Five Layers, Hossein Younesi | Environmental Photographer of the Year 2018

Winners of Environmental Photographer of the Year announced – how our planet looks in 2018

Energy & Climate Change, Natural Environment, Waste & Resources

Powerful imagery from the 2018 competition has been released, an effective catalyst for positive change

Winners announced! The captivating and thought-provoking photographs from The Environmental Photographer of the Year provide an insight into how our planet is looking in 2018.

This year, the competition received entries from 89 countries. They provide an insight into the current state of our environment and the livelihoods of people around the world.

These photographs remind us that we all live on the same planet and that the actions we take affect others around us. The emotive response they trigger from spectators makes them a powerful catalyst for positive change. They are also a reminder that there is always hope, and happiness to be found, even during the hardest of times.

2018 winning images

“End Floating” by Saeed Mohammadzadeh, Iran, winner of Environmental Photographer of the Year Prize 2018. The photo shows a ship sitting in salt in the Urmia Lake in Iran. Climate change is intensifying the droughts that speed up evaporation in the region. The lake has also been suffering from illegal wells and a proliferation of dams and irrigation projects causing it to reduce significantly in volume. Noxious, salt-tinged dust storms inflame the eyes, skin, and lungs of residents in surrounding areas. The drying up of the river, is destroying local habitats, due to the extreme salinity levels of 340 grams per litre, which is over eight times saltier than ocean water.

“Dryness” by Chinmoy Biswas, India, winner of Changing Climates Prize. A child is found sitting on dry land where the land is cracked and has scaled due to lack of water. Long dry spells can cause the ground to remain open underground even after they have visibly sealed on the surface.

“And life rises” by Younes Khani Someeh Soflaei, Iran, winner of Built Environment Prize. A woman and her little daughter are standing next to their damaged items recovered from the rubble of their house in Sarpol-e Zahab, following the devastating earthquake that hit the region in 2017 and killed over 600 people. A destroyed Mehr Residential Complex can be seen in the background.

“Bulrush” by Ümmü Kandilcioğlu, Turkey. Winner of the Sustainability in Practice Prize. The photograph shows a worker making straw from the reeds for a living.

“Happiness on a rainy day” by Fardin Oyan, Bangladesh. Winner of the Young Environmental Photographer of the Year. Bangladesh’s children are fond of a rainy day. They love to bath and play in rain. The country is flat and occupied by the huge Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, and is therefore exposed to floods, especially during monsoon season.

CIWEM’s vision is to build a safer and more sustainable world.

Terry Fuller, CIWEM Chief Executive and judge of the competition said,

“There is a finality about this year’s winning image that I find chilling. The water once used for many purposes has gone and the decaying state of the ship suggests that the water will not return. Why was this ship left stranded? Did the owners not know or believe that the water levels were declining, or did it happen so quickly that they did not have time to adapt?”

The competition is proudly sponsored by Olympus, a global, leading manufacturer of optical and digital precision technology.

Georgina Pavelin, Marketing Manager at Olympus UK, and judge of the competition said,

“I've judged many photo competitions and the level of work entered to this competition is fantastic; it was a tough day, not only in selecting winners from some excellent entries but also in such varied and emotional subject matters.”

Five photographs were also highly commended for the important environmental message they portray as well as the high quality of photography.

  • “Boulmigou The Paradise of Forgotten Hearts” by Antonio Aragón Renuncio, Burkina Faso
  • “Not in my forest” by Calvin Ke, Malaysia
  • “Save turtle” by Jing Li, Sri Lanka
  • “Floating life on river under pollution” by Tapan Karmakar, India
  • “Urban life in Singapore” by Thigh Wanna, Singapore

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