2020 calendar cover winner: Climate change has made rainfall inconsistent in Kenya and Tanzania’s shared Mara River Basin. Success in adapting to this variability comes from the transboundary cooperation and ownership by community members, government officials, and private sector representatives.

Announcing the Winners of the Climatelinks Photo Contest 2019

By Steve Hardeman

The Climatelinks photo contest received an impressive total of 170 submissions from the Climatelinks community, representing more than 40 countries.

We are also excited to announce the new Climatelinks photo gallery. Anyone can view the photo contest submissions, as well as photos from our blogs and USAID’s climate change programs around the world. Visitors may also submit their own photos to the gallery. We hope the gallery will serve as a resource for the entire community.

Congratulations to the thirteen winners that will be featured in the official USAID Climate and Development: Journey to Self-Reliance 2020 calendar. Thank you to the many talented photographers and development practitioners who participated in the contest.

Winners for each category, as well as for the calendar front cover, are listed below:

Adapting to change – from communities to countries
Photographer: Edudzi Nyomi
Country: Sierra Leone
Project: West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change


A person plants mangroves in a low-lying area.
In coastal Sierra Leone, replanting mangroves around deforested rice farms helps farmers adapt to climate change by protecting their crops from being flooded by salt water during high tides.

Reducing conflicts by strengthening capacity
Photographer: Katherine Ko
Country: Colombia
Project: Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program


Fishermen reel in their catch as seagulls fly above.
Training for local fishers on sustainable techniques in coastal Colombia contributes to reducing conflict by strengthening livelihoods. Climate change is affecting the productivity of marine and freshwater species, so sustainable fishing practices ensure communities can secure a stable livelihood.

Reducing risks from extreme weather and shocks
Photographer: Rachel Weinheimer
Country: Federated States of Micronesia
Project: Typhoon Maysak Reconstruction Project


A man in a wheelchair accepts a certificate of ownership outside of his new house.
Communities in the Federated States of Micronesia are particularly vulnerable to the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters. After Typhoon Maysak, communities were trained to design and construct buildings to better withstand storms while maintaining traditional design elements.

Education for self-reliance
Photographer: Okello Ochieng'
Country: Kenya
Project: SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa


A group of elementary students poses for the camera in front of their work related to malaria transmisson in Africa.
Students from St. Scholastica Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya, present their findings from mosquito habitat mapping that demonstrate the link between changing weather patterns to malaria occurrences. Working in schools deepens the next generation's understanding of climate change.

Powering modern energy solutions
Photographer: Sherry Stout
Country: Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Project: USAID-NREL Partnership


A group of people try to guide a boat to their flooded tower on a floodplain.
Flooding hazards in the Lao PDR after heavy rains expose vulnerabilities in the power sector and the need to plan for a reliable, sustainable, and affordable power system to serve the country’s growing energy demands.

Planning a food-secure future
Photographer: Ashley Peterson
Country: Mozambique
Project: Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity


A woman in colorful clothing presents a corn specimen from her crop.
Farmers face new challenges in Mozambique, including the cycle of frequent droughts and drenching rains. This farmer is learning to increase the productivity, profitability, and resilience of her crops through the adoption of conservation agriculture practices.

Women as part of the solution
Photographer: Meg Yandoc
Country: Philippines
Project: Protect Wildlife


A group of female farmers with baskets on their backs sows seeds in a hillside farm.
In the Philippines, members of the Palaw’an indigenous community use improved upland farming techniques such as inter-cropping to restore landscapes. USAID is working with indigenous communities to reduce slash-and-burn agriculture, which is a main contributor to deforestation, air pollution, and the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

Addressing new risks to human health
Photographer: Patrick Nease
Country: South Africa
Project: Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group


A group of four scientists holding various tools for measuring streams walk along a small mountainside stream.
Volunteers perform a stream assessment in the uMzimvubu watershed in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. They are applying a “One Health” framework that integrates water, sanitation, and hygiene with freshwater conservation, livestock farming, and restoration to improve people's health.

Foundations for resilient infrastructure
Photographer: Anju Pandit
Country: Nepal
Project: Paani


Numerous houses and rice paddies on a hillside, with bright blue metal roofs being the most noticeable aspect of the photo.
In Nepal’s Humla District, mountain communities have replaced their traditional flat earthen roofs with slanted tin roofs to adapt to more intense rainfall.

Protecting natural systems in a changing world
Photographer: Jorge E. Martínez Santamaría
Country: Colombia
Project: Artisanal Gold Mining – Environment Impact Reduction Activity (Oro Legal) Activity


A man plants a young tree in an arid zone with a quarry lake behind him.
Illegal alluvial gold mining alters the balance of ecosystems through aggressive extraction methods that create deserts. In Antioquia, Colombia, landscape restoration efforts include planting more than one million Acacia mangium trees and other native species to mitigate climate change.

Climate-smart urbanization
Photographer: Olivia Freeman
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Project: U.S. Forest Service International Programs


Stacks of charcoal fill the foreground, with fields and forests behind.
Charcoal is the main source of cooking fuel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and many other countries. Increasing urban demand for charcoal is resulting in forest degradation and deforestation.

Sustainable water & sanitation services
Photographer: Evan Thomas
Country: Kenya
Project: Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development


Women with water barrels on their heads walk away from the camera.
In the arid regions of northern Kenya, where climate change has resulted in 30 percent less rainfall than historic norms, groundwater boreholes are providing increased climate resilience and water security.

Cover winner
Photographer: Bobby Neptune for Winrock International
Country: Kenya/Tanzania
Project: Sustainable Water Partnership


A man stands in a tea field, smiling and holding a walking stick.
Climate change has made rainfall inconsistent in Kenya and Tanzania’s shared Mara River Basin. Success in adapting to this variability comes from the transboundary cooperation and ownership by community members, government officials, and private sector representatives.


Strategic Objective
Adaptation, Integration
Adaptation, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Risk Management, Coastal, Conflict and Governance, Disaster Risk Management, Clean Energy, Forestry, Gender and Social Inclusion, Health, Indigenous, Infrastructure, Land Use, Mitigation, Mountain, Partnership, Resilience, Self-Reliance, Urban, Water and Sanitation, WASH

Steve Hardeman

Stephan Hardeman is the Site and Community Manager for Climatelinks. He draws on more than three years of experience in communications for international environmental trust funds to support Climatelinks through USAID’s Sharing Environment and Energy Knowledge (SEEK) initiative by engaging the Climatelinks community and featuring its work. Stephan has MAs in International Affairs (American University) and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (United Nations University for Peace) and BAs in English and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

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