Stunning photos raise awareness of issues like sustainable development, pollution and human rights.
The winners of the the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 competition have been announced. This contest provides an international showcase for the very best in environmental photography, by both amateurs and professionals. The competition aims to inspire a global audience to think differently about contemporary social and environmental issues, including sustainable development, pollution and human rights.
The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 is awarded to Sara Lindström for her picture ‘Wildfire’. Swedish-born Sara picked up photography while studying in South Africa, and is now based in the Canadian Rockies. Her projects have seen her travel across more than 50 countries, capturing the beauty of the more remote corners of the earth.
Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 winner: Sara Lindström, Wildfire, 2015 / Banff. “It was an exceptionally warm day in July in southern Alberta when I came across this massive pinkish smoke plume rising high towards the sky. The big flames were thriving on the dry land and had me completely mesmerised in fear and awe.”
Luke Massey has been named the Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 for his photograph of peregrines on an urban balcony in Chicago. Described by naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham as an ‘exceptional young man’, Luke dedicates his photographic skills to drawing attention to the plight of wildlife under threat.
Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016: Luke Massey, Bird’s Eye View, 2015 / Chicago. “Peregrines were wiped out in Illinois in the 1960s but in the 1980s a reintroduction programme began and now 22 pairs nest in Chicago alone. One pair have chosen a condo balcony as their nest site and in 2015 I followed them as they raised four chicks to fledging.”Luke Massey/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Indian photojournalist SL Kumar Shanth collects the Atkins Built Environment Award 2016 for ‘Losing Ground to Manmade Disaster’, which depicts the damage being wrought on the coastline at Chennai, the biggest metropolis in Southern India, by a combination of man-made and natural forces.
Atkins Built Environment Award 2016: SL Shanth Kumar, Losing Ground to Manmade Disaster, 2015 / Chennai. “This picture, taken in Chennai, the biggest metropolis of South India and the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu, shows the type of damage that a combination of man-made and natural forces is wreaking on the coastline. Untreated chemical effluents from factories make for the sort of foamy substance that has fatal consequences for coastal and marine flora, which are instrumental in protecting the coastline from erosion. Without their protection, the natural forces that cause erosion – wave and current activity, storms and tides – have an unbroken run of the coastline.”SL Shanth Kumar,/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
The CIWEM Changing Climate Award 2016 is presented to Sandra Hoyn for her moving photograph ‘Life Jackets on the Greek Island of Lesbos’. Hoyn, a German photojournalist, concentrates on social, environmental and human rights issues. Her winning photograph depicts the discarded life vests used by refugees to cross to Greece from Turkey, and hints at the enormity of the crises and dangers faced by the refugees.
CIWEM Changing Climate Award 2016: Sandra Hoyn, Life Jackets on the Greek Island of Lesbos, 2016 / Lesbos. “Life vests, inner tubes and rubber rafts on the Greek island of Lesbos, the basic equipment that thousands of refugees have used to cross to Greece from Turkey.”Sandra Hoyn/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Pedram Yazdani wins the Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award 2016 for his arresting work ‘Sand’. “The Salt Lake Urmia could be a symbol of what will happen soon to Iran – it is going to be dried out”, explains Yazdani. “The biggest salt lake in the Middle East, it now contains only 10% of the original amount of water, as a result both of climate change, and of dam and well construction.”
Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award 2016: Pedram Yazdani, Sand. “The Salt Lake Urmia could be a symbol of what will happen soon to Iran – it is going to be dried out.”Pedram Yazdani/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
These images will be among 60 works on display at the Royal Geographical Society in London from 29 June to 21 August 2016. The exhibition will then tour to Grizedale Forest in the Lake District from 3 September 2016 until 1 January 2017. IBTimes UK presents a selection of the shortlisted images.
