Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/Organise

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Wiki Loves Earth 2021


Participating countries


Rules and FAQ






Contact us

This page explains what local organizers should do to organize Wiki Loves Earth in their country/area.

Table of Contents


Wiki Loves Earth is a photo contest devoted to local nature protected areas in participating countries. Under Wiki Loves Earth, participants upload photos during the contest to Wikimedia Commons. The international photo contest takes place around the world. It is a federative contest which consists of numerous local contests held in different countries.

A local photo contest takes place throughout May and June or dates close to this timeline; it typically lasts for one month but can last for longer. Local contests organized by volunteers from Wikipedia and/or local Wikimedia association with the support of the international team.

After the contest period, a local jury judges the participating photos and chooses up to 15 best photos of that country/area. At least the number-one winner, and in most cases several winners, receive prizes, which are often distributed during an award ceremony. In some local contests, there is an additional special prize category for photos on a certain subject, areas not pictured before, etc. Up to 15 winning photos of a country/area participate in the international round of the photo contest.

In case you have any questions after reading this guide, email them to

Requirements for local teams[edit]

Requirements for organizing a local Wiki Loves Earth in your country/area are:

  1. You are a team of Wikimedians willing to devote enough time throughout a few months to organize the contest.
  2. You have added your country/area to the page Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/Participating countries + provided information how the international team can reach the local team. Please reach out to the international team via once you have decided to organize the contest.
  3. You have created a website or landing page with the required information, and you added a link to it on Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021.
  4. Translations have been provided for the CentralNotice banner on Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/CentralNotice.
  5. You have a jury that judges the photos and selects up to 15 winners with not more than 10 from each contest category (landscapes and macro/close-up). You can choose not to divide local winners into categories and/or can submit fewer photos (such as 10). You announce local winners on Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/Winners or privately to the international team before 1 September 2021.
  6. It is preferable that you give one or more winners a prize because having prizes will help increase participation in the contest; it is not mandatory though.


Although it is possible to organize a local contest without financial means, having some funding for promotion and prizes would help draw attention to the contest.

The international team does not have a budget for financing local contests. That is why, there are three ways to acquire funding for the contest:

  1. You can develop partnerships and work with sponsors to receive financial and in-kind donations that would fund your local contest.
  2. If the contest is organized by a Wikimedia chapter or user group which applies for an annual grant from the Wikimedia Foundation or has other sources of funding, you can include Wiki Loves Earth in your budget.
  3. You can apply for a rapid grant from the Wikimedia Foundation for Wiki Loves Earth in your country specifically. The WMF disburses grants for up to 2 000 USD in this program. See a detailed guide in the section below.

Applying for a rapid grant from the WMF[edit]

Please note that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wikimedia Foundation has restrictions on funding offline public events Please take that into account while preparing your application and planning your contest activities overall. More info is available at Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/COVID19 response.

Who can apply for a rapid grant

Any individual or a Wikimedia organization can apply for a rapid grant. Yet, there are some exceptions:

  • Groups and organizations that already work on a current Annual Plan Grant or Simple Annual Plan Grant from the Wikimedia Foundation are not eligible to apply.
  • Due to their local restrictions or US sanctions, organizations and people from certain countries might face issues in receiving money transfers from the Wikimedia Foundation, which is a nonprofit based in the United States.
    • On meta:Grants:Administration/Countries, you can find a list of countries which have already been funded successfully with no or few issues.
    • If your country is not on that list, check for two things:
      • In case your country is one of the US-sanctioned countries, it is likely you will not be able to get funding.
      • Also, check if there are known restrictions for receiving foreign funds in your country. One reference is The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law's (ICNL; Civic Freedom Monitor page). Please note that ICNL's assessments on foreign funding have more of a focus on registered non-profits within that country, but this does not mean that grants to individuals might not be impacted as well.
    • If you are not sure about your country's eligibility, it is better to check with the Wikimedia Foundation beforehand by emailing See instructions on meta:Grants:Administration/Countries.
Where to apply

Use the landing page for rapid grants to learn the process of application. The application page itself is at meta:Grants:Project/Rapid/Apply.

When to apply

Proposals are accepted between 1st and 15th day of each month (e.g. March 1st—15th or April 1st—15th); you cannot submit one in the second part of the month.

It is better to apply as soon as possible. Please note that applications take some time to get reviewed and approved, and then there will be some time for the money to be actually transferred to your account. So, if you are planning to start contest activitites in May (such as running ads throughout the contest), it is highly preferable that you submit an application by March 15th; if you are starting in June, sumbit it by April 15th (though submitting it earlier would be a plus, of course).

Important: don't forget to change the status of your application from "Draft" to "Proposed" before the deadline. After the application is submitted, you can still edit it, but you cannot change dates of the activities funded and the budget after the deadline.

What to include in the application

Typical expenses you can apply for include organizing a photo walk for participants, organizing an award ceremony and/or running an online ad campaign to attract attention to the contest. An important part of your expenses might be prizes to your country's winners.

