Grants:Project/Rapid/Gikü/Wiki Loves Earth 2021 in Moldova

Gikü/Wiki Loves Earth 2021 in Moldova
Funding the prize pool of the 4th installment of Wiki Loves Earth contest in Moldova.
targetWikimedia Commons, Romanian Wikipedia
start dateApril 1
end dateJune 30 July 31 September 30
budget (local currency)MDL 12440
budget (USD)707
grant typeindividual
contact(s)• giordachi(_AT_)
organization (if applicable)• Wikimedians of Romania and Moldova User Group

Review your report

Please see the sample Contest application before drafting your application.

Project GoalEdit

Choose one or more of the following goals. You can add or delete goals as needed.

  1. Add or improve content

Project PlanEdit


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:
1. What content will the contest focus on, and why is it important to your community?

This is part of the international photo contest Wiki Loves Earth 2021, focus content is natural heritage. In Moldova, this contest was organized three times in the past: 2016 (funded by Wikimedia Ukraine), 2017, and 2018. The overall statistics are:
  • 3,482 uploaded images
  • 113 participants
  • 208 illustrated protected areas (of a total of 471)
Although I had mentioned that the contest had reached its saturation point in 2018, there are several factors that changed that in the last two years:
  • during pandemic, a number of photographers of Moldova, including past participants of WLE, took to the countryside to 're-discover the country' as their usual overseas destinations became unreachable
  • overall, the discussions related to ecology became a lot more common in the Moldovan sphere with a great number of new projects for better ecology starting off just the last two years
  • a number of Wikipedia articles about the protected areas have been created or improved, and need more images
  • it is planned to organize, first time ever in Moldova, a Wiki Loves Monuments contest (see grant request)
  • a more efficient (in terms of output per $) photo expedition is planned
In addition, I collected some insight from both past and potential participants on whether and how much they would contribute to a new WLE and a premiere WLM in Moldova. This was done through a Google Forms the results of which I am detailing below. Based on all of the above, it is estimated that a new contest would be able to at least equal contest's performance in 2017, when a record of 1,737 images have been uploaded (12th place among all countries).
In conclusion, it is expected that a new WLE contest in Moldova is justified, and will greatly improve both Wikimedia content, and perception about Wikimedia within Moldova's volunteering communities.

2. How will you let people know about the contest?

Multiple ways that had worked in the past:
  • Promotion through the Facebook page
    • Sharing the announcement in multiple Facebook groups, both volunteering-themed and regional general-themed (per district)
  • A press release (to be completed) near the start of the contest
  • Participating in eco-related events when such opportunities emerge
Also, most active participants of the past installments are already aware about the possibility of organizing a new contest, thanks to the Google Forms they had been asked to fill out.

3. How will you judge the contest and award prizes?

Jury is to be defined. Traditionally, jury has had 2 professional photographers and me as Wikipedian. Jury evaluates submissions using a software provided by international organizers. Awarding will take place in August and because of COVID-19 restrictions will most probably not be organized as a ceremony like in the past. It is believed that sufficient spotlight can be provided solely by the online announcements of the winners.

4. For photo contests, what is the strategy to get images used on projects?

Volunteers of Romanian Wikipedia (mainly Tolea93 and me) are regularly adding images to articles in Romanian language. There is also a good categorization on commons: c:Category:Protected areas of Moldova, and the image and Commons category properties are regularly updated on Wikidata items with new submissions.

5. Are you running any in-person events or activities? If so, you will need to complete the steps outlined on the Risk Assessment protocol related to COVID-19. When you have completed these steps, please provide a link to your completed copy of the risk assessment tool below:

No in-person events or activities are planned.

6. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?

The project is organized within Wikimedians of Romania and Moldova User Group, but since all its members – except the organizer of WLE Moldova – are in Romania, the grant is written in the name of the Moldovan side, to avoid exchange fees and unnecessary financial work.
I will further use this space to 1) describe the conclusions of the aforementioned Google Forms that past participants and partners, as well as potential new participants and partners, have completed; 2) describe a photo expedition we'd like to organize to obscure protected areas of Moldova

Survey results. A total of 14 people responded.

  1. First question collected respondents' usernames and/or names
  2. Who are you in respect to WLE Moldova? 8 are past participants of WLE Moldova. 5 are past partners of the contest.
  3. Are you a professional photographer? 3 said Yes, 11 said No.
  4. Have you visited any protected areas in Moldova in 2019–2020? 11 said Yes, 1 said No
  5. (this question was about Wiki Loves Monuments)
  6. On a scale of 0 to 3, how familiar are you with the list of protected areas of Moldova? Average: 1.9
  7. On a scale of 0 to 3, how do you feel about participating in another installment of WLE Moldova? Average: 2.4
  8. How many photos would you upload in the next installment of WLE Moldova? Based on the answers, their contribution would vary from 150 to 400+ uploaded images
  9. How many protected areas would you illustrate in the next installment of WLE Moldova? Based on the answers, their contribution would vary from 37 to 52+ illustrated protected areas
  10. Did you have any copyright-related issues during your experience at Commons? 1 person answered Yes
  11. On a scale of 0 to 3, how much do you feel WLE Moldova contributed to promoting protected areas of Moldova? Average: 2.4
  12. (this question was about Wiki Loves Monuments)
  13. (this question was about Wiki Loves Monuments)
  14. (this question was about Wiki Loves Monuments)
  15. (this question was about Wiki Loves Monuments)
  16. (this question was about Wiki Loves Monuments)
  17. This was an open-ended question about further suggestions on the topic. Several interesting ideas emerged:
    • to offer small grants to veteran participants to travel to protected areas and document them
    • to organize Wiki Loves Villages as well
    • to organize a contest with similar format based on Moldovan ethnography

One feedback was the idea to offer a small grant for experienced photographers to travel to protected areas and get encyclopedic photos of them. I decided to go ahead with this idea, and to explore it from the perspective of our most obscure protected areas. There are still a lot of sites that are registered as protected areas, most of them have articles on Wikipedia already, but there are still no images of them. There are several reasons of why certain protected areas did not get illustrated by the means of the contest itself:

  • It is not very spectacular. Most of the sites are protected not because of their outstanding good looks, but because of biodiversity, geologic importance, or in some cases the natural monuments simply deteriorated, e.g. due to erosion. These places do not attract tourists, so it is quite rare for usual participants of WLE to submit photos of them.
  • It is hard to reach. Many sites are located in secluded places such as deep forest, rough terrain, or simply vast agricultural terrains where no one goes except the workers.
  • It is unknown to the general public. From our experience, the majority of protected areas of Moldova are not known even by most of the people living in the nearby village or city. They are usually searched for by navigating the WLE list or map. Not a lot of WLE usual participants do that; usually they already have photos of a site and search for it in the list after the fact.

In 2017 and 2018, we organized photo expeditions. Their scope was initially to promote the contest through the country and provide a how-to example. It proved to be of far greater impact the fact that we were able to visit and document places like described above; if you'll look at the reports (link to 2017, link to 2018) you'll notice that the vast majority of covered areas only have photos from the expeditions.

So I contacted the person that gave the idea and after some discussion we found that there is an opportunity to organize yet another photo expedition, this time with the sole purpose of documenting obscure sites. Given the smaller scope, and partially the COVID situation, the only participant of the expedition will be this person. Botnaristefan is a professional photographer who had participated to WLE Moldova 2016 when he took 3rd place. He will travel by personal car through the country during multiple days for this expedition, and our agreement is that we can include fuel cost into the grant, while the rest of the expenditure (food, accommodation) will be covered by himself (he will use the opportunity to create artistic photos, non-Wiki, for his own portfolio).

The list of potential sites he would visit is given below. We hope that he will be able to visit and document about 70% of them (them rest being too far in the woods, or deteriorated, or with no time left to visit).

