NATURE@work - photography competition

Page Last modified 15 Mar 2017
What does nature mean to you? The European Environment Agency (EEA) is organising a photography competition ‘NATURE@work’, which invites European citizens to capture how nature benefits them.

Nature provides us with many benefits. Some are well-known, such as clean air, clean freshwater, food, timber and other natural resources. Other benefits are equally vital but less known. Did you know, for example, that green spaces in and around cities help protect our homes from flooding by absorbing excess flood waters? Similarly, trees and urban parks help lower temperatures in urban areas during heat waves. With its intrinsic beauty and rich diversity, nature is also a source of inspiration not only for art but also for designing machines, homes and many innovative solutions.

NATURE@work logo

NATURE@work photo competition invites European citizens to share how nature benefits them. Participants can submit photographs depicting any of the following three categories:

1. NATUREprovides

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, our homes, all come from or rely on nature. Our well-being, quality of life and economy depend on a healthy natural environment. For example, healthy grasslands are home to many species, including bees, which in turn provide us with honey and pollinate our fruit trees. Can you capture in a photograph the benefits nature provides that you cherish most?

2. NATUREprotects

Nature protects us. A close connection with a healthy natural environment improves our physical and mental health, but that’s not all. By bringing more nature into our cities or preserving and restoring our natural landscapes, we can actually alleviate some of the impacts of climate change, protect property and improve public health. For example, building green roofs can cool buildings in the summer and prevent heat loss in the winter, improving people’s well-being while reducing energy consumption. Similarly, restoring peatlands could help keep more carbon in the ground and, hence, contribute to limiting global warming. Have you noticed how the nature around you or in your city protects you?

3. NATUREinspires

A walk in nature or a view of vast oceans can evoke a feeling of comfort and relaxation as well as inspiring new ideas. Did you know that wind turbine blades inspired by insect wings or rotating solar panels inspired by sunflowers can generate more energy than conventional ones? When faced with concrete urban challenges, such as ensuring a reliable supply of clean water to citizens, nature can provide inspiring solutions. For example, instead of building costly infrastructure projects, planting trees and preserving forests could eliminate the need for water treatment plants. Can you spot anything around you that was inspired by nature?

Additional information on the topics covered by NATURE@work can be found on the following pages:

The European Union has been committed to protecting natural life and diversity since the 1970s. 2017 is the 25th anniversary of the adoption of one of key nature protection laws in the EU, namely the Habitats Directive. With this directive, the EU has built the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world — Natura2000 — covering 18% of its land area and more than 6% of its seas territories. These efforts are supported by LIFE, the EU’s financial instrument for environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects.

Nature-based solutions are inspired and supported by nature, are cost-effective, and provide simultaneously environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. The EU is investing into developing and testing nature-based solutions through Horizon 2020, its Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

How to enter the competition

  1. Take or create an original photo (long side >2000px) supported by a short text and following the guidelines in the Competition rules.
  2. Submit your entry through the online submission form.

Submission deadline: 15 August 2017 at 23:59 (CEST). Entry is free of charge.

The competition is open to citizens of the EEA member countries and West Balkan cooperating countries. All participants must be 18 or older. The photos must be taken in the countries mentioned above.

You must have full copyrights to the submitted material. By submitting an entry, you will be presumed to have agreed to accept the Competition rules and the Terms and Conditions. One entrant may submit maximum 5 entries in total in the competition. As each entry will be handled separately, you need to fill out the online submission form for each entry if you chose to submit more than one entry.


Due to the perceived high volume of last-minute entries, we advise you to submit your entry well in advance of the submission deadline.

Competition details


The winners in each category (NATUREprovides, NATUREprotects and NATUREinspires) will be awarded a cash prize of EUR 1000, while EUR 500 is on offer for both the Public Choice Award and the Youth Prize.

The Youth Prize will be awarded to the winning entry, selected among those submitted by persons aged between 18 and 24 (born between calendar years 1993-1999) to any of the competition categories.

All finalists will be put forward for the Public Choice Award and may also feature in future digital and print material from the EEA and its European partners.

The copyright of the materials submitted for this competition remains with the respective participants. However, each entrant grants the EEA and its partners the right to use the submitted materials in its environmental communication crediting the copyright owners.

Selection process

The EEA will appoint a pre-selection committee consisting of communication and environment experts that will select 30-50 finalists. These will then be submitted to an external jury to be composed of environmental communication experts from across Europe will determine the winners, with the exception of the Public Choice Award.

For the Public Choice Award, the finalist entries put forward by the pre-selection committee will be open for a public vote from 15 September to 15 October 2017.

The winners will be notified by email and the official announcement of the winners will follow at the end of October 2017.


Submissions open 15 March 2017
Submissions closed 15 August 2017
Public vote opens 15 September 2017
Public vote closes 15 October 2017
Winners announced      End of October 2017


If you have questions about the competition, please .


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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100