Global Symposium on Soil Pollution

FAO/GSP received more than 55 photos of polluted soils from different countries. The winning photos were featured in the FAO Atrium during the GSOP 18. The photo contest succeeded in encouraging people to reflect on this global issue: the pollution and contamination of our soils should not be a hidden reality any more.

  • Contaminants in the soil matrix, Bagnoli, Campania Region, Italy ©Paola Adamo
  • Tailing, Pacococha, Pacococha lake, Huancavelica, Perù ©Achim Constantin
  • Soil pollution by solid waste, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova ©Tamara Leah
  • Drilling work in progress, Lâm Hoá site, Quang Binh, Vietnam ©Boudewijn Fokke
  • Removal of radioactive materials, Fukushima prefecture, Japan ©Takuro Shinano
  • Oil spill pollution, desert of Talara, Perù ©Achim Constantin
  • It should all be green, Grenada Dove reserve, West Indies ©Curllan Bhola
  • Soil pollution from household waste, Jerusalem centre, Israel ©FAO/Stephanie Reiter

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Tell your #SoilPollution story by entering the Photo Contest!

Show us how you, your community and your environment are affected by soil pollution in any of its dimensions (agricultural, chemical, waste, industrial, or any other related to soils).

To support the work of the GSOP18, to be held in FAO Headquarters from 2 to 4 May 2018, the UN FAO Global Soil Partnership is calling all photographers (professionals or amateurs) to tell their #SoilPollution story. The Symposium will explore new research on soil pollution, as one of the major threats to our global soils, and discuss its effects on food security and safety, human health, and the environment. This photo contest will serve to raise awareness on the existence and gravity of soil pollution and advocate for addressing it urgently, including its hidden causes and effects. 

ELIGIBILITY: UN FAO’s #SoilPollution photo contest is open to all citizens around the world, who are 18 years of age or older as of 1 March 2018. 

HOW TO ENTER: Take a Photo that showcases your #SoilPollution story. Photos should be sent by email to [email protected] by 15 April. The contest starts on 1st March 2018.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - All entries must meet the following guidelines:            

  • Each participant can submit up to 3 pictures
  • Photos must represent soil pollution
  • The entry must be the entrant’s original work. Photos may have been taken at any time prior to the contest launch.
  • The entry’s minimum size is 1500 x 2100 pixels; 300dpi; It must not exceed 7MB and should not contain dates/ text.
  • Along with the photos, participants must add the following information: 
  1. Name and Surname
  2. Date of birth (over 18 years old)
  3. Email
  4. Caption and Description (max 150 words)
  5. Location (country, region) and date when photograph was taken
  • The entry must not violate the intellectual property rights of any third party. This means that the photo should not contain a trademark or logo of another company                 
  • The participants need to acknowledge that the UN FAO may use the photograph without any compensation to the participant or persons appearing in the photo, in any and all media, throughout the world, in perpetuity, including derivative works. Entry in this contest represents consent to use the photo in future publications without further compensation.


15 - 20 April: Eligible entries will be judged by a panel of UN FAO communications experts with the help of a professional photographer. The jury will select the best 20 pictures on the basis of originality, creativity and depiction of the theme.     

20 April: The awarded photographers will receive soil related gadgets (T-shirt/ water bottle/ bag) and FAO soil publications. Their photos will be used in all promotional material during the GSOP18 and showcased in UN FAO online platforms including, but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All short-listed candidates will have their photo exposed in the FAO Atrium during the GSOP18 Photo Exhibit.