwide for the past twenty years. Her articles have raised awareness of the plight of some of the most vulnerable populations, highlighting the creative ways they fight for their environment and cultures.

In recognition of her commitment to promote different visions of the world « in order to fight against prejudices and to foster intercultural dialogue », UNESCO granted its patronage in 2008 to her long-term multimedia project with minority groups. Her recently published book « When our voices rise – from the Andes to the Amazon, a journey through Native land », focuses on the struggles and intiatives of South American Indians as a source of inspiration for future generations.

She is on the board of National Geographic Society’s All Roads Film Project and has been involved in many jury that grant awards to young talents.

Links: TV5 Monde - National Geographic France - Blog National Geographic


Frédéric Chevance is the managing director of Fox International Channels France that broadcast VOYAGE, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild. He also manages the online advertising sales house .Fox Networks. Graduate of an Executive MBA in Management and an M.A in history, he began his career in 1995 at the marketing and commercial service of Air France in Madrid.

In 1997, he worked at the marketing department for Canal Satellite Digital & Canal+ Spain. In 1999, he contributed to the development and the launch of the satellite platform VIA DIGITAL (Telefonica group). Then, in 2001, he joined Music Choice as the Director of South Europ in charge of the distribution of 40 musical channels and interactive applications for TV and internet platforms.

In 2003, he was a consultant in marketing and new technologies and worked with PUBLICIS, RTVE and TELSON, among others. In 2006, he ran the biz dev of Infospace (INSP), in Europ, a company that provides metasearch. He joined the team of FIC in 2009.


Ayperi Karabuda Ecer is Vice President Pictures at Reuters. Her mission at Reuters has been to give news photography a "second life" whether through emerging commercial markets, online multimedia essays, exhibitions or book projects.
She has extensive experience within the photo agency world. Her career began at Sipa in 1984, first as an international editor, then as Bureau Chief inNew York.

She joined Magnum in 1991 as editor in chief for the Paris office, where she spent 12 years coordinating production and sales. She has taught four times at the Joop Swart Masterclass for World Press Photo and has chaired the World Press Photo Jury.
She recently spent a sabbatical year heading ADAY.org, one of the world largest photography projects sourcing daily life photography from professionals and amateurs in more than 165 countries.


Born in Caen (Normandy) in 1950, Alain Genestar is the Director of Polka Magazine. After a few years at «Le Monde», Alain Genestar became the youngest editor-in-chief in France when he headed the newspaper «L’Echo républicain». From 1987 to 1999, he directed the «Journal du Dimanche» before occupying the same position at «Paris Match» for over seven years.

He left the weekly in 2006 and moved by his passion for photojournalism, started his own venture, Polka. Independent, thorough, and rigorous, Polka explains our world and the lives of those who inhabit it through images.

Polka looks for strong and deliberate visual narratives to cover current events, politics, the arts, fashion and culture. It is intended for those yearning for truth, beauty and in-depth reporting.

Link: www.polkamagazine.com


Santiago Lyon is Vice President and Director of Photography of The Associated Press, responsible for the global photo report and the hundreds of photographers and photo editors worldwide who produce it. He has 28 years of experience in news-service photography and has won multiple photojournalism awards for his coverage of conflicts around the globe.

He joined the Associated Press in 1991, after working for United Press International and Reuters. Lyon served as the Associated Press photo editor for Spain and Portugal from 1995 until 2003, when he was named director of photography. In the same year, he accepted a Nieman Fellowship in journalism at Harvard University.

In 2005, under Lyon's direction, the Associated Press earned its 29th Pulitzer Prize for photography, for work on the war in Iraq by a team of eleven photographers, five of them Iraqis. In 2007, the Associated Press won its 30th Pulitzer Prize for photography, for a single image made by Oded Balilty.

Link: worldpressphoto.org/santiago-lyon


Founder of thephotocloser.com an online global search engine that connects photographers to art buyers, editors and clients. Currently thephotocloser.com represents more 100 photographers in more than 60 cities around the world.  For 25 years, has represented photographers and photojournalists in securing highly valued commercial assignments. He has worked on hundreds of company photo libraries.  Meo has been an active member of The Society of Photographers and Artists Representatives (SPAR) from 1984-present. He participates on various panels and workshops. In 2010 he was a nominator for the prestigious Infinity Awards. He is a judge for the 2011, 4th Annual Foto Week DC Awards as well as the 2012 PDN Photo Contest.



Staff editor at National Geographic Italy since 1998, Marco Pinna is a journalist and picture editor for the Italian magazine, where he also mantains relationships with photographers and photo agencies. Very active on the scene of Italian photography and photojournalism in general, he has participated in numerous photo award juries and portfolio readings for national and international events.

