MADEIRA: Pakistani photographer Zaeem Siddiq has won first place in the international Wiki loves Earth photo contest for his photograph of the scenic Shangrila Lake in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is chosen as the best international picture for the year 2015.Shangrila Lake or Lower Kachura Lake is a popular tourist destination in Central Karakoram National Park, Skardu, Pakistan.Wiki Loves Earth is a photo contest of natural monuments, where participants picture protected areas and upload their photos to the Wikimedia Commons online platform. It is organised by the Wikimedia Foundation.
More than 8,500 contestants participated from 26 countries. Over 100,000 photo submissions throughout the month of May.From Pakistan alone, over 1500 contestants chipped in from across the country to submit more than 11,000 photographs; making it the country with the fourth largest number of submissions and second largest in the number of participants.
Zaeem’s winning photo was one of 259 nominations from 26 countries submitted to the 9-person international organising team after selection by the national juries of participating countries.The prize for the winner includes a trip to attend the Wikimania 2016 conference in Esino Lario, Italy, with paid travel and accommodation expenses.The second prize was won by Jorge Nelson Alves for his photograph of the Laurisilva (Laurel Forest) in Portugal’s island of , while a photograph of the Alpine ibex in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern in Austria took third place.