First time in history: Indonesian Photographer is Awarded as the 2020 PEFC Photographer of the Year!

Since 2017 IFCC has been consecutively participating in the PEFC International Photo Contest by holding its national contest. “This is the 4th year for IFCC holding the photo contest and the 4th year for me involving in the judging process of this annual contest. As one of the judges, I feel that it is getting harder from year to year to assess and select the photos since all of the competed photos are so remarkable. About 6,000 to 7,000 photos were competed during the last 4 years in this annual photo contest and we can see how grateful we are as the beauty of Indonesian forests is showcased through thousands of photography shots. By holding this IFCC photo contest regularly,  we hope that more people will love and participate in preserving the beauty of Indonesia's forests so that the forest functions are maintained”, expressed Zulfandi Lubis, the IFCC Executive Director.

Over 3 years holding the contest, there were always IFCC Photo Contest winners who are selected into the top 12 photographers in the PEFC International Photo Contest, but never once winning the 1st place. This year is the Indonesia’s year! The photo that was taken in Situ Gunung Lake located in the National Park of Mount Gede Pangrango Sukabumi, Indonesia, has successfully attracted and satisfied the assessment of the international juries. The photographer of this amazing shot is Chairil.

“Wow.. We just love the fishermen, the greenery, the water reflections – what is not to like about this photograph?“, said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International CEO, when moderating the PEFC Photo Contest 2020 winner announcement through PEFC International Facebook and its Youtube channel on 10th November 2020.

“Everything works in this picture. The light, the movement captured. It’s fabulous. It’s really magic,” impressed Lucas, an experienced photography enthusiast.  

Victor Rodriguez, a photographer and key member of the PEFC International jury, explained about the reasons of why Chairil’s photo is chosen as the winner, “The action is eye-catching and is the key to this image – the casting of the net and the link between the fishermen and life under water. This reminds us that humans can be part of nature in a beautiful way. The fishermen are surrounded by a peaceful, and almost static environment. The light is really soft and adds some magic to the scene, while the colours contribute to the general serene mood,” he explains.  

“Congratulations to Chairil who have reached remarkable achievement as the winner of the international photo contest which competing around 8,000 photos from various countries worldwide. As one of the judges and citizens of Indonesia, I am proud of you, Chairil. It was quite difficult selecting from thousands of photos into choosing 5 winners at the national level since the photos are all outstanding. Congratulations once again and I hope this achievement will be pioneering to produce the next “Chairil” in the future IFCC Photo Contest”, said Zulfandi.

“The PEFC Photo Contest 2020 has given a very deep impression, where each participant are competing to capture the beauty of nature from their own perspective. It's not easy to produce a photo that is so meaningful and has a full story of it. Congratulations to the winner. Hopefully the beauty of Indonesia can be reflected in his next masterpieces,” said Lucky Candra Kusumo, one of the judges of IFCC Photo Contest 2020. Lucky is a professional photographer and has experienced in landscape and street photography since 10 years ago. "The Earth is too beautiful to not to be captured", he concluded.  

Chairil was really speechless when receiving a news from PEFC International informing that he is awarded as 2020 PEFC Photo Contest of the Year. He is still cannot believing that he wins the first place in the international photography competition. He feels so grateful that he can be the winner. As a photographer, he mentioned that by sharing his photos entitled “Morning Activity” to public he wishes that he can encourage many people to be more aware and respect towards the environment surrounding them. Photography is a way he can do to support sustainable forest management here in Indonesia.

Chairil has been very passionate in photography since 11 years ago and starting that time he admitted that photography is totally his hobby. He showcases many of his shots in Instagram. Feel free to visit his virtual photo gallery in Instagram at @7kaylie.

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Chairil said that the existence of IFCC Photo Contest is really good for forest conservation as there are so many photographers participating and sharing their photos about forests and their stories, so that it can help IFCC to indirectly monitor it. Chairil advised that if possible, the next photo contest should not only showing the beauty of the forest but also the opposite in order to attract people’s awareness on the forests area which need more attention. Chairil is very enthusiastic to participate in the next IFCC Photo Contest and will always support this event. He expects that IFCC Photo Contest will be happening every year.

“Congratulations to the PEFC Photo Contest 2020 and the winner for his best work. This event is very important in supporting efforts to conserve and manage natural resources and exploring the creative works of art. Hopefully PEFC can always facilitate this kind of activity in the future,” expressed Dones Rinaldi, one of the IFCC Photo Contest 2020 judges. Dones has been doing landscape and wildlife photography since 1974.

