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CIWEM environmental photographer of the year unveiled

The winners of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) annual environmental photographer of the year have been revealed.

The competition was launched in 2007 and showcases the best environmental photography from around the world, by amateur and professional photographers alike.

This year’s judging panel included Stephen Fry, Max McMurdo, Ben Fogle and the chief executive of CIWEM, Terry Fuller.

The environmental photographer of year category was awarded to Quoc Nguyen Linh Vinh, from Vietnam, for his poignant picture (above) entitled The hopeful eyes of the girl making a living by rubbish.

The image was taken in the waste dump of the Vietnamese city of Kon Tum and captures a child and mother making a living from collecting waste.

‘The child was happy, looking at the dark clouds and chatting to her mother,’ said Vinh.

‘This was so touching. She should have been enjoying her childhood and playing with friends rather than being there.’

Jose Luis Rodriguez was awarded the changing climates prize for his outstanding image, Fight for life, which shows a kingfisher caught mid-flight, in the shadow of the severe pollution caused by the numerous factories in the background. ‘Winning this category is a huge honour as it allows me to showcase my work and send a public message on the importance of protecting the environment,’ said Rodriquez.

Raju Ghosh won the built environment category with Struggle, portraying the struggle of the Indian subcontinent plagued by the monsoon climate.

Taken in West Bengal, India, the image of the small boy pictured shows how the infrastructure in place is often not enough to drain the water, and those living in slums are the often the most affected.

‘I am hopeful that my photograph can help to save our planet and the people who are struggling in it every day,’ said Ghosh.

Syed Umer Hasan was named as this year’s young environmental photographer of the year for his the picture Karachi Wildlife.

As one of the world’s fastest growing cities, Karachi is facing a crisis with stray dogs. Hundreds of them are being poisoned, spurring animal rights activists to condemn the killings.

‘Such problems are prevalent in third world countries across the world, and neither the people nor animals deserve this,’ said Hasan. ‘My photo shines a light on this important matter.’

Lloyd Ericson Castro Rodriguez, winner of the Mobile Phone category for the image After The Monsoon, shows the disruption of a monsoon on a child’s life. The young boy pictured is enjoying playing on his bicycle in the flood in front of the San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Rodriguez said: ‘Despite the conditions the boy is living in, he’s still having fun as he splashes the wheels of his bike. I’m so grateful to CIWEM for allowing me to be both a photographer and a storyteller. This win motivates me to capture more stories, share them, and inspire the world.’

Mr Fuller said judging this year’s competition was an ‘absolute privilege’ and the images showcase a ‘huge range of environmental and social issues around the world’.

‘We were all blown away by some of the images, and I am looking forward to seeing this competition grow even further in the future, provoking significant environmental change,’ added the CIWEM chief executive.


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