Each year, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) holds a competition to showcase the best environmental photography from around the globe. The contest seeks to inspire people to start thinking and caring about the planet and is open to professional and amateur photographers of all ages.
The photos this year focus on pollution, climate change, and humans’ complicated relationship with the Earth.
“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,” read a release for the contest. “They are also a reminder that there is always hope, and happiness to be found, even during the hardest of times.”
Here are some of the best photographs from the 2018 Environmental Photographer of the Year contest
Captions have been condensed and edited for clarity.
Environmental Photographer of the Year 2018 winner: “End Floating” by Saeed Mohammadzadeh (Iran, 2017)
“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.”
Changing Climates Prize 2018 winner: “Dryness” by Chinmoy Biswas (India, 2018)
“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.”
Built Environment Prize 2018 winner: “And Life Rises” by Younes Khani Someeh Soflaei (Iran, 2017)
“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.”
Sustainability in Practice Prize 2018 winner: “Bulrush” by Ümmü Kandilcioğlu (Turkey, 2017)
“The photograph shows a worker making straw from the reeds for a living.”
Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2018 winner: “Happiness on a Rainy Day” by Fardin Oyan (Bangladesh, 2017)
“Bangladesh’s children are fond of a rainy day. They love to bath and play in the rain. The country is flat and occupied by the huge Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, and is therefore exposed to floods, especially during monsoon season.”
Highly Commended: “Boulmigou The Paradise of Forgotten Hearts” by Antonio Aragón Renuncio (Burkina Faso, 2017)
“Children playing on old tires that will be burned to warm the rock and make it more brittle in the polluted quarry of Boulmigou. This process has terrible consequences: fires, respiratory diseases, groundwater contamination, and brutal pollution that destroys the environment and leads to death.”
Highly Commended: “Save Turtle” by Jing Li (Sri Lanka, 2018)
“We found a young turtle caught in a net bag when we were searching for whales in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. The turtle was flapping its wings for help. A free-diver saved the turtle.”
Highly Commended: “Not in My Forest” by Calvin Ke (Malaysia, 2018)
“One million plastic bottles are produced every minute, and over 90% are not recycled. This plastic waste pollutes our environment, reaching even the remote jungles of Borneo, Malaysia, where I saw this southern pig-tailed macaque. The watchful monkey clutched a discarded bottle, examining and tasting it before sinking into this expressive pose.”
Highly Commended: “Urban Life in Singapore” by Thigh Wanna (Singapore, 2017)
“About 80% of the people in Singapore live in high-rise apartment buildings. Air pollution remains a significant problem in a number of Asian locations. Health facility provision is also a problem for many parts of the region.”
Highly Commended: “Floating life on river under pollution” by Tapan Karmakar (India, 2018)
“River pollution increases every day in India. This image shows the Buriganga River located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.”
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