Two Indonesian Photographers Went to the Top 12 of PEFC International Photo Contest!

In the 4 th year joining the PEFC Photo Contest with holding a national level photo contest, IFCC managed to collect more than 1500 photos capturing the beauty of Indonesian forest. Every year, the winners of IFCC Photo Contest are competed again in the PEFC International Photo Contest. Indonesian photographers have delivered tremendous achievement since 2017 in the PEFC Photo Contest. Starting 2017, one of IFCC Photo Contest winners was chosen as the top 12 of the PEFC International Photo Contest. In 2018 and 2019, not only one but two of IFCC Photo Contest winners were selected as the top 12 of PEFC International Photo Contests.

This year, Indonesia has repeated the success story. And yes, two out of five IFCC Photo Contest 2020 winners are successfully secured two spots for the next round that chosen by the international jury as the top 12 best photo of PEFC International Photo Contest 2020. Those photos are the masterpieces of Ismail Abd Muttalib with the title The Beauty of Walakiri Beach and Chairil with the title Morning Activity. These are the wonderful photos that selected by PEFC!

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Ismail Abd Muthalib is the 1 st winner while Chairil is the 4 th winner of IFCC Photo Contest 2020. Both of them shared their thought about how forest inspires them to take their winning photo.

Ismail Abd Muthalib:
“For me, a good photo has to give some magical sensation and giving imagination beyond our senses. My photo masterpiece is about forest ecosystem which is pictured by some connected living things and it is always been interesting for me in all perspective. In 2019, the Indonesian forest area is 94,1 million hectares or 50.1% of total land area and Indonesia has become one of the lungs of the earth. So, I hope my photo can give some inspiration to all about the importance to develop and maintain forest preservation.”

Chairil:
“Forest is an area of life for all types of living things, all life starts from the forest. My personal feelings about forests today are very worried, especially in Indonesia because the number of forests is decreasing very fast. We used to be rich in forests, now we are starting a crisis over forest land. Hopefully this t will be resolved quickly. But apart from that, I am very grateful to be in the areas that still have many forests which can be immortalized through photography work. One of which is the forest on Mount Gede Pangrango which has a lake we call it Situ Gunung. This lake really provides an extraordinary view when we are here in the morning. So I made the picture of it. With this photo I can show how beautiful the natural atmosphere is here.”

Both Ismail and Chairil have same passion toward photography and have concern about our forest. Their passions are the reason why now we can see these photos. Congratulations and thank you to both winners for such amazing photos and achievements for Indonesia!

IFCC Photo Contest 2020: Exploring the Beauty of Indonesian Forest Virtually Through Lens

Forest is a very important natural resource that we must protect so that living things in and around the forest can continue to breathe fresh and clean air. Not only that, forest also produces various materials that can be used by other living things. Apart from having various benefits, forest also has fabulous beauty. Enjoying the beauty of the forest by exploring it directly is indeed very interesting and fun, but since in 2020 the world is being hit by the global pandemic of COVID-19, then the exploration of the forest beauty can be done by utilizing the technological sophistication. Yes, for the time being we are enjoying the beauty of the forest in a virtual way, by seeing the photographers’ masterpiece through their lens captures.


In 2020, PEFC was holding their 4th PEFC Photo Contest. As do not want to be left behind, IFCC also participated by holding it nationally, known as the IFCC Photo Contest 2020. "Forest Through Lens with IFCC" is the theme of the IFCC Photo Contest in 2020. Just like previous years, this photo contest was started on the World Earth Day, 22 nd April 2020 and was closed on the World Environment Day, 5 th June 2020. The IFCC photo contest was held to tell people about the beauty of Indonesia's forest and build a higher level of community attention and concern for forest and everything in them. This year IFCC received 1,517 photos, which is higher number than last year. Lots of photographers have managed to capture the beauty of Indonesia's forests very nicely!

From west to east, from Sumatra to Papua, it is no longer impossible for all of us to see the beauty of Indonesia's forests. Thank you to all of the contestants who have participated in this photo contest by being willing to show their masterpieces to the public so that we can enjoy the beauty without having to leave our house. After going through a rigorous judgement and a long process, the judges finally succeeded choosing the best 5 photos as the winners of the IFCC Photo Contest 2020. Below are the masterpieces of the winners and their respective profiles!