He teaches photoediting, photojournalism and photographic approach in publishing, curates photography exhibitions, acts as a cconsultant for professional photographers and has contributed in the creation of photo books as photo editor and curator. He always has a special attention for emerging photographers.

Read Marco's article on Nationalgeographic.it about Reza's photo initiative for children in Sicile, Italy

This National Geographic Fellow is one of the leading documentary photographers working today. His mysterious images of sacred places and indigenous peoples of the planet have been seen in the leading publications of the day. His life’s Mission is to help empower Indigenous peoples, - helping them to use photography and technology to enhance their culture & lives.
Chris is a National Geographic Fellow, a Co-Director of the Enduring Voices Language Preservation Project, a Co-Director of the National Geographic Society Cultures Ethnosphere Program, and Director of the Society’s All Roads Photography Program.
Chris Rainier is a contributing Editor for National Geographic Traveler, as well a Contributing Photographer for National Geographic Adventure Magazine, regularly completing stories on Culture. Rainier is a Photographic Correspondent at large for National Public Radios (NPR) Day to Day Show with Alex Chadwick.

Born in 1951, mother of four children, she co-founded with François Lemarchand her husband, Pier Import and Nature & Découvertes. These activities have allowed them to travel to many countries worldwide. She created and directs since 2003 the annual magazine Canopée "for an ecology of the earth, the body and the mind". Photographer and globetrotter, Françoise Lemarchand loves the great outdoors and their people. Regular contributor for numerous magazines, she published "Mustang, the wisdom of a mineral kingdom", "Japan, beyond the mountains" and "Naturally" all published by La Martinière.

Advisory Board Members

Tina Ahrens is the co-founder and COO of Emphas.is. She is an independent photo editor and photography consultant.

Previously, she has worked for German GEO magazine as Senior photo editor in its correspondent office in New York.

Tina has been a workshop teacher, juror and portfolio reviewer at numerous international photography events.
Link : http://www.emphas.is




David Braun directs the National Geographic website's Daily News, Environment and Science content. A daily news journalist for 35 years, covering science, environment, technology, business, and politics for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and online news services in the U.S., U.K. and South Africa, his former positions included political correspondent for The Star (Johannesburg, South Africa), Washington bureau chief for Africa's largest newspaper group (Independent Newspapers), Washington Correspondent for CMP Media's TechWeb, and Public Affairs Editor for the National Geographic Society.

Devised and launched in-house National Geographic daily news service in 2001, growing it to 80 million visits per year by 2012. Launched Nat Geo news blogs in 2008, recruiting 100 + bloggers and growing audience to 6 million visits per year by 2012.

Links: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/author/dbraun/
Linkedin profile

For over 25 years the Jouberts have made wild Africa their home, dedicating their lives to understanding conservation and an understanding of the large predators and key African wildlife species that determine the course of all conservation in Africa.

Through extensive research, filmmaking, and publishing, these award winning National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence have brought us new insights and understanding of predator/prey relationships among Africa’s wild animals.

It is the Jouberts’ belief that the wilderness needs to be maintained and to do that some times extremely-light-ecological-footprint benefits should be generated for communities.

They founded and established the Big Cats Initiative with National Geographic as an emergency action fund to drive the world’s attention to big cats and to develop real solutions to stop the decline that has seen lion numbers drop from 450,000 to 20,000 in 50 years. Today they have 13 projects in 30 countries across the lion and cheetah range. Saving big cats is their life's work and passion.

Link: www.wildlifefilms.co

Astrid Merget is the Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation (WPO), whom she has worked with since its launch in 2007.   Astrid has led the development of WPO’s many programmes, including the Sony World Photography Awards, and is instrumental in the worldwide expansion of the brand. 
Prior to her position with WPO, Astrid enjoyed a varied career within the communications and creative fields, such as Marketing Director of a couture fashion line and Owner and Director of a Public Relations and Production company in Los Angeles. 
Outside of WPO, Astrid often advises on other photographic projects such as Children’s Eyes On Earth and currently sits on the Magenta Foundation/Flash Forward Committee and is a nominee for the 2013 Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development. 

Kristin Rechberger is founder and CEO of Dynamic Planet, an organization that designs, implements, and scales successful conservation and humanitarian projects. Kristin is an entrepreneur with expertise in assessing organizational and program environments, securing financing and operational partners, producing compelling storytelling, and connecting political leaders, business leaders, and media for effective outreach and engagement.

Prior to founding Dynamic Planet, Kristin was Senior Vice President of Global Programs and Partnerships at the National Geographic Society, where over her 14 years, she helped lead its global expansion by launching and growing its international cable channels, its global corporate partnerships division, and its global research, conservation, and exploration programs.

