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UPY Award Winners - Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2021
'Aerial view of a crowded island in Guna Yala'
A tightly inhabited village off the coast of Panama in Guna Yala region serves as a microcosm reminder of how humans across the planet are consuming land and space at a rapid rate. Most of the Guna people live on these densely populated islands, catching fish and farming coconuts on nearby islands. The importance of human's relationship with nature and the need to protect it is becomes very apparent when you look at our species from a bird’s eye perspective and see how much space we take up. I had come to this region of Panama to photographing the art of making mola, the traditional clothing that the Guna people wear. While waiting on a boat I flew my drone over this island to get this aerial perspective and give more impact to the image than I could have shooting at sea level or from underwater.
Judge's comment: A stark visual reminder of how we humans over populate and totally develop land, then overfish the surrounding delicate environment. This image captures that unnatural and unsustainable imbalance perfectly.
- Peter Rowlands
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