Beautiful. Powerful. Terrifying. Heartbreaking.
This year, the winning photographs from the Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019 have been announced to coincide with the UN Climate Action Summit In New York. They certainly send a strong message to show us what is happening to the world right now. I find some of the photos truly heartbreaking. Below, a selection of photos that moved me most...
Water Scarcity by Dharshie Wissah, Kakamega, Kenya. Winner of the Water, equality and sustainability prize. A young boy drinks dirty water due to lack of water points in the area caused by deforestation. Lack of clean water greatly increases the risk of diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery, and other water-borne tropical diseases.
High Tide Enters Home by SL Shanth Kumar, Mumbai. A high tide wave hits a man standing outside his house as seawater enters a shanty town near the shore at Bandstand Promenade in Mumbai. This image was the overall winner in the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition. Mumbai is at risk of coastal flooding, a fallout of climate change. The city’s land and sea temperatures have been rising, causing an corresponding impact on the sea level.
Desperate Measures by Neville Ngomane, Limpopo, South Africa. This photo won the Young environmental photographer of the year. This rhino is being dehorned in an attempt to protect it from being poached. With the current severe level of poaching, experts recommend that rhinos should be dehorned every 12-24 months to effectively deter hunters. The photographer commented: 'This was not an easy watch'.
The Plastic Quarry by Aragon Renuncio, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. A boy plays with a plastic bag. About 380m tonnes of plastic is produced worldwide each year. Production increased exponentially from 2.3m tonnes in 1950 to 448m tonnes by 2015. Every day approximately 8m pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.
Sleep Fatigue by Amdad Hossain, Dhaka, Bangladesh. A women sleeps on a dirty riverbank.
The CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year showcases the very best in environmental photography. Highlighting the terrible impacts being wrought on our planet by its most dominant species the competition also celebrates humanity’s innate ability to survive and innovate, lending hope to us all that we can overcome challenges to live sustainably. The competition supports the urgent calls to action of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and recognises the intricate interconnected nature of development, poverty reduction, equality, security and climate action and the unprecedented effort from all sectors of society needed to tackle the defining issues of our time.