History and Statistics

Wiki Loves Earth is an annual international photo contest of natural monuments, where participants take pictures of protected areas and upload their photos to Wikimedia Commons.

The goal of the project is, on one hand, to picture under a free license as many natural monuments and protected areas as possible, on the other hand, to contribute to nature protection by raising public awareness. These pictures are to be used to illustrate articles on Wikipedia and other Wikiprojects (Wikivoyage, Wikinews, Wikiquote, etc.).

Wiki Loves Earth international statistics


Year Countries Uploads Images used in the wikis Uploaders Uploaders registered after the competition started
2013 1 9695 9446 (97%) 346 275 (79%)
2014 14 62541 19470 (31%) 2889 2370 (82%)
2015 25 104201 26216 (25%) 8837 7745 (87%)
2016 24 109936 21966 (19%) 13187 11749 (89%)
2017 36 130482 25791 (19%) 15074 13728 (91%)
2018 32 89683 17590 (19%) 7645 6359 (83%)
2019 37 94699 17146 (18%) 9699 8407 (86%)
2020 34 106020 25131 (23%) 9095 7636 (83%)
2021 35 62491 8062 (13%) 4337 3353 (77%)
2022 39 23889 1502 (6%) 1236 818 (66%)
2023 50 60941 6825 (11%) 3404 2396 (70%)

History of Wiki Loves Earth

Source. Detailed statistics and graphs for each country are also available there.

Wiki Loves Earth 2013 logo

After years of successful organization of the Wiki Loves Monuments contest, there was an idea of a similar contest for natural monuments.

The idea of Wiki Loves Earth was born in April 2012 during a discussion between representatives of Wikimedia Ukraine and Wikimedia RU.

The full report of the international jury, explaining the work of the jury, selection process and presenting the results together with comments of the jury

 The idea was realized for the first time in Ukraine, where the contest was held from April 15 to May 15, 2013. There were 11,736 picture entries at the competition, uploaded from April 15 to May 15, 2013. 1104 natural monuments of Ukraine (out of the listed 7,384) were photographed, and 365 people took part in the contest. The number of newly illustrated articles about natural heritage sites was 172. The contest was ranked as the 2nd coolest project of Wikimedia Chapters at Wikimania 2013.

The contest became international in 2014 with 16 countries participating from four different continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.


During the contest, over 70,000 pictures were submitted by more than 3,000 participants. Similar to Wiki Loves Monuments, the contest was organized through numerous national contests and coordinated by local volunteers. The national juries submitted then up to 10 pictures to the international stage of the contest. With 16 participating countries, the international jury had to consider a total of 156 picture candidates.

In 2015, the Wikimedia community, with the help of its Ukrainian and Polish Chapters and volunteers, held the third edition of the contest. Over 100,000 pictures were submitted by the participants. With 26 participating countries, the international jury had to consider a total of 259 candidate pictures.


In 2016, Wiki Loves Earth made one more step towards expanding geography. Apart from traditional country-based contests in 26 countries, a new nomination was added in collaboration with UNESCO: participants were invited to upload photos of UNESCO biosphere reserves in 120 different countries. Most countries organized the contest from 1 May to 31 May 2016, while some countries and UNESCO special nomination extended the contest period till 30 June. During the contest, over 115,000 pictures were submitted by more than 13,600 participants.

In 2017, Wiki Loves Earth expanded its geography more than ever. A record number of 36 countries organized a national stage, including some first-time participants like Bangladesh, Canada, Indonesia, and Norway. Wle-jury-report-2017-lores In 2016, there was a special nomination in collaboration with UNESCO on UNESCO biosphere reserves in 120 countries. Most countries organized the contest from 1 May to 31 May 2017, while some countries and UNESCO special nomination extended the contest period till 30 June. During the contest, a record number of 131,984 pictures were submitted by 15,299 participants, nearly 14,000 of whom made their first upload. Winners page

In 2018, the contest was held for the sixth time. The number of photos uploaded by participants from 32 countries across the world reached almost 90 thousand, and the contest helped attract more than 6 thousand new users. Participants were invited to upload photos in a separate category for UNESCO biosphere reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks across the globe. See the winners of the 2018 contest.

2019 became a year when the number of participating countries was the largest in the history of the contest. 37 countries took part, uploading almost 95 thousand photos and attracting more than 6 thousand new users. Most of the uploaded photos are simply breathtaking — just look.

In 2020, the contest was successfully held after the first year of the pandemic. 34 countries took part in the contest, and 106,020 images were uploaded.
Check the winning images here.

2021 became a year of innovations. That year, for the first time, the division into two categories at an international level happened: uploaders could upload their images for macro and landscapes categories.
As a result, we have got 62,491 images from 35 countries and defined the international winners in two categories. Look at this variety of photos!

As well Wiki Loves Earth started to support the initiative Wiki4HumanRights, which partners with the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Its goal is to raise awareness of nature protection and human impacts on nature.
9 countries took part in this special nomination called “Human Rights and Environment”. Check the final results of it!

In 2022, the international contest had a record number of participating countries, which was 39.
1,236 uploaders submitted 23,889 images again for two categories: macro and landscapes. Check the winning images!

Also, 2 countries (Portugal and Germany) took part in the special nomination “Human Rights and Environment”  and 5 images from Germany appeared in the final top.

The year 2023 became a year of the record number of participating countries, which was 50! It was also the 10th edition of the contest.
As a result, we received 60,941 images from 3,404 uploaders.
One change to the rules was added: on the international level no more than two photos from one author will be selected in the top 20, as our goal is to diversify the winning images and showcase more natural monuments from various regions and authors.
Feel free to check the winners!

For the special nomination “Human Rights and Environment” we also made a change: since that year, we canceled a limit for participating countries, and anyone worldwide can upload images related to the topic.
So, overall, we received more than 8,500 images. The final top 10 is here.

Stay tuned for the Wiki Loves Earth in 2024!

Wiki Loves Earth International Logo

28 thoughts on “History and Statistics”

    1. International jury finished its work and was going to announce the winners but faced some trouble. They need some more time.

  1. Where to write the description of the photos to be uploaded,is there any separate place or I can write the description underneath the photos,please help.

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