During this session, members of Wiki Loves Earth international organizing team will discuss the benefits of Wiki Loves Earth for nature, as well as will reflect on how to better avoid the potential harm which the contest might bring.
Wiki Loves Earth (WLE) is the second largest photo contest organized by the Wikimedia Community. Over seven years, it has helped attract more than 585,000 free-licensed photos of natural monuments from the whole world. Obviously, Wiki Loves Earth has brought a lot of benefits to nature. Apart from its main goal of illustrating nature protected areas, the contest helps raise awareness of the issue of nature preservation. Besides, it helps monitor the real condition to natural monuments in the countries where the government does not pay enough attention to continuous monitoring (such as Ukraine).
At the same time, though inadvertently and indirectly, the contest might be also bringing harm to the environment. An example can be participants violating the rules of protected areas to take a good photo, disturbing animals living in a certain area, or publishing information about the exact location of rare animals/plants. Thus, over the past few years, one of the questions which WLE organizers have been working on has been how to avoid this harm. For example, Australian organizers have adopted the "Take only photos, leave only footprints" principle, under which the organizing team disqualifies images whose authors obviously violated the rules of the depicted area to take the photo. Yet, we still have a way to go to figure out further how to prevent potential harm of Wiki Loves Earh for nature, and the organizing team is interested in gathering broader feedback on this topic.
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
The topic of the session addresses the conference theme through addressing Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on land, particularly the question of how Wiki Loves Earth is contributing to this goal.
Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a: