CIWEM and WaterBear present The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

CIWEM and WaterBear present The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021 in partnership with Nikon Europe

The 2021 competition is now open at

CIWEM, WaterBear, and Nikon have launched the search for The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021. Now in its 14th year, this annual competition showcases the most inspirational environmental photography from around the world. The award celebrates humanity’s ability to survive and innovate and showcases thought-provoking images that call attention to our impact and inspire us to live sustainably.

The competition is free to enter for all ages. Professional and amateur photographers alike are invited to submit their most provocative, emotive and captivating environmental photography. Participants will be competing for cash awards and prizes across 8 categories, and for the top award of The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021.

As part of the Road to the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) and United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021 provides an international platform to raise awareness for the environmental issues that put our planet at risk. The winning photographs will be announced at COP 26.

“As the world looks forward to the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) and United Nations Climate Change Conference, it is essential that we advocate for a low-carbon way of living and stress the importance of adapting to a changed climate. There is no more powerful way to do this than through imagery. In such an important year, CIWEM is determined that the 2021 EPOTY competition is more impactful than it has ever been before”, said Terry Fuller, Chief Executive of CIWEM.

The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021 features a new set of categories this year, including:

  1. Environmental Photographer of the Year
  2. Young Environmental Photographer of the Year - Nikon Award
  3. Environments of the Future
  4. Sustainable Cities
  5. Climate Action
  6. Water and Security
  7. The Resilient Award
  8. People’s Choice

Sam Sutaria, Head of Strategy at WaterBear said “WaterBear is thrilled to be bringing The Environmental Photographer of the Year to audiences around the world in partnership with CIWEM and Nikon Europe. To showcase the power of this storytelling, WaterBear is proud to collaborate with Nikon Europe and CIWEM, bringing a legacy of documentary storytelling and impact to this highly esteemed competition.”

Julian Harvie, Head of Marketing for Nikon Northern Europe said, “In the hands of the World's greatest photographers, Nikon has been at the heart of many of the most important stories told over the course of the last century. Empowering photographers and videographers to seek out those moments, realise their creative vision and illuminate the ineffable has long been central to our brand's purpose. Climate change and the protection of our environment are the most important stories of our time. We are delighted, therefore, to be able to support this incredible award alongside CIWEM and WaterBear, reaffirming the power of photography to change the world.'

This year’s collaboration between WaterBear, Nikon Europe and CIWEM is empowered by the media reach and storytelling capabilities of the WaterBear platform and global network and the specialist expertise of CIWEM and Nikon.

WaterBear’s unique approach to storytelling connects the competition with an engaged, conscious millennial and Gen Z audience who visit the platform to watch, connect and take action. Nikon Europe harnesses the power of photography, videography and visual creativity alongside a legacy of more than 100 years to inspire storytelling for all generations. CIWEM’s community of environmental professionals support the urgent calls to action of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and recognise the intricate interconnected nature of development, poverty reduction, equality, security and climate action.

The year’s competition also has the continued support of Arup. As a leading global firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists, Arup is helping raise the profile of the innovative and impactful ways in which climate and ecological challenges are being addressed. The Environmental Photographer of the Year is a call to all sectors of society to address the defining issues of our time.

To learn more, enter, and for full details on The Environmental Photographer of the Year competition rules and prizes visit Entries close on 31 July 2021 and winners will be announced at COP26 in November 2021.



For more information contact:

Poppy Mason-Watts (WaterBear) Phone: +31 6 11680172 Email:

Jane Boland (CIWEM) Phone: +44 (0)207 2695831 Email:

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:

Click here for App store / Click here for Google Play


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

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

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