The Winners

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Photo of 1 st Winner: The beauty of Walakiri Beach

This photo was taken by Ismail Abd. Muttalib, the 1 st winner of IFCC Photo Contest 2020. This photo was taken by Ismail Abd. Muttalib, the 1 st winner of IFCC Photo Contest 2020. He captured the beauty of mangrove trees located in Walakiri beach, East Nusa Tenggara. According to Ismail, the mangrove trees that grow on this beach are unique because the mangrove branches that are not straight tend to twist, like a dancing tree. This tree, known as the dancing tree, will be seen when the sea water is receding.

Ismail has been doing photography for 5 years. He has also won several photography competitions, including 1 st place in the Aerial Photo Competition (2017), 3 rd place in the World Habitat Day Photo Contest (2017), and winner of the Indonesian Colorful Photo Competition (2018). Ismail participated in the IFCC Photo Contest 2020 to gain more experience in photography so that he can work more in the world of photography, and become a winner in international contests. He also hopes that his work can inspire everyone about the importance of preserving forests.

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Photo of 2 nd Winner: The Beauty of Waerebo Tropical Forest

“Waerebo is a small village located about 1,100 meters above sea level, where the air is really cold and the village is surrounded by beautiful mountains and Todo dense forests. This tropical forest is rich in vegetation, where you will find orchids, ferns and hear the chirping of many kinds of birds." That's what Sofyan Efendi said, describing the photo he took in Waerebo village, Manggarai, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara.

Sofyan has been a photographer for 20 years. By participating in this photo contest, Sofyan wants to show the natural beauty including forest in Indonesia including its biodiversity to the public. Sofyan has been actively following IFCC's growth through his participation in the IFCC photo contest since 2018. The good fortune was upon him in the last two years since at the IFCC Photo Contest 2019, Sofyan was selected as the 1 st winner and this year Sofyan has successfully achieved the top 5 again by winning 2 ndplace at the IFCC Photo Contest 2020.

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Photo of 3 rd Winner: Kedung Kayang Waterfall

Kedung Kayang Waterfall which is located in Mount Merapi National Park (Wonolelo Village, Sawangan, Magelang, Central Java) was captured by Ady Agustian, the 3 rd winner of the IFCC Photo Contest 2020. Ady said that the use of Kedung Kayang waterfall as a tourist spot had received permission from the local Perhutani with the aim of improving the economy of the community around the waterfall while the local communities are obliged to protect the environment and the existing natural resources. 

The beauty of Kedung Kayang waterfall can be enjoyed both from the top of the waterfall and from under the waterfall. Ady said that to enjoy the beauty of the waterfall, it requires a journey of about 30 minutes along the Pabelan river basin which is quite challenging so it is better not to do it during the rainy season as it is dangerous.

Ady has been a photographer for 17 years. He started photography, which has become his hobby since 2003. One of Ady's goals to participate in this photo contest is to channel his hobby of photography. He hopes that this kind of contest shall be maintained in the future in order to encourage people to grow a sense of love for nature.

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Photo of 4 th Winner: Morning Activity

This photo was taken by Chairil, the 4 th winner of the IFCC Photo Contest 2020. Chairil has been a photographer for 11 years. He is very grateful to live in an area that still has many forests that can be captured in photographs. One of them is the forest in Mount Gede Pangrango National Park, Sukabumi, West Java, which has a lake named Situ Gunung. This lake provides a great view in the morning, as in the photo he took.

The natural beauty of Situ Gunung is well known to foreign countries. Some foreign tourists, especially photographers, can sometimes come to that place where they take part in capturing the beauty of the morning atmosphere at Situ Gunung. According to Chairil, if we want to capture the natural beauty of Situ Gunung, you should come in the morning between 06:00 and 09:00 WIB. The atmosphere that is harmonious between nature and the activities of residents who are looking for fish in this location is very beautiful moment to be captured.

By participating in this photo contest, Chairil felt very happy because he could show the natural beauty of Indonesia through the photos he took. He hopes that this photo contest will be the way for PEFC and IFCC to grow a sense of care and love for forests to the community.

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Photo of 5 th Winner: Dancing Mangrove in Walakiri

This photo showing the beauty of mangrove trees dancing in Walakiri amidst a beautiful sunset has succeeded in bringing Giri Wijayanto to become the 5 th winner of the IFCC Photo Contest 2020. Mangrove trees on Walakiri Beach, East Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara are endemic to Sumba Island. Its unique shape resembles a silhouette of a dancing person making the local community call it "Dancing Mangrove".

Through this photo contest, Giri wants to spread information about the beauty of the natural environment in Indonesia so that public will recognize it more and then love and care for it. 

Photography has been his hobby for the last 8 years. Giri is very enthusiastic in participating to this photo contest as it has spurred him to explore the natural beauty of Indonesia more and more widely.