Ray Toh, Needle of the Sea, Qatar. “An iconic building in Qatar commonly known as Burj Qatar. During the change in season from Summer to Winter or Winter to Summer; the city will be covered with fog. One morning, the tip of this building penetrated through the sea of fog like a lighthouse out at sea.”Ray Toh/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Pooyan Shadpoor, Houcheraghi, 2015 / Iran. “While walking along the shore of Larak – an island in the Persian Gulf – I came across this luminous scene. The magical lights of the plankton enchanted me so that I snapped the shot.”Pooyan Shadpoor/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Richard Sidey, Pearl Farm, Manihiki Atoll, 2015 / Manihiki, Cook Islands. “A black pearl farm viewed from above, built atop a coral bommie and one of dozens constructed in Manihiki’s beautiful and productive lagoon in the Cook Islands.”Richard Sidey/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Raju Ghosh, Pollution in a foundry, 2016 / Howrah. “I took this photo in a crucible casting foundry in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. These small foundries have no precautions to prevent air pollution, and the workers do not wear proper protective gear.”Raju Ghosh/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Stepan Rudyk, The Mannequin Factory, 2016 / Istanbul, Turkey. “The workers in these factories do not have masks on their faces, so every day they inhale paint fumes. People work many hours per day without a break, and there are no rules and no rights in such workplaces.”Stepan Rudyk/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Andre Malerba, Gold and Gun Disease 4, 2015 / Mandalay Region, Myanmar. “Ko Maw Gyi, a former miner, holds up his x-ray to show the lung infection he has suffered from for close to two years. He says that he is infected with “gun disease,” a local name for a disease caused by breathing in rock dust created by pneumatic drills, and may have also contracted tuberculosis as well. He experienced exhaustion, severe weight loss, difficulty breathing, fever and night sweats. After being treated for TB with two courses of medication his fever and night sweats vanished. However, he is still unable to gain weight and cannot breathe properly or work due to continued weakness.”Andre Malerba/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016
Faisal Azim, Gravel Workmen, 2015 / Chittagong, Bangladesh. “The gravel-crushing site is full of dust and sand. The place is unhealthy for working but still people work here to survive.”Faisal Azim/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Davoud Ameri, The place I lost my leg, 2015 / Iran. “The Iran-Iraq war. The place I lost my leg. Perhaps the same tank.”Davoud Ameri/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Timur Karpov, Aralkum landscape, 2015 / Uzbekistan, Aral Sea. “The exposed bed of the Aral Sea, covered with toxic salt dust. This is a landscape of degradation and despair that followed a failed utopia. Soviet designs to turn Central Asia into a giant cotton field – and reclaim huge swathes of land for agriculture and urban development – depleted two great rivers that flowed into the Aral Sea, an Ireland-sized shallow lake in the heart of region. Most of the sea dried up, and what replaced it has become one of the world’s youngest and most toxic deserts.”Timur Karpov/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Konstantinos Stergiopoulos, Waste disposal gone wrong, 2016 / Nicosia, Cyprus. “A dead pig inside a rubbish bin, depicting the conditions of waste disposal in farms on the outskirts of Nicosia.”Konstantinos Stergiopoulos/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Steve Morgan, Floods on Boxing Day – Hebden Bridge, 2015 / West Yorkshire, UK. “On Boxing Day 2015, floods came to Hebden Bridge, a thriving ex-mill town in the Calder Valley , West Yorkshire. Flood sirens echoed around the valley at 7.30am, alerting sleeping residents to the rising waters about to engulf the town.”Steve Morgan/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Adrián Domínguez, WeLand (series), 2016 / Spain. “La Vijanera is a Cantabrian custom where characters represent the nature of the environment, mores and beliefs. The first carnival of the year in Europe is a colourful masquerade in which around 75 different characters play with identity and symbolism.”Adrián Domínguez/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Ruben Salgado Escudero, Solar Portraits India, 2015 / India. “In India’s state of Odisha, villagers trap fish using cone-shaped baskets and solar light. Fewer than half of Odisha’s 42 million residents use grid electricity. Roughly 1.1 billion people in the world live without access to electricity, and close to a quarter of them are in India. The portrait was set up using solar lights as the only source of illumination.”Ruben Salgado Escudero/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Eric Madeja, Seaweed Farming, 2015 / Bum Bum Island, Semporna, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. “Seaweed farming has been heavily promoted to be an alternative, stable and sustainable income for fisherman in the Semporna region, taking pressure off the overfished reefs.”Eric Madeja/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Larry Louie, Geothermal Energy, 2016 / Iceland. “Over 90% of the homes in Iceland are heated by geothermal energy and powered by hydro electricity. With the effects of global warming, rapidly melting glaciers in Iceland are providing an incredible amount of hydro energy. But the harvesting of power from Mother Nature is not without environmental consequences.”Larry Louie/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Oksana Lefimenko, Water lilies, 2016 / Kharkiv, Ukraine. “I took this picture while walking along the bank of one of Kharkiv rivers. These three bottles drew my attention as they looked very much like flowers.”Oksana Lefimenko/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
