Hero 6. Water and Security - Green barrier, Sandipani Chattopadhyay, 2021

Rising tides: Environmental photography award winners announced

Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021 Competition Winners revealed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Spanish photographer Antonio Aragón Renuncio has won the coveted 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 Ghana. The photo shines a spotlight on the rising sea-levels in West-African countries, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes.

Advertisement

The winners were announced during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

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.

This year’s competition was organised by environmental and water management charity CIWEM (a free streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet) WaterBear and Nikon.

Overall winner – The rising tide sons

A child sleeps on the floor of his house about to collapse, destroyed by coastal erosion on Afidegnigba beach. Sea levels off the coast of Togo and other West African countries continue to rise and swallow up everything in their path. Homes, crops, roads, trees, schools, jobs, resources… lives. However, the shore of this small country in the Gulf of Guinea is only one part of the massive problem that affects more than 8,000 kilometers of seacoast in 13 West African countries. Punished by global warming, rising sea levels are forcing the ocean floor to readjust by removing sediment from the coast and washing it away from the shore. This causes marine erosion capable of devouring dozens of meters of land each year. As a result of this environmental global problem, thousands of people (mainly women and children) have already forced to leave their homes and migrate inland in search of food, shelter and to avoid a certain death… Many thousands more await their inexorable future... That next rising tide that takes everything away.
A child sleeps on the floor of his house about to collapse, destroyed by coastal erosion on Afidegnigba beach, western Ghana. Sea levels off the coast of Togo and other West African countries continue to rise and swallow up everything in their path. Homes, crops, roads, trees, schools, jobs, resources and lives. However, the shore of this small country in the Gulf of Guinea is only one part of the massive problem that affects more than 8,000km of seacoast in 13 West African countries.  The rising tide sons by Antonio Aragón Renuncio, 2019. By courtesy of the photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

Young Environmental Photographer of the Year winner

2. Young Environmental Photographer of the Year - Inferno, Amaan Ali, 2021
A boy fighting surface fires in a forest near his home in Yamuna Ghat, New Delhi, India. According to locals, forest fires caused by human activity in the area are a common occurrence due to adverse living conditions. Inferno by Amaan Ali, 2021. By courtesy of the photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

The Resilient Award winner

The Resilient Award - Survive for alive, Ashraful Islam
Flocks of sheep search for grass amongst the cracked soil. Extreme droughts in Bangladesh have created hardships for all living beings. Survive for alive by Ashraful Islam, 2021. By courtesy of the photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

Sustainable Cities winner

A photobioreactor at Algalif facilities in Reykjanesbaer, Iceland. Algalif plant produces sustainable astaxanthin from micro-algae using 100% clean geothermal energy. In the Starvation Phase, the algae culture is exposed to UV light to cause stress conditions and induce astaxanthin synthesis. The proprietary lighting system enables Algalif to reduce overall energy consumption by 50%, in addition to providing for optimal microalgae growth, productivity and yield. The production methods allow for 0% water evaporation, while some manufacturers lose up to 20% of water per day. Algalif doesn’t have to cool, heat, or move water during our production process, allowing us to conserve water.
A photobioreactor at Algalif’s facilities in Reykjanesbaer, Iceland, produces sustainable astaxanthin (an antioxidant) using clean geothermal energy. Iceland has shifted from fossil fuels to 100 per cent renewable sources for their electricity and heating. Net-zero transition Photobioreactor by Simone Tramonte, 2020. By courtesy of the photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

Climate Action winner

A young boy takes in air from the plant in this symbolic image taken in Kenya, while a sand storm brews in the background. The last breath by Kevin Ochieng Onyango, 2021. By courtesy of the photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021
A young boy takes in air from the plant in this symbolic image taken in Kenya, while a sand storm brews in the background. The last breath by Kevin Ochieng Onyango, 2021. By courtesy of the photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

See more images from BBC Science Focus here:

Advertisement

Water and security winner

6. Water and Security - Green barrier, Sandipani Chattopadhyay, 2021
Irregular monsoon seasons and droughts cause algal bloom on the Damodar river, India. Algal blooms prevent light from penetrating the surface and prevent oxygen absorption by the organisms beneath, impacting human health and habitats in the area. Green barrier by Sandipani Chattopadhyay, 2021. By courtesy of the photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

Environments of the Future winner

An aerial view of the Panaro river’s flooding near Modena, Italy.
An aerial view of the Panaro river’s flooding near Modena, Italy. Flood by Michele Lapini, 2020. By courtesy of the photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021