Group 1 (South-East) Group 2 (South) Group 3 (Center) Group 4 (North)
  1. Leuntea park. Coordinates: 46.6548°, 29.586123°
  2. Grădina Turcească landscape reserve. Coordinates: 46.689437°, 29.612801°
  3. Leuntea nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.693512°, 29.583311°
  4. Copanca nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.712686°, 29.581477°
  5. Misilindra nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.73054°, 29.469673°
  6. Suvorov water spring. Coordinates: 46.769659°, 29.470732°
  7. Fîrlădeni outcrop. Coordinates: 46.78321°, 29.391142°
  8. Purcari ravine. Coordinates: 46.553449°, 29.833545°
  9. Olănești nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.49774°, 29.95502°
  10. Togai swamp. Coordinates: 46.468311°, 30.011161°
  11. "Râpa de Piatră" (ravine). Coordinates: 46.441375°, 30.041937°
  12. Excavation site near Zaim. Coordinates: 46.626298°, 29.373498°
  13. Ravine of Sălcuța. Coordinates: 46.583166°, 29.265926°
  14. Taraclia ravine. Coordinates: 46.564796°, 29.129906°
  15. "Hîrtopul Moisei" nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.588069°, 28.955287°
  1. Outcrop near Văleni. Coordinates: 45.598789°, 28.164511°
  2. "Vadul lui Isac" nature reserve. Coordinates: 45.747438°, 28.269254°
  3. Flămînda nature reserve. Coordinates: 45.767916°, 28.281604°
  4. Fossil discovery site near Pelinei. Coordinates: 45.830082°, 28.307057°
  5. Cahul nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.038268°, 28.287765°
  6. Borceac forest. Coordinates: 46.054803°, 28.488707°
  7. Cantemir nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.277757°, 28.163415°
  8. "Lebăda albă" aquatic ecosystem. Coordinates: 46.490712°, 28.233873°
  9. Ostianova nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.469846°, 28.519014°
  10. Bugeac nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.391972°, 28.692888°
  11. "Vila Caracui" nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.677182°, 28.608455°
  12. "Coțofana" ravine. Coordinates: 46.694025°, 28.718798°
  13. Molești–Răzeni nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.768689°, 28.759923°
  14. Molești nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.777344°, 28.756848°
  15. Costești outcrop. Coordinates: 46.862412°, 28.8°
  1. Ravines of Văsieni. Coordinates: 46.968395°, 28.576388°
  2. Logănești nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.911297°, 28.504063°
  3. Hîncești forest. Coordinates: 46.845113°, 28.49453°
  4. Sărata Galbenă nature reserve (forest). Coordinates: 46.723516°, 28.406444°
  5. Sărata Galbenă nature reserve (medicinal plants site). Coordinates: 46.71393°, 28.392483°
  6. Pogănești nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.678361°, 28.228158°
  7. Dancu nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.751637°, 28.180825°
  8. Nemțeni nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.902481°, 28.090284°
  9. Water spring of Nemțeni. Coordinates: 46.922876°, 28.115564°
  10. Zberoaia–Lunca nature reserve. Coordinates: 46.965278°, 28.09°
  11. "Vila Nisporeni" landscape reserve. Coordinates: 47.009581°, 28.25793°
  12. "La Chetrărie" ravine. Coordinates: 47.144179°, 28.443947°
  1. "Iasnaia Poliana" park. Coordinates: 48.005661°, 27.807428°
  2. Water spring of Fîntînița. Coordinates: 48.105254°, 27.697493°
  3. Water springs of Cotova. Coordinates: 48.160462°, 27.952795°
  4. Zgurița ravine. Coordinates: 48.137184°, 28.010267°
  5. Băxani forest. Coordinates: 48.117433°, 28.072506°
  6. Outcrop near Redi-Cereșnovăț. Coordinates: 48.072744°, 28.318269°
  7. Bălțata forest. Coordinates: 47.944773°, 28.548263°
  8. Park of Cuhureștii de Sus. Coordinates: 47.929875°, 28.55787°
  9. Cuhurești forest. Coordinates: 47.916038°, 28.546343°
  10. Water spring near Zahorna. Coordinates: 47.795016°, 28.546244°
  11. Water spring of Sămășcani. Coordinates: 47.754844°, 28.701755°
  12. Water springs of Horodiște. Coordinates: 47.612969°, 28.944125°
  13. Pohrebeni landscape reserve. Coordinates: 47.562784°, 28.887376°
  14. Water springs of Izvoare. Coordinates: 47.549898°, 28.960771°

Calendar / scheduleEdit

  • April–May: Photo expedition
  • May: promoting through Facebook page, press release, and off-wiki media
  • June 1 – June 30: contest is running
  • July 1 – July 20: members of the jury are selecting their favorite submissions
  • July 21 – July 27: members of the jury gather to decide on the best 10 images
  • July 28 – July 31: the local results are announced and are sent to international team as international submissions
  • August 1 – August 8: awarding prizes to the winners
  • afterwards: all channels are used to promote the first Wiki Loves Monuments in Moldova


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets and feel free to add more:

The targets are as follows:

  • at least 2,000 photographies uploaded;
    • at least 300 images used in Wikipedia articles on different languages (there is an estimated average of 15% usable images in the articles, as many uploads come in batches with more detailed images than needed in an article, also a lot of images from past editions are already in use); the 'red list' of areas with an article in Romanian but no images is here;
  • 50 participants (photographers) with at least one upload
    • of which an estimate of 20 newcomers;
  • at least new 40 covered of the total of 471 monuments / protected areas (before the contest there were 208 items covered);
  • at least 800 photographies made during the photo expedition, for at least 40 protected areas.

Past goals and resultsEdit

For reference, please see our past results at Grants:Project/Rapid/Gikü/Wiki Loves Earth 2017 in Moldova / report and Grants:Project/Rapid/Gikü/Wiki Loves Earth 2018 in Moldova / report. Moldova was 21st/24 in the 2016 country rating, 12th/36 in 2017, and 14th/21 in 2017.