When it comes to prizes, please note that you cannot use money as a prize. If possible, you can use gift cards for online shops as a substitution, as well as come up with something more original.

Examples of other good prizes which are eligible for rapid grants.

  • Photography-related books or publications
  • Travel vouchers
  • Merchandise from the Wikipedia Store
  • Large prints / posters of winning photographs
  • Calendars of winning photographs from current or past year’s competitions
  • Photography equipment or accessories that are not disproportionately expensive, for example:
    • Camera stabilizer
    • External hard drive
    • Photo printer
    • Less expensive GoPro models
  • Customized trophies

It is not advised that you include a lot of T-shirts in your application (as T-shirts is generally not the best souvenir you can offer).

See also learning pattern on contest prizes that motivate.

Before you include funding certain expenses in your application, consider whether free options are available instead (for example, in some cases, you can arrange to hold an award ceremony in a local library or museum instead of renting a venue). See also learning pattern on partnerships for contests.

Other points to notice
  • Make sure that you have completed all reports for the previous grant application from you or your organization. Problems with your previous application, no matter whether it is connected with Wiki Loves Earth, may prevent you from being able to receive a grant for WLE.
  • You can also request free swag from the Wikimedia Foundation which can be distributed as prizes to winners. See the project page. These requests for approved Rapid Grants can include a small number of T-shirts, tote bags, and other merchandise aside from the accessories listed on the Meta page; please note that the swag is dependent upon availability, so the Wikimedia Foundation may not be able to fulfill highly specific requests.
  • You can use the number of uploaded images, participants, and newcomers as your application's metrics. "Wiki Loves" tool is helpful in measuring them after the contest.
  • Please note that Wiki Loves Earth organizing team does not run the rapid grants process and does not decide on which applications get funded. Yet, the international team can help guide you through the process. In this section, you will find basic information on applying for rapid grants for local Wiki Loves Earth contests. If you have any additional questions on funding or need advice, contact the international team at
Where to learn more

Landing page[edit]

As landing page you can create your own website (like www.wikilovesearth.xx), a project page on Wikipedia or a project page on Commons (Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021 in Xxx). Creating a page on Commons or Wikipedia.

Requirements for a website or landing page:

  1. It contains contest rules, see below.
  2. It contains a link to the international Wiki Loves Earth website:
  3. It contains a link to one or more of these options:
    1. A link to the upload form of your country/area; and/or
    2. A link to the protected sites list(s) (with the eligible nature areas) that contain a direct upload link; and/or
    3. A map where participants can find a link to start uploading.
  4. It contains an English-language page or summary in English for international participants.
  5. It contains information about the selection of the winners (jury) and the prizes.

Good examples of landing pages: Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2019 in Azerbaijan, Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2019 in Georgia.

If your main landing page is on Wikipedia or a separate site, create a page on Commons (Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021 in Xxx) with a soft redirect or a link to the landing page (examples: 1, 2).

Rules for participants[edit]

There are a few rules for photos to participate in both the local and the international contest. Every submission should be:

  1. Self-taken and self-uploaded;
  2. Uploaded in May-June 2021 or close to this timeline within dates agreed between local and international teams (dependent on the dates of your local contest) and available on Wikimedia Commons;1, 2
  3. Freely licensed;3
  4. Contain an identified nature monument;
  5. Participating in a national Wiki Loves Earth contest.

If your country/area has nature protected areas with unique identifiers (IDs), this identifier must be provided on every participating photo.

Participants can participate in the contest with multiple photos.

To be eligible to win a prize, participants in the contest must provide a way to contact them. It is recommended that the participant has an activated e-mail address in his/her preferences and has the receiving of e-mails enabled.

If no way of contact is provided or known to the organisers, or no reaction is given, the photo(s) stay part of the contest, but the uploader can't win a prize. In case no way of contact has been provided or no reaction is given after contacting, it is up to the local team to decide if a winning photo stays in the top 15 of winning photos or not.

1. The contest should last around one month, eg. 1-31 May, 15 May — 15 June or 1-30 June.
2. The local time in the country counts. If a country is situated in multiple time zones, the contest starts when the first time zone is in 1 May, and ends when the last time zone has left 31 May.
3. This can be CC BY-SA or any other free license, including CC0.

Upload wizard[edit]

Wiki Loves Earth uses a customised version of the upload wizard to have participants upload their photos. By using the customised upload wizard for your country during your contest, all uploaded files will contain a template saying that the photo is uploaded as part of Wiki Loves Earth 2021 and automatically will be added to the category of images in your country.

For countries/areas where nature heritage monuments have unique identifiers (IDs), the upload wizard will automatically add a template to contain the identifier.

If the local team would like to have a check category added to every uploaded photo, we can have the upload wizard add this category for you.

We will create a customized upload wizard for your local team, but you need to provide some translations and information. See for more information at Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/Upload campaigns.

