Here are 2021’s Environmental Photographer of the Year winners

Posted by Anita Froneman on 11 November 2021

This year’s Environmental Photographer of the Year award winners were announced at the COP26 currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland. Hosted by The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), WaterBear and Nikon, the judges received a whopping nearly 7,000 images from professional and amateur photographers from over 119 nations.

READ: South Africa secures R131 billion at COP26 for a ‘just energy transition’

Now in its 14th year, the competition ‘showcases the most inspirational environmental photography from around the world. It 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 website states.

The winner of the Environmental Photographer of the Year award, Spanish photographer Antonio Aragón Renuncio won £10,000 prize money for his photograph ‘The Rising Tide Sons’.

The image shows a child sleeping inside a house damaged by coastal erosion on Afiadenyigba beach in Ghana. The photo shines a spotlight on the rising sea levels in West-African countries, which has forced thousands of people to leave their homes.

Winners were also chosen in several other categories.

The Young Environmental Photographer of the Year was awarded to Amaan Ali from India, for ‘Inferno’, showing a boy fighting fires in a forest in Yamuna Ghat, New Delhi, India.

Environments of the Future: ‘Flood’, Michele Lapini, 2020. A house is submerged by the flooding of the River Panaro in the Po Valley due to heavy rainfall and melting snow in Modena, Italy.

Sustainable Cities: ‘Net-Zero transition – Photobioreactor’, Simone Tramonte, 2020. A photobioreactor at Algalif ’s facilities produces sustainable astaxanthin products. Taken in Reykjanesbaer, Iceland. The country has shifted from fossil fuels to 100% of electricity and heat from renewable sources.

Climate Action: ‘The Last breath’, Kevin Ochieng Onyango, 2021. A boy takes in air from the plant, with a sand storm brewing in the background in Nairobi, Kenya. This is an impression of the changes to come.

Water and Security: ‘Green barrier’, Sandipani Chattopadhyay, 2021. Irregular monsoon seasons and droughts cause algal bloom on the Damodar river in West Bengal, 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.

The Resilient Award: ‘Survive for alive’, Ashraful Islam, 2021. Flocks of sheep search for grass amongst the cracked soil in Noakhali, Bangladesh. Extreme droughts in Bangladesh have created hardships for all living beings.

The public can now vote for the People’s Choice Award via social media. To view the gallery and vote, visit The Environmental Photographer of the Year on Instagram and vote before 1st December 2021.

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