Gallery: Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016

Images of discarded life jackets from refugees crossing the Mediterranean, waste pickers in the shadow of the Taj Mahal and a sign of the lack of waste management on farms in Cyprus are among the 60 photos selected by the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year competition, which will be exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Over 10,000 photos were submitted for this year’s competition, which is open to both amateurs and professionals. Launched by the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) in 2007, it aims to inspire a global audience to think differently about contemporary social and environmental issues, including sustainable development, pollution and human rights. 

Five photographs and one short film have received awards and will be displayed along with the other 60 shortlisted works in London from 29 June to 21 August this year. The exhibition will then tour to Girzedale Forest, supported by Forestry Commission England, from 3 September until 1 January 2017.

The judges were seeking pictures that showed ‘the dynamic link between environmental and social issues in a way that makes us think differently about the world around us’, with submissions being assessed on the following qualities: impact, creativity, originality, composition, relevance and technical quality.

The winners and some of the shortlisted entries have been listed below, accompanied by statements given by photographers and members of the associated organisations.

Environmental Film of the Year 2016

An award for Environmental Film of the Year 2016 was also awarded to Sergiu Jiduc for his film ‘The Karkoram Anomaly Project, Pakistan’. The film documents the surging glaciers that can be seen in the world’s highest mountain range, and the subsequent devastation that is caused by glacial lake outburst floods, where a dam containing a lake fails.

Jiduc draws attention to a climatic anomaly that has led to tsunami-size waves devastating the landscape and settlements of the remote region and taking the lives of the local Balti people. The judges praised the film for showing a scientific understanding of a critical issue while also developing a ‘sincerely empathetic humanitarian stance’.

Jiduc stated that the research within his film “…could help gauge the future availability of water for hundreds of millions of people as well as to provide insights on how glaciers will change in the future. But, most importantly, mapping and quantifying the risk of GLOFs (glacial lake outburst floods) in the area could save thousands of lives.” 

More information about the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition can be found on the CIWEM website.