 Kristin has a public policy degree and documentary film certificate from Duke University. In 1995 she was selected as a Luce Foundation Fellow, and in 2009 a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, where she currently serves on the Advisory Council and is involved with several working groups including oceans, the shared economy, and the future of global philanthropy and aid. 


Glenn Ruga is the Executive Director at the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, and Founder of SocialDocumentary.net, a website for documentary photographers to create online galleries of their work and share with a world-wide community.

In 2012, Ruga was a curator of the New York Photo Festival. He is a frequent reviewer at national photography reviews. Ruga received a BA from the University of Massachusetts in Social Thought and Political Economy and an MFA from Syracuse University in Graphic and Advertising Design.

In 1984, he started Visual Communications, a graphic design firm working primarily with non-profit organizations. From 1993-2009, Ruga was the volunteer Executive Director of the Center for Balkan Development. He has produced four traveling documentary photography exhibits, two of which were based on his work in the former Yugoslavia.

Enric Sala is a marine ecologist who fell in love with the sea growing up on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Witnessing the harm people do to the oceans led him to dedicate his career to understand and find ways to mitigate human impacts on marine life.
Sala’s research aims at providing the essential amount of information needed for policy change. His research includes an important exploration component, searching for the last healthy marine ecosystems that can give us an understanding of the past and the present that can be used to inform the future.
One of his present goals is to help protect the last pristine marine ecosystems worldwide. His scientific publications are widely recognized and used for real-world conservation efforts such as the creation of marine reserves. He is leading a global marine conservation initiative at National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @Enric_Sala

David Stuart is a sociologist with an interest in human rights that began as a teenager at the United Nations International School in New York. As the Executive Director of the Disarmament Action Network, he spent ten years working with dozens of organizations to mobilize opposition to the militarization of US foreign policy and international affairs.

He spent eight years with the Boston College Media Reseach and Action Project designing and analyzing reseach on the mass media and political discourse. He has managed political campaigns and worked as a consultant to social movement and non-profit organizations.  He is a writer and photographer living in New York City.

Children's Eyes On Earth Ambassadors

Sam Branson
Founder and Chairman, Sundog Pictures, USA

Daniel Botelho
Photographer, Brazil

Davide de Rothschild
National Geographic Explorer, environmentalist and founder of MYOO, USA

Scott Gediman
Assistant Superintendent for Public and Legislative Affairs Yosemite National Park, USA

Kamran Jebreili
Associated Press Regional Photo- Editor & Photographer, UAE

Sylvia Earle
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, oceanographer and author, USA

Enrico Fantoni
Photographer, Italy

Nasser Ayman Majali
Vice Chairman, United Business Applications, Jordan

Rok Dolnicar
Photographer, Republic of Slovenia

Daniel Raven-Ellison
Guerrilla Geographer & Mission:Explorer
National Geographic Emerging Explorer 2012, UK

Ian Redmond OBE
Ambassador, UNEP Convention on Migratory Species
GRASP Envoy, UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Partnership
Chairman, Ape Alliance, UK

Toby Smith
Photographer, UK

Richard Bailey
Photographer, UK

Andy Akinwolere
BBC TV presenter and photographer, UK

David Bellamy OBE
Author, broadcaster, conservationist and botanist, UK

Lucy Hawking
Children's author and journalist, daughter of scientist Stephen Hawking, UK

Brenda Ramsey
Founder of YOUYOU Mentoring, UK

Adam Tanswell
Freelance journalist, UK

Andy Brandy Casagrande IV
National Geographic cinematographer, producer and TV presenter, USA

Biligiri Ranga
Librarian at Infosys, India

Juliet BLAKE
Responsible of TED TV at TED Conferences

Managing Director of HSBC, France

Manoocher DEGHATI
Photo-journalist, teacher, founder of Aina photography departement in Afghanistan and Associated Press, Cairo

Charles POE
Vice President, Production at Smithsonian Networks

Photojournalist "National Geographic's All Roads Photography Program"' Board member

Imane Tirich
Photographer, honored by the WPO and UNICEF "Photo youth winner" 2010 prize ( www.imanetirich.com )

Florence  BERTHOUT
Managing Partner of “Le Parc et la Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris

CEO of Injaz Al Maghrib and President Founder of Al Jisrl, Morrocco

Olivier BRECHARD  

Cristina Barbetta
Journalist for Vita Europe: www.vitaeurope.org 

Stéphanie LELONG
Journalist at PlayBac Presse - l’Actu, teenagers magazine, France

Pascal Nitkowski
Independant photographer

Franck Vogel

Thierry Sanchez
Foundator of www.talentforhumanity.org/

Mayyada Abu-Jaber
Director general of Jordan Education for Employment Foundation

Director of the Manoir de la ville de Martigny