Ayanna Forde and Kristin Hall are winners of the British High Commission’s Commonwealth Day Climate Action Photo Contest.
Ayanna, 12, a student at St. John’s College, captured first prize in the 11 to 14-year-old category.
Kristin, 16, a student at R.M. Bailey Senior School, captured first prize in the 15 to 18-year-old category.
They both took home GoPro Hero5 for their wins.
Ayanna’s winning photo depicted her grandmother Lolita and her sister Jennah spending time in the yard engaged in backyard farming, planting a lime tree.
Through her photograph, Ayanna said she wanted to convey the importance of generational knowledge of sustainable agriculture not being lost to children her age. She said her grandmother’s garden and the lessons that she has learned during the pandemic about the connection between backyard farming, food and nutrition security, and climate change mitigation served as inspiration for the photoshoot.
Over the years, Ayanna’s family has watched her grandmother transform her backyard garden with various fruit and vegetables including mangoes, avocados, plums, coconuts, hot peppers, peas, bananas, spinach, limes and sugar cane. Ayanna’s family helped her choose the winning image from a collection of 10 photographs shot in five different garden scenes.
Ayanna’s grandmother said no matter how small the harvest, it’s always a good feeling to be able to sustain yourself in some way.
Kristin’s winning photo depicts the red mangroves of The Bahamas – a nature-based solution to combating climate change.
According to Kristin, it would have been easier to take a photo at Big Pond or the Bonefish National Park, but he wanted a unique photo that clearly reflected the objective of the competition. So, he waded into the mangroves at South Beach to take a photo that captured the root system of the red mangroves, which protects the shorelines from the effects of hurricanes, storms and floods, and helps to prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments.
His family voted on which of his mangrove photos best captured nature-based solutions. Kristin’s mother Raquel, an educator, said her son is deeply passionate about climate change mitigation and renewable energy. She added that raising awareness, through avenues such as the youth photo competition, is key to encouraging environmental activism and societal change in The Bahamas.
David Laroda took home the second place Sports Centre gift certificate in the 11 to 14-year-old category. Abigayl Chea took home the third place snorkeling with BREEF prize.
David, 11, shot a photo of Mangrove Swamp, Big Pond.
Abigayl’s photo depicted mangrove trees at sunset taken at McKenzie’s, Long Island. The 12-year-old said while taking the photos, she learned that a mangrove forest can store up to five times more carbon than a forest on land of the same size; and that mangroves are also a nursery for marine animals.
Ashanti Knowles and Ginanelle Miller were second and third respectively in the 15 to 18-year-old age group.
Ashanti, 17, submitted a photo taken of mangroves in the settlement of McKenzie’s, Long Island, of water ripples at sunset.
Ginanelle’s photo showed what the 18-year-old described as “the greatest sequesters – the mangroves”.
British High Commissioner Sarah Dickson said the winners “truly captured the soul of how nature can help combat climate change in this beautiful country”.
Jerusa Ali, political attaché, said the contest showcased a broad range of land and sea-based solutions to climate change with images from across The Bahamas including New Providence, Long Island, Andros and Eleuthera.
The British High Commission ran the contest on Facebook during March asking for entries on the role nature in The Bahamas plays in combatting climate change. The High Commission worked with the Sustainable Development Goals Unit (SDG Unit) of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation (BREEF).