CEC hero image, a  photo of Array

Media Release

Winner of Celebrating Our Shared Biodiversity—the North American Photo Challenge announced!

Montreal, 16 July 2014—This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of North America.

To celebrate this milestone and to inspire engagement across the continent, the CEC launched Celebrating Our Shared Biodiversity—the North American Photo Challenge, a photo contest to inspire engagement across the continent and highlight the ecosystems, environments and species that unite all North Americans. Citizens of Canada, Mexico and the United States were asked to share their photographic vision of shared biodiversity.

The grand-prize winner of the Celebrating Our Shared Biodiversity—the North American Photo Challenge is Eric Lew, from San Francisco, California, United States.

Eric Lew works in corporate development at a software startup in San Francisco but, outside the office, nature photography is his greatest passion. This shot of a bobcat (Lynx rufus)lurking in the shadows was taken on the trail to Upper Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, California, during a less-crowded Thanksgiving weekend. As Mr. Lew notes in his submission, bobcats are skilled predators whose range extends from northern Canada to Central Mexico, across an incredible diversity of habitats, from forests, to semi-deserts, to the edges of swamps.

Eric Lew will receive:

  • An invitation to the 2014 CEC Council Session to be held in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, 16-17 July 2014
  • Return airfare to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and hotel accommodations
  • His winning photograph, along with other finalist photographs (a total of three from each country), will be displayed in a photography exhibition at the Council Session
  • A half-day photo tour of Yellowknife with renowned Yellowknife historian and photographer, Bill Braden.

The eight semi-finalists are:

  • Carmine Sarazen of Lantana, Florida, United States
  • Cindy Lottes of Bristol, Quebec, Canada
  • Héctor Ortega Salas of Mexico City, Mexico
  • Jennie Williams of Nain, Nunatsiavut, Newfoundland, Canada
  • José de Jesús Moreno Navarro of Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
  • Leopoldo Islas Flores of Toluca, State of Mexico, Mexico
  • Preston Hone of Spanish Fork, Utah, United States
  • Sybill Wentzell of Harvey-Albert, New Brunswick, Canada

People from across the continent sent in stunning images of species, ecosystems and community projects. In all, citizens from North America submitted 132 photos to the competition. The photos were judged in a blind review by a panel of professional photographers—Dave Brosha (Canada), Octavio Aburto (Mexico) and Melissa Groo (United States). Three members of the CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee also contributed to the judging process—Pauline Browes, Jonathan Waterhouse and Adriana Nelly Correa Sandoval.

The CEC is pleased to have received so many entries highlighting the important role that our shared biodiversity plays in the lives of people all over North America and how we are interconnected by the ecosystems we share. The CEC would like to congratulate and thank Eric Lew for his grand-prize photo and the eight semi-finalists, and sincerely thank all who submitted photos to the contest.

Be sure to follow the CEC on Facebook (www.facebook.org/CECconnect) and Twitter (@CECweb), where you can get updates on the Council Session, ask questions, or share your comments and ideas about North American environmental cooperation.

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

About the CEC video