For existing campaigns see the wle-xx links in the list of participating countries.

CentralNotice banner[edit]

To get attention for Wiki Loves Earth in your country, the international team will create a banner that will be shown to visitors from your country on top of page on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons during the month. This banner will link to your website or landing page. The banner will be activated only if you meet the requirements and have provided a link to the landing page on Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/Participating countries and translation(s) of the banner text in your local language(s) on Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/CentralNotice.

We can activate the banner in time only if you have provided us with all the translations and information in time. If provided in time, the banner will be activated in your country within an hour after the start of the contest in your country. (In the IRC channel #wikilovesearth at Freenode live status, updates will be provided with the start of the contest.)

Using CentralNotice banner is not mandatory, but it is the most effective way for the contest to be noticed on-wiki, and that's why we strongly recommend using it.

Lists of protected areas[edit]

Wiki Loves Earth has been set up to have all the nature protected areas in the world visible on Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, and their sister projects.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to have also list(s) of nature protected areas from your country on Wikipedia. In some countries, it takes a lot of time to obtain the information from the state register(s) and/or to create the lists on Wikipedia. We recommend to have the lists ready on Wikipedia before the start of the contest, but we understand that this is not always possible.

An ideal list is a table which contains the following elements:

  • the name of the protected area;
  • a link to uploading new pictures of the area (which leads to an automatically pre-filled in the upload form, which makes it easier for participants to upload photos);
  • a picture of an area (if exists);
  • Wikimedia Commons category (if exists);
  • coordinates / location;
  • Wikidata item (if exists).

Additionally, local organizers can add their types, maps or other information. But it's not advised to make lists too complicated; participants should be able to easily navigate the list. The purpose is to have a page where a participant can clearly see what and where to upload.

Here's the example of a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate list — Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2019 in France/List.

Jury & winners[edit]

When the contest period ends, your local jury should start judging the photos that have been uploaded (if your contest ends earlier, you can start judging photo earlier as well).

The jury should determine the winners of the contest taking into the consideration the criteria (in no particular order): technical quality (sharpness, use of light, perspective, etc.), originality, and usefulness of the image for Wikipedia.

The local jury has time until late August for judging the photos (it's better that you set a deadline for the jury at least a few days before September 1st so you have time to check winners and submit them). On 1 September, the international team needs to know which 15 photos are the winners in your country; you can find detailed instructions on how to submit local winners in section "How to submit local winners" below.

WLX Jury Tool[edit]

Technical tools help to organize the process, grade photos and select your winners.

The international WLE team can help you with WLX Jury Tool. It has different levels of access: admin, organizer and juror. On the gallery page you can browse the images, see the rating or selection status of each image, filter them. It's a convenient way for your jury to vote for pictures and choose winners.

Please email to gain access to the tool and for questions.

How to find jury and organize its work[edit]

See m:Learning patterns/Selecting winners of a large photo contest

How to submit local winners[edit]

After your local jury has finished judging the photos, please make sure that:

  1. you have double-checked that winning images are indeed picturing a nature protected area from your local contest;
  2. you have double-checked these pictures do not violate copyright (pay attention to the size and use TinEye, Google Images tools etc. for checking);
  3. you are in contact with all winners: they have activated their emails or you have another way of reaching them (Facebook, some other messenger app, etc.); and you will be able to provide their direct contacts if and when the international team requires them.

Local winners have to be submitted by September 1, 2021. If you do not submit the winners by September 1, the international team reserves the right to disqualify your country from the international competition!

There are two ways to submit winning photos of your local contest: add them to page Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/Winners or send them to the international team via

Important points to note:

  • Only up to 15 winning pictures of your local contest will go to the international part. You can select more pictures as winners, but you will need to choose which 15 (or less) will take part in the international part.
    The international jury does not take into account what place a picture has in the local part, so you do not have to specify that if you do not want to announce that before your press-release or awards ceremony.
  • If you are submitting local winners openly to Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/Winners, please:
    • Add English description to the pictures (if there is no description in English) themselves on Commons. Please be sure to link the objects pictured to a Wikipedia article (if it exists).
    • Publish your local winners on the page Commons:Wiki Loves Earth 2021/Winners. Please be sure to be logged in so the international team is able to verify your edit.
    • Send a letter to the international team at with a confirmation that you have completed all the requirements above (photos indeed picture a protected area and do not violate copyright, and you are in contact with winners).
  • If you want to keep the 15 winning photos secret until a press release or an award ceremony, please:
    • Add English description to the pictures (if there is no description in English) themselves on Commons. Please be sure to link the objects pictured to a Wikipedia article (if it exists). You might want to add descriptions in English to more pictures from your contest, so you do not reveal the winners ahead of time.
    • Send links of your local 15 winning photos to the international team at and:
    1. confirm that you have completed all the requirements above (photos indeed picture a protected area and do not violate copyright, and you are in contact with winners)
    2. specify when you are going to publish them openly.