Dear Wikimedians,

Spring is coming, as well as the International Wiki Loves Earth 2020! We are happy to continue our preparations. Challenges, particularly those related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, await us, but we are looking forward to working with you on increasing free knowledge on natural heritage in the nearest half a year.

Many thanks to the teams that are already in for your enthusiasm and willingness to be a part of the WLE family this year. We are glad to work with you again, and looking forward to our productive cooperation.

And for those who consider joining: we're reminding that the second biggest Wikimedia photo contest — Wiki Loves Earth 2020  will happen during 1 May  30 June, and will gather thousands of pictures of natural heritage sites from all over the world. You can find all the detailed information on how to organize the contest in your country at the link — us! 

== Funding for your contest ==
If you need some funding for the contest promotion and prizes, we encourage you to apply for a rapid grant (up to 2 000 USD) from the Wikimedia Foundation. Here you can find more information about it:
1. General guidelines and eligibility criteria
2. Specific advice for Wiki Loves Earth applications — We have just expanded this guide with more instructions on WLE-specific grant applications.
3. Application example —
It's important to apply as soon as possible, and the deadline is the 15th day of each month. If you need any help, please contact us, and we'll support you in every step of the grant application process. (But please take into account that Wiki Loves Earth organizing team does not run the rapid grants process and does not decide on which applications get funded).

== Important updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic ==
Please note that in the light of the spread of COVID-19 all offline public events funded by Wikimedia Foundation grants must be cancelled or postponed until further notice, and new events should not be planned. Thus, you should not include any offline public events in your rapid grants application if you submit one, and you should cancel all public events funded by other WMF grants (e.g. simple APG). Events funded by your sponsors/partners or the ones that do not require any funding can be held, but please respect all relevant limitations imposed in your country
We recommend you NOT to organize any in-person public events until the world health situation gets better.  Still, online activities should not be affected by the pandemic, and you can encourage participants to dig through their archives of photos not uploaded to Commons yet.
Some specific advice on how to handle the situation includes:
    — award ceremonies should be either postponed (please note that they are unlikely to be held before September), or prizes/gifts/certificates should be sent by post or online instead 
    — events on increasing contributions (edit-a-thons, upload sessions, public presentations etc.) should be held online. You may request funds for online platforms or online promotion if needed and overall put more effort into online outreachAs outlined above, offline events for general public cannot be funded by WMF this year. 
    — group travel such as expeditions or photo walks cannot be funded and should not be organised this year. Please advice participants to use their existing photos and increase online outreach to photography communities instead. Long-distance travel should be discouraged, please advice participants to focus on documenting local natural sites in their area (e.g. within cycling distance from their home) instead. 
    — you may also encourage and give incentives to other activities, which are related to the contest indirectly and can be done from homesuch as improving Wikipedia, Wikivoyage or Wikidata content on natural sites, getting permissions on images published online by others, or using pictures from previous years to illustrate Wikimedia projects in different languages.
You can learn more about the coronavirus spread at

Last year we collected incredible 90k photos from 37 countries that drew attention to protected areas and expanded the database of free photos of natural heritage sites.
We continue, and we need exactly you to make these numbers and impact even bigger in 2020!

If you have any questions, please, don't hesitate to write to us at

Best regards,
Anastasiia Petrova
Project Manager for International Wiki Loves Earth 2020
on behalf of the international organizing team