Life in the circle

Environment
Photography

Launched in 2007 by CIWEM, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition was created to enable photographers to share images of environmental and social issues with international audiences, and to enhance our understanding of the causes, consequences and solutions to climate change and social inequality.

It is now one of the fastest growing photographic competitions in the world. From over 10,000 works entered in 2014, a panel of judges selected the most contemporary, creative, resonant and original works by international photographers and filmmakers, for display at the Royal Geographical Society, London.

CIWEM’s Director of Membership and Development, Paul Horton, remarks: ‘William Albert Allard said “You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.” – which I believe sums up Environmental Photographer of the Year. Unless those pictures that no one else would take are taken, we will never see the reality of our world, we will never probe deeper and never ask the challenging questions that must be asked.’

The exhibition honours amateurs and professionals of all ages, and provides an opportunity for photographers to share images of environmental and social issues with international audiences, and to enhance our understanding of the causes, consequences and solutions to climate change and social inequality.

Winner of the Atkins City Scape Award 2014. Faisal Azim, Life in the circle, 2013.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

According to a government report, the total number of beggars across Bangladesh is now more than 900,000. This appears to contradict the right to life and freedom of movement which are guaranteed as fundamental rights by the Bangladeshi constitution. There are allegations of physical, mental and even sexual torture against people in shelter centres.

Toufic Beyhum, Supermarket, Himba, 2012.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

The small seaside resort of Swakopmund, on the coast of Namibia, lies silently shrouded in fog for much of the year. The population is a colourful mix of retired Germans, young natives and the Himba tribes people who have trekked down from the north, dressed in traditional garb. Its uniqueness lies in the massive dunes that line the coast, the bright paint work on the houses and the contrasts of the Himba tribeswomen walking topless through German supermarkets.

Roni Bintang, Ashes walk, 2013.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

Elementary school students walk amid fields covered by ash from an eruption of Sinabung Mountain, as they return home to Kuta Rakyat village. Mount Sinabung, on Sumatra Island in Indonesia, has been erupting since September 2013, covering the area with ash and forcing thousands of people to evacuate; at least 17 people lost their lives.

Prasanta Biswas, Rainwater collection, 2012.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

A shortage of drinking water is a regular problem for the rural people of Sundarban, West Bengal, India. The tropical climate has been affected by global warming, including increased temperature and precipitation, increased salinity and extreme weather events such as floods, cyclones and droughts

Antonio Busiello, Camp of shame, 2013.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

Campania, Italy, is one of the most polluted locations in the western world but has recently become home to a large Roma camp. It is now the most densely populated region of Italy, with over 5.8 million people living in the 5,247 square mile area.

Tuyet Trinh Do, Fishing net making in Mekong Delta, Vietnam, 2012.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

A group of women weave a fishing net in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, in preparation for the annual flooding of the river system. Fishing communities rely on this flooding to bring an influx of fish and shrimp to the region. In 2012, lower than average flood levels saw fish yields decrease by 40 per cent on the previous years’ yield.

Angelo Antonio Duarte, Fish death, 2013.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

The Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, located in a prime area of Rio de Janeiro, was once again the scene of an environmental disaster caused by the pollution of drains and rivers which surround the pond.

Md Shahnewaz Khan, Smash from the Grave, 2013.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

Bangladesh constructs approximately four million new houses annually to accommodate its growing population. It has over 6,000 authorized brick fields and numerous illegal ones. Most workers migrate from rural parts of the country and work six-seven months a year in a brick field. A worker earns around $800 per season.

Kevin Mcelvaney, Adam Latif, 21, 2013.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana is where illegal electronic waste trading routes find their end. For more than ten years, boys and girls, between the age of seven and 25, smash stones against old monitors, use old magnets to collect metal and burn cables for the copper. Agbogbloshie is one of the largest e-waste dumpsites in the world.

Taylor Weidman, Indigenous Munduruku Men Fight Construction of the Belo Monte Megadam 2, 2013.

Courtesy of Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year

An indigenous Munduruku man and member of the Federal Police argue during an occupation of the Belo Monte Dam near Altamira, Brazil. The Belo Monte is the first of a series of dams planned across the Amazon, and the Munduruku have come from the Tapajós River to protest against the construction. When complete, the Belo Monte will alter the ecosystem of more than 1,500 square km around the Xingu River.

Entries are now open for this year’s competition. Details can be found at www.epoty.org. An exhibition of shortlisted works will be on display at the Royal Geographical Society, London, from 22nd June– 3rd July 2015.