YT Haryono, Fire Burned Forest In Riau, 2015 / Rimbo Panjang, Kampar, Riau Province, Sumatra. “A member of the Indonesian military uses swimming goggles in an area of burned forest at Rimbo Panjang Village, Kampar, Riau. During Indonesia’s annual dry season, hundreds of fires are often illegally ignited to clear forests. The heavy smoke can shroud neighbouring Singapore and Malaysian cities with smog and haze.”YT Haryono/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Sudipta Dutta Chowdhury, Life in Boiler, 2016 / Kashba, Kolkata, West Bengal. “Unloading of finished product in the morning. These units burn and boil shaving dust (byproduct of finished leather products), flesh linings and trimmings to make fertiliser and fish feed. The furnaces belch out thick smoke day in and day out, contributing to Kolkata’s poor air quality.”Sudipta Dutta Chowdhury/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Björn Vaughn, Slamet the Survivor, 2015 / Kalimantan Tengah/Central Borneo, Indonesia. “Slamet is a builder in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. All construction work has stopped due rampant peat fires blanketing the region in a toxic smog. He casts his net into a polluted canal, hoping to make a catch. ‘Better a dirt fish than no fish at all,’ he says.”Björn Vaughn/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Sandra Hoyn, A Place on the Train, 2016 / Tongi, Bangladesh. “People try to get a place on the roof of the train after the end of the Biswa Ijtema, a huge Muslim gathering in Tongi, Bangladesh.”Sandra Hoyn/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Sean Gallagher, Beijing: The Masked City, 2015 / Beijing, China. “A young couple, Kelly Lu and Yanding Li, hold hands during a walk through Beijing’s Olympic Park. “I’m pretty sad about this. It’s worse and worse”, explains Li. “I think the pollution is bad for our health. The PM2.5 damages our lungs we don’t have any choice”, he laments. “I left China two and half years ago. Then it wasn’t so bad. I’ve been abroad. I know what’s good [air] and what’s bad. Young people care more than old people. We have more information. We know how bad it is.”Sean Gallagher/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Susana Girón, Transhumance in Spain, 2015 / Cañada Real Cazorla – Ubeda (Jaen, Spain). “The Alarcon family herd their livestock from their home in Fatima (Granada) to Las Navas de San Juan (Jaen). This long distance of 200km by foot with more than 550 sheep looking for the best grass in winter and summer is made every year by more than 100 Spanish families.”Susana Girón/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Jonathan Fontaine, The worst drought in 50 years, 2016 / Afar region / Ethiopia. “A baby on a camel and his family decided to move their camp 10 kilometres to be closer to a river where there is some water left. Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years as the direct result of El Niño. 75 percent of harvests have been lost, a million livestock have died, and 10 to 15 million people require emergency humanitarian food assistance, with 430,000 children experiencing severe malnutrition.”Jonathan Fontaine/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Luc Forsyth, The Plateau, 2016 / Zado, Tibet (Qinghai, China). “Buddhist monks play basketball on a court in their mountainside monastery in Zado, Tibet (Qinghai, China). Despite the light covering of snow, the monks report increasingly warmer winter temperatures each year and a general reduction in quantities of fresh water on the Tibetan plateau.”Luc Forsyth/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Shantanu Das, Road or Swimming Pool, 2015 / Mumbai. “Some youngsters at King’s circle in Mumbai decided it was futile to try and walk through waterlogged streets, and took to swimming instead, while some others thought the only way to stay afloat was to get on top of a public bus.”Shantanu Das/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Antonio Busiello, Sinking Venice, 2016 / Venice. “Most recent studies prove that Venice is slowly sinking. Overall sea levels are rising in response to climate change everywhere in the world but the impact on Venice is worse than every other city. According to a report, by 2100 Venice will be flooded up to 250 times a year.”Antonio Busiello/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Christian Aslund, Dead End #03, 2015 / Arctic Ocean, Greenland. “Underwater split image of a seismic blasting operation off northeast Greenland. The process involves firing airguns that emit 259-decibel blasts towards the seabed in order to identify possible oil and gas reservoirs. Above water, humans would perceive this sound intensity approximately eight times louder than a jet engine taking off.”Christian Aslund/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Jennifer Adler, Hope, 2015 / Mill Sink, Florida. “In this small sinkhole, clear only during the dry season, soft sunlight rushes through the canopy over 100 feet above, painting the water with light and greenish hues. Sinkholes and springs dot Florida’s karst landscape, creating direct connections to the aquifer that supplies drinking water to the majority of Floridians.”Jennifer Adler/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Arnab Adak, Mainstream for a day, 2015 / India. “Transgenders in India dress up as brides to get married to Lord Aravan, a Hindu deity, and widowed the next day during a ritual. This is the day when, for once, those who are otherwise marginalised become part of the mainstream. Even though the highest judicial forum of the country granted them recognition as third category of gender, they are yet to get complete acceptance and recognition of the class socially.”Arnab Adak/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Mustafa Abdul Hadi, Behind the Taj Mahal, 2015 / Agra, India. “A man searching in garbage at sunrise from behind the Taj Mahal.”Mustafa Abdul Hadi/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)
Guy Bell, Hydroponics at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea Hospital, London UK, “The future of food? Hydroponic plants on the Rocket Science stand are being developed for use in space and as one of the many ways to feed an ever expanding population here on Earth.”Guy Bell/Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016)