A photo entitled “Shelter in Place” by Ms. Nadine Ledesma won the first prize in the recent photo contest in DENR PENRO Rizal. 

The photograph was taken at the protected forest area of the University of Rizal System Tanay campus. According to Ms. Ledesma, she saw this unusual epiphyte wrapped around a white lauan tree and decided to merit a shot.

“I learned that this epiphyte belongs to the genus Dischidia, a relative of the more popular Hoya genus. Epiphytes are not parasitic. They do no harm to the tree they cling to. They take in nutrients from the air, water, and debris around them. This harmonious relationship between trees and epiphytes thus makes the forest ecosystem an important contributor not just to carbon sequestration but also to biodiversity.”

The photo was among the 10 best chosen by the PENRO Rizal from over 50 entries from the province. She will receive a cash prize worth 5,000 pesos. While the 2nd and 3rd placer will be received 3,000 and 2,000 pesos respectively and additional 2,000 pesos along with the consolation prizes for the winner of People’s Choice 

For this year’s theme, Forest and Biodiversity, the participants were tasked to take a photo of Rizal forest areas bringing the importance of different species in a most diverse ecosystem.

The event was originally scheduled on March 22, 2020 in celebration of International Day of Forest (IDF). But the issue on Corona Virus Disease 2019 (CoVid19) led to extend the submission of the entry until May. Fortunately, month of May is a celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) and decided to pursue the contest on May 29, 2020.

IDBD 2020 on every 22nd day of May every year promote biodiversity issues to increase understanding and awareness. With the theme, Our Solutions are in Nature emphasizes hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature. ###