The winners of the 2022 Environmental Photographer of the Year have just been announced. Photographer Mehdi Mohebi Pour has won the top prize for his image ‘The Bitter Death of Birds’. The photograph depicts just three of the thousands of birds who died in the Miankaleh Lagoon, Iran, in 2021 due to water contamination.


It was chosen as the winning photograph for its surreal portrayal of the circular relationship between humans and wildlife, as well as its powerful communication of real environmental issues affecting our planet.

“It means the world to have won this prestigious award as photographing the climate, and showcasing the damage being caused is my biggest priority in life. I want people around the world to know about this sad event of the death of the birds as, if we do not reconsider our lifestyle and take care of the planet, this will soon happen in other countries,” said Mohebi Pour.

The Environmental Photographer Of The Year competition showcases some of the world’s most challenging and inspirational environmental photography.

In this gallery we bring you some of our stand-out images from the winners and long listed entries.

Overall Environmental Photographer of the Year winner

Dead flamingoes in shallow water
Between 2019 and 2021, thousands of birds died in the Miankaleh lagoon, Iran, due to the water being contamination with various toxins. This photo shows the efforts of the environmental forces in recovering the bodies of these unfortunate flamingoes, and cleaning up the lagoon. In 2022, the environmental efforts were successful, and the lagoon saw the return of many birds. Photo by Mehdi Mohebi Pour/Environmental Photographer of the Year

Adapting for tomorrow category winner

People swimming near wind turbines
A view of swimmers at Middelgrunden offshore wind farm, close to Amager Strand, a very popular beach in Copenhagen, Denmark. The wind farm landscape perfectly integrates with this very popular beach where local people go to sunbathe or play water sports. The wind farm was developed with a strong involvement of the local community in the planning phase. Photo by Simone Tramonte/Environmental Photographer of the Year

Keeping 1.5 alive category winner

aftermath of a chemical explosion
This image shows the aftermath of a chemical explosion and fire at a container depot at Sitakunda, Bangladesh, in June 2022. 49 people were confirmed dead in the blaze, and the mixing of chemicals in the air and water has since had a devastating effect on the environment. The explosion at the depot spilled plastic containers into the nearby river, where the chemical-laced water entered the local water supply. Photo by Subrata Dey/Environmental Photographer of the Year

Young Environmental Photographer of the Year winner

Flamingoes flying over lake
Lesser flamingoes photographed flying over Lake Magadi and Lake Natron in Kenya. The two water bodies were once a single freshwater lake, but now the two lakes are highly concentrated salt pans, severely alkaline and toxic to most forms of animal and plant life. The lesser flamingoes however are not affected by the toxins due to their biological makeup, and the birds love to feed on the algae that thrive on the surface. As beautiful as the colours may be, the different hues relate to the algae which change in colour as a result of reacting to the differing levels of the alkaline content of the lakes. Photo by Fayz Khan/Environmental Photographer of the Year

Vision of the future category winner

Worker tends to crops inside brightly-lit indoor farm
Officers maintain vegetable crops in a warehouse at Sentra Farm, West Java, Indonesia. Various vegetables, such as curly lettuce, romaine, oclave green, siiomak, kailan and others are cultured in a room where the light and temperature remain stable. The advantage of vertical farming is that it is free of pesticides, with a harvest period of only 30 days. The average vegetable yield at the facility is between 20 and 30kg per day. Photo by Arie Basuki/Environmental Photographer of the Year

Recovering nature category winner

Swimming pool being reclaimed by nature
An abandoned swimming pool, slowly being reclaimed by nature, is pictured in Pisa, Italy, in July 2021. Photo by Jonk Jimenez/Environmental Photographer of the Year


Flamingoes from above
A huge crowd of flamingos in Miankaleh, Iran, March 2022. Photo by Mehdi Mohebi Pour/Environmental Photographer of the Year


Brown derelict buildings merging from low water
An aerial view of the old village of Aceredo, Spain, which was buried in the 1990s by the waters of the Lindoso reservoir, but became visible again due to the historic drought affecting Europe in 2022. In especially dry years, parts of the old village of Aceredo would appear, but never before has the skeleton of the village emerged in its entirety. Photo by Lorenzo Brais/Environmental Photographer of the Year


Aerial view of lake and trees that looks like an eye
An aerial view of a small lake, hidden within the woods of Suwałki, Poland. The lake and its surroundings form the shape of an eye, perhaps symbolising that the nature is looking into us constantly. Photo by Maciej Krzanowski/Environmental Photographer of the Year


Yaks on Mount Everest
Yaks, loaded with gas canisters and supplies, rest at the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal. Photo by Nigel Wallace-Iles/Environmental Photographer of the Year

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Green square ponds in desert from above
Bolivia's YLB industrial lithium production plant pumps lithium-rich brine into these large evaporation pools on the southern edge of the Salar de Uyuni, where it is left to evaporate for many months. Lithium is the core component of modern batteries, and demand for it is growing worldwide. Photo by Matjaz Krivic/Environmental Photographer of the Year


Machine on top of piles of garbage
The decomposition of waste in city landfills causes air pollution and can release methane under high temperature, which can lead to fire. To avoid these unwanted environmental hazards, the Municipal Corporation of Cooch Behar, India, installed 'trommel' machines to bio mine the solid waste. The machine removes plastics, sand, and metals from the garbage, which is then recycled. The other waste is converted into organic manure and growth stimulators. Photo by Sujan Sarkar/Environmental Photographer of the Year


Person fixing solar panel to house roof
Joeward installs a solar panel on the roof of his house in San Jose Del Monte Bulacan, The Philippines, in a bid to decrease his energy costs. Photo by Gaeus Lazar Osilao/Environmental Photographer of the Year


clothes wash up on beach aerial image
Thousands of discarded fast fashion waste washed up on the coast of Jamestown in Accra, Ghana. Discarded and unwanted clothes, imported as secondhand garments mainly from industrialised nations, regularly wash up on beaches in Accra, choking fish. The vast bulk of the cheap mass-produced clothes arrive in Ghana as waste and are therefore unsellable. Landfilled, they decompose and emit methane gas, worsening the climate crisis. Photo by Muntaka Chasant/Environmental Photographer of the Year


Man climbing wind turbine
Will Fancher, a rope access supervisor, conducts routine maintenance on a turbine blade at the Block Island Wind Farm, Rhode Island, USA. Photo by Neil Ever Osborne/Environmental Photographer of the Year

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James CutmorePicture Editor, BBC Science Focus

James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs