Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021 winners

Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021 Winners revealed at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

Glasgow, Scotland, 8th November 2021

CIWEM and Waterbear have announced the Environmental Photographer Of The Year 2021 competition’s winners at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) alongside Nikon Europe and Arup. Now in its 14th year, the Environmental Photographer Of The Year competition showcases some of the world’s most inspirational environmental photography. The annual competition provides an international platform to raise awareness for the environmental issues that put our planet at risk.

Spanish photographer Antonio Aragón Renuncio has won the top prize of Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021 for his photo titled “The rising tide sons”, which shows a child sleeping inside his house destroyed by coastal erosion on Afiadenyigba beach in Togo. The photo shines a spotlight on the rising sea-levels in West-African countries, which has forced thousands of people to leave their homes.

The Young Environmental Photographer of the Year was awarded to Amaan Ali from India, for his work titled "Inferno" showing a boy fighting surface fires in a forest near his home in Yamuna Ghat, New Delhi, India.

Additional winners were recognised in 5 categories:

  • Environments of the Future: Flood, Michele Lapini, 2020
    • A house is submerged by the flooding of the River Panaro in the Po Valley due to heavy rainfall and melting snow. [Modena, Italy]

  • Sustainable Cities: Net-Zero transition - Photobioreactor, Simone Tramonte, 2020
    • A photobioreactor at Algalif ’s facilities produces sustainable astaxanthin products. Iceland has shifted from fossil fuels to 100% of electricity and heat from renewable sources. [Reykjanesbaer, Iceland]

  • Climate Action: The Last breath, Kevin Ochieng Onyango, 2021
    • A boy takes in air from the plant, with a sand storm brewing in the background. This is an impression of the changes to come. [Nairobi, Kenya]

  • Water and Security: Green barrier, Sandipani Chattopadhyay, 2021
    • Irregular monsoon seasons and droughts cause algal bloom on the Damodar river. Algal blooms prevent light from penetrating the surface and prevent oxygen absorbtion by the organisms beneath, impacting human health and habitats in the area. [West Bengal, India]

  • The Resilient Award: Survive for alive, Ashraful Islam, 2021
    • Flocks of sheep search for grass amongst the cracked soil. Extreme droughts in Bangladesh have created hardships for all living beings. [Noakhali, Bangladesh]

The voting for the People’s Choice Award opens later today to the public via social media. To vote please visit The Environmental Photographer of the Year on Instagram and vote before 1st December 2021.


Jane Boland (CIWEM) | Phone: +44 (0)207 2695831 | Email: jane.boland@ciwem.org

Clara Zerbib (WaterBear) | Phone: +31 6 25423365 | Email: clarazerbib@waterbear.com

About CIWEM:

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is a Royal Chartered independent professional body and a registered charity in the United Kingdom working internationally to advance the practice of water and environmental management. CIWEM represents a community of 30,000 professionals with a shared vision for a safe and sustainable world. For more information, visit www.ciwem.org.

About WaterBear:

WaterBear is the first network of its kind: a free interactive video and digital platform dedicated to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It does this through inspirational content, cutting-edge technology that facilitates action, and through its global network of partners. It uniquely empowers the viewer to take direct instant action to support NGOs around the world and shape a better future for our fragile planet. Download WaterBear from the app store or head to:https://waterbear.com

About Nikon Europe:

Nikon is a world-leading provider of imaging products and services. Its innovative optics technology – from consumer to professional cameras, lenses to system accessories – is powered by over 100 years of experience. The brand is globally recognised for setting new standards in design and performance, with Nikon’s revolutionary Z series mirrorless cameras and NIKKOR Z lenses representing a new dimension of optical performance. Nikon is committed to leading imaging culture and enables some of the world’s best visual artists to reach their creative potential through storytelling. Its award-winning equipment empowers photographers and videographers to realise their creative vision at the highest level. As a trusted visionary partner, Nikon unites all levels of content creators through its engaged community, unrivalled technical expertise and access to educational resources, via initiatives such as The Nikon School. For more information visit www.europe-nikon.com

About Arup:

Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. Working in more than 140 countries, the firm’s designers, engineers, architects, planners, consultants and technical specialists work with our clients on innovative projects of the highest quality and impact. www.arup.com

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