What will be improvedEdit

  • Prize categories will be restructured. Since there was poor or no traction in each of these categories, they will be canceled: "Prize for the writing contest", "Best wildlife photography", "Best birdwatching photography".
    • A volume-driven prize will be added: "Largest number of monuments covered by a single uploader", by the example of Wiki Loves Monuments 2020 in Romania.
    • Lottery prize will be extended to three winners, to motivate more non-professional individuals.
  • Prizes will be diversified.
    • A new bonus prize will be added to some of the categories, which is a virtual prize (online backup subscription).
    • Personalized gifts will be offered in the form of custom made postcards with participant's featured work(s).
    • Jury will also receive gifts in the form of postcards with winner pictures
  • Links to WLE campaign upload will be added to all the lists of protected areas, not just WLE off-mainspace lists – e.g. ro:Lista monumentelor naturii de tip geologic sau paleontologic din Republica Moldova.
  • Targeted posts will be posted from contest's FB page for each district of Moldova, inviting them to join the contest and offering them specific ideas of areas to take photo of, from their region. In 2018 this did not work too well because I had a location filter set up for all of those posts, and only people physically located in, say, Cahul District could see the announcement – ignoring people originating from Cahul but living in the capital.
  • A narrow-scoped photo expedition will be organized for obscure sites.

The following table displays what are the goals of 2016/2017/2018 vs. 2021, and the total results of 2016/2017/2018 for reference of past effectiveness:

Metric 2016 2017 2018 2021
planned actual planned actual planned actual planned
No. of uploaded images 3,000  N 553   2,000  N 1,737   2,500  N 1,073   2,000
Images used in articles 300  N ± 190   300  Y ± 476   350  N ± 232   300
No. of participants (photographers) 30  N 25 (17 valid)   30  Y 62 (54 valid)   50  N 37 (28 valid)   50
No. of newcomers 20  N 15   20  Y 49   30  N 25   20
No. of new items covered 50  Y 63   50  Y 88   50  Y 61   40
Photos from photo-expedition (N/A) (N/A) 100  Y 300   450  Y 495   800
Covered areas during photo-expedition (N/A) (N/A) 10  Y 10   30  Y 36   40

Prize categoriesEdit

To diversify the prizes, a standard $60 prize will be instituted, and the winners can choose one of the following for that money:

  • gift certificate from the photography store
  • gift certificate from the outdoor sports store X-Style
  • 1-year unlimited online backup subscription at Backblaze

The table below lists all the prize categories. Participants who are awarded with a prize can't be awarded with a second one down in the list (exception: "Largest number of monuments covered by a single uploader" will be awarded to any participant regardless of their other winnings).

Category Prize
Main prize 2x $60 gifts
Second place prize $60 gift + $30 gift certificate from
Third place prize $60 gift
Largest number of monuments covered by a single uploader $60 gift
Best fresh image $60 gift
Lottery prizes (3) 10,000 mAh Power Banks
All winners and members of jury Set of 5 postcards, printed after the contest:
  • for winners (except Lottery): 5 postcards with their respective winning photography
  • for jury members: 5 postcards with winning pictures of all the categories above (except Lottery)


What resources do you have? Include information on who is organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

  • Organizer: yours truly, resuming the role for the 4th time.
  • Jury: 2 past winners (TBA)
  • Partners: TBA
  • I own the books of the Protected areas series published by the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. They are used as bibliographical material for the articles, and also for validating entries of the photo contest by having detailed descriptions of the sites and - often - descriptive images. They will be lent to Botnaristefan during his expedition to help navigation and identification.
  • During his expedition Botnaristefan will pay for his own meals and accommodation

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense and include a total amount.

The table below lists the items that need to be purchased in order to fulfill the project scope.
Item Number of units Price per unit (MDL) Price per unit (USD) Amount (USD) Comments
$60 gifts 6 1,054.13 60 360
500 MDL gift certificate from 1 500 28.4594 28.4594 Complementary for second place prize
Trust Primo Thin Power Bank 3 349 19.8647 59.5941 Lottery prizes
5x postcard sets + design services 5+2 ~150 ~1,050 59.7648 35 postcards in total, 5 different postcard designs
Fuel for the photo expedition 200 We don't know yet what car will be used; Botnaristefan is in the middle of switching cars. Mileage for diesel is about 8 liters per 100 km; LP gas is about 10 liters per 100 km. Current prices are 16 MDL for diesel and 11 MDL for LP gas. The estimated total distance, with backup, is 2,500 km. Remaining funds are to be returned.
Total 708
  • Note: USD amounts are based on exchange rates provided by Oanda on February 16 2021


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