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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”