Biodiversity & Ecosystem Management Headlines

Winners of Protect Pacific Whales Facebook competition stress importance of protecting our Pacific whales

Thirteen year old Ella Carvan has taken the top prize in the Protect Pacific Whales social media competition.

The competition, launched in May in celebration of World Biodiversity Day by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPPREP), was made possible through a partnership with Digicel Samoa. It was one of the communications and awareness activities employed for the Protect Pacific Whales – Ocean Voyagers campaign.

"We'd like to congratulate and thank all those that submitted entries for this event and we look forward to seeing these works of art we are able to use, in our work to promote the Protect Pacific Whales – Ocean Voyagers campaign," said Ms. Nanette Woonton of the Communications and Outreach Unit of SPREP.

IMG 7168Ms Ella Carvan, the winner of the Protect Pacific Whales Facebook competition. Photo: SPREP

The competition sent out a call for all residents of SPREP's 21 island member countries and territories to send in their entries in the form of artworks inspired by Pacific whales, in order to gain more awareness for whale and ocean conservation. The entries were closed a month later on the 22 June, after which voting was open to the general Facebook population until 16 July.

The youngest entrant in the competition, Ella Carvan, residing in Samoa, won the most votes for her artwork which showcased two whales forming the Yin and Yang symbol of harmony.

"I really didn't expect to win, so I feel very surprised and happy. I hope that my picture helps to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the ocean and our Pacific whales," said Ms Carvan.
"My picture was inspired by the yin-yang symbol, which means that we need to exist in balance. For such a long time we've been taking advantage of the environment and the Earth's resources. Now we need to
restore balance by protecting it.

The top three entries with the most received prizes in the form of Alcatel Pixi 3 smartphones, kindly donated by Digicel Samoa along with other prizes.
Ms Christelle Montane of New Caledonia came in second, while Ms Zarfia Amoa, also from Samoa, took third place.

IMG 7198Ms Zarfia Amoa, third place winner of the Protect Pacific Whales Facebook competition. Photo: SPREP

Ms Amoa said, "The Protect Pacific Whales Facebook competition was a great visual platform to showcase the importance and beauty of these creatures as part of our Pacific island environment, culture and art. I used various Pacific tatau patterns in my artwork to create a pan-Pacific whale to convey the idea that whales are part of our collective heritage. We are all responsible for protecting and conserving our Pacific whales for future generations."

The Protect Pacific Whales – Ocean Voyagers campaign continues for the next year, with a whole range of activities planned throughout the duration of the campaign, to promote awareness for protection and conservation of Pacific whales.

For more on the campaign, please visit: https://www.sprep.org/yearofthewhale
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