The Winning Photos From The CIWEM Environmental Photographer Of The Year 2019, An International Showcase For The Very Best In Environmental Photography

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.

High Tide Enters Home by SL Shanth Kumar, Mumbai. Environmental photographer of the year: A huge wave lashes at a shanty, throwing a fisherman out of his home in Bandra, Mumbai, India. He is pulled in by the strong currents but was rescued by fellow fishermen before the sea could swallow him. 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. (Photo by SL Shanth Kumar/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

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Tuvalu Beneath the Rising Tide by Sean Gallagher, Tuvalu. Changing environments prize: Fallen trees lie on a beach as the waves from the Funafuti lagoon in Tuvalu lap around them. Land erosion has always been a problem for the South Pacific country but problems are intensifying as sea levels rise. Rising seas are on the verge of completely submerging the tiny archipelago’s islands. (Photo by Sean Gallagher/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Polluted New Year by Eliud Gil Samaniego, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Sustainable cities prize: On 1 January 2018 Mexicali was one of the most contaminated cities in the world because of climate change, its geographical location, industry and cars. (Photo by Eliud Gil Samaniego/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Water Scarcity by Dharshie Wissah, Kakamega, Kenya. 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. (Photo by Dharshie Wissah/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Remains of the Forest by J Henry Fair, Niederzier, Germany. Climate action and energy prize: Hambach Forest was nearly 12,000 years old when it was bought by a power company to dig for the brown coal buried underneath. The ancient forest was once the size of Manhattan. Now only 10% of it remains. (Photo by J Henry Fair/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Desperate Measures by Neville Ngomane, Limpopo, South Africa. 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. (Photo by Neville Ngomane/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Trash by Sebnem Coskun, Istanbul, Turkey. Underwater cleaning in the Bosphorus as part of the Zero Waste Blue project. (Photo by Sebnem Coskun/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Sleep Fatigue by Amdad Hossain, Dhaka, Bangladesh. A women sleeps on a dirty riverbank. (Photo by Amdad Hossain/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

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. (Photo by Aragon Renuncio/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Lungs of the Earth by Ian Wade, Somerset, UK. Photographing trees at night with a long shutter speed and four LED spotlights isn’t easy: the tiniest amount of wind will blur the canopy. It took Ian Wade five long nights to capture this image. The final image shows the trees in all their splendour. (Photo by Ian Wade/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Sweet Dreams by Aragon Renuncio, Burkina Faso. A girl sleeps on a desk inside her schoolroom. Extreme rains have tripled in the Sahel in the last 35 years because of global warming. Climate change has caused 70 episodes of torrential rains in the last decade although the region also suffers severe droughts. (Photo by Aragon Renuncio/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Sewing Net by Tran Tuan Viet, Phu Yen, Vietnam. As fish stocks decrease fishing methods become increasingly extreme. Destructive fishing with small-hole nets devastate the marine environment. (Photo by Tran Tuan Viet/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Daily Labour by Yousuf Tushar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Thousands of poor people come to the capital city, Dhaka, to find work every year. Many are forced to do hard labour such as carrying coal on their heads. (Photo by Yousuf Tushar/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

Invisible by Valerie Leonard, Sisdol, Nepal. In the Sisdol landfill in Nepal, wastepickers rummage through rubbish all day looking for materials or valuables to sell. This temporary landfill located near Kathmandu has been in operation since 2005. Today it is running out of capacity. (Photo by Valerie Leonard/CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019)

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