Environmental Photographer of the Year 2014 winners announced

By Robin Valentine | 25 June 2014

The Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2014 award has been presented to Mohammed Fahim Ahamed Riyad of Bangladesh, who won the prize of £5,000 for his piece, In Search of Life

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Launched in 2007 by the Chartered Institute of Water and Environment Management, the competition aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change and social inequality.

The winning image depicts a fireman searching for survivors following a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The caption reads: “About 400 shanty homes were gutted and four people died in this incident, including a child of six years old. However, no casualties were officially reported and the reason for the fire remains unknown.”

Brigitte Lardinois, one of the judges for the competition and the Deputy Director of Photography at University of the Arts, London, said the photograph “gains power from the contrast between evocation of heroic endeavour and a sense of dispiriting futility”.

The Environmental Film of the Year and an accompanying prize of £1,000 were won by British photographer and filmmaker Sean Gallagher for The Toxic Price of Leather, a film highlighting the polluting effects of the leather industry in the city of Kanpur in northern India.

Gallagher said that the city’s status as one of the biggest producers of leather products in the country holds great environmental and social costs, destroying the local Ganges River ecology and "scarring" the local people through life-threatening illnesses.

New this year is the Forestry Commission England Exhibition Award, which was presented to British photographer Luke Duggleby, for Wrapping a Surviving Tree.

The photo is part of a series featuring Buddhist monks in Cambodia blessing trees and wrapping them in orange cloth in an effort to dissuade loggers.

His prize is a solo show at one of England’s public forests.

Of the 10,000 entries to the competition this year, 94 photographs and films have been selected to be displayed at the Royal Geographic Society, London from June 23 to July 4 2014.

The exhibition will then tour forest venues nationally until November, starting at the Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre, Cumbria from July 19.

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