CEC hero image, a  photo of Array

Media Release

Winners of the CEC North American Youth Photo Challenge announced!

Three grand-prize winners’ video messages to North America’s environment ministers will be broadcast at the 2016 Council Session later this year


Montreal, 13 June 2016—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) congratulates the three winners of the CEC North American Youth Photo Challenge: Daniel Orrostieta of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Isabelle Fréchette of Saint Malo, Manitoba, Canada, and Joe Garcia of Olathe, Kansas, United States.

We thank all those who submitted their photographs to the continent-wide contest.

The CEC North American Youth Photo Challenge was held in the lead-up to the 2016 CEC Council Session, to be held later this year in Mexico. This important meeting of the three environment ministers from Canada, Mexico, and the United States will focus on the role of youth in the work of the CEC.

In the photo challenge, we asked North American youth, aged 12 to 26, to send in their photographs showing the natural beauty of their favorite landscape or seascape. Entrants were also asked to explain their commitment to the natural world and why the scene shown in their photo reflects the importance of protecting, conserving, and enhancing our shared North American environment.

The CEC received over 600 remarkable images of landscapes and seascapes from youth across the three countries. The photos were judged by a panel of professional photographers and experts from the three countries.

To view a slideshow of the winning entries, click here.

The grand prize winners of The CEC North American Youth Photo Challenge are:

  • Canada: Isabelle Fréchette, 16 years old, Saint Malo, Manitoba
  • Mexico:  Daniel Orrostieta, 18 years old, Tijuana, Baja California
  • United States: Joe Garcia, 17 years old, Olathe, Kansas

The seven semifinalists are:

  • Canada:
    • 2nd place: James Healey, 22 years old, Dawson City, Yukon
    • 3rd place:  Peter Griggs, 21 years old, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Mexico:
    • 2nd place: Yetly León Álvarez, 22 years old, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
    • 3rd place (tie): Eduardo Alejandro Álvarez Ordóñez, 26 years old, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
    • 3rd place (tie): Esmeralda Peña, 26 years old, Mahahual, Quintana Roo
  • United States:
    • 2nd place: Nick Sarfaty-Jackson, 19 years old, Whately, Massachusetts
    • 3rd place: Chris Espinosa, 16 years old, Stewartville, Minnesota

The three grand prize winners each receive:

  • A GoPro® Hero camera
  • The opportunity to record a video message explaining the importance of the natural environment depicted in their photo. The video messages will be presented to the three environment ministers at the upcoming CEC Council Session.

All 1st, 2nd and 3rd place photos will be displayed on the CEC website and at the Council Session at the Council exhibition. In addition, a slideshow of the top 50 entries received will be shown during the Council Session.

For more information, visit the CEC website (www.cec.org/youthphotochallenge). Follow the CEC on Facebook (www.facebook.org/CECconnect) and Twitter (@CECweb) for updates on the Council Session, and to ask questions or share your thoughts about North American environmental cooperation.

Photo Challenge 2016

@Cindy Lottes

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