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Rising Tides: Environmental Photography Prize Winners Announced

Spanish photographer Antonio Aragón Renuncio won the coveted 2021 Environmental Photographer of the Year award for his photo titled The Sons of the Rising Tide, which shows a child sleeping in his house destroyed by coastal erosion on Afiadenyigba Beach in Ghana. The photo highlights rising sea levels in West African countries, forcing thousands from their homes.

The winners were announced at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Now in its 14th year, the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition showcases some of the most inspiring environmental photographs in the world. The annual competition provides an international platform to raise awareness of environmental issues that put our planet at risk.

This year’s competition was organized by the environmental and water management charity CIWEM (a free streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet) WaterBear and Nikon.

Overall Winner – Sons of the Rising Tide

A child sleeps on the floor of his collapsing house destroyed by coastal erosion on Afidegnigba Beach in western Ghana. Sea levels off the coast of Togo and other West African countries continue to rise and engulf everything in their path. Houses, crops, roads, trees, schools, jobs, resources and lives. However, the shoreline of this tiny Gulf of Guinea country is only part of the massive problem affecting more than 8,000 km of coastline in 13 West African countries. The Sons of the Rising Tide by Antonio Aragón Renuncio, 2019. Courtesy of Photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

Winner of the young environmental photographer of the year

2. Young environmental photographer of the year - Inferno, Amaan Ali, 2021

A boy fights surface fires in a forest near his home in Yamuna Ghat, New Delhi, India. According to locals, forest fires caused by human activity in the area are common due to the unfavorable living conditions. Hell by Amaan Ali, 2021. Courtesy of Photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

The winner of the Resilient award

The Resilient Award - Survive to Live, Islam Ashraful

Flocks of sheep search for grass in the cracked ground. The extreme droughts in Bangladesh have created hardship for all living things. Survive for life by Ashraful Islam, 2021. Courtesy of Photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

Sustainable Cities Laureate

A photobioreactor at Algalif's facility in Reykjanesbaer, Iceland.  The Algalif plant produces sustainable astaxanthin from microalgae using 100% clean geothermal energy.  In the starvation phase, the algae culture is exposed to UV light to cause stressful conditions and induce astaxanthin synthesis.  The exclusive lighting system allows Algalif to reduce overall energy consumption by 50%, in addition to allowing optimal growth, productivity and yield of microalgae.  Production methods allow 0% water evaporation, while some manufacturers lose up to 20% water per day.  Algalif does not need to cool, heat or move water during our production process, which allows us to conserve water.

A photobioreactor at Algalif’s facility in Reykjanesbaer, Iceland, produces sustainable astaxanthin (an antioxidant) using clean geothermal energy. Iceland has switched from fossil fuels to 100% renewable sources for their electricity and heating. Net zero transition photobioreactor by Simone Tramonte, 2020. Courtesy of Photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

Climate Action Laureate

A young boy sucks air from the plant in this symbolic image taken in Kenya, as a sandstorm looms in the background.  Kevin Ochieng Onyango's Last Breath, 2021. Courtesy of Photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

A young boy sucks air from the plant in this symbolic image taken in Kenya, as a sandstorm looms in the background. Kevin Ochieng Onyango’s Last Breath, 2021. Courtesy of Photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

See more images from BBC Science Focus here:

Water and security laureate

6. Water and security - Green barrier, Sandipani Chattopadhyay, 2021

Irregular monsoon seasons and droughts cause algae blooms to flourish on the Damodar River in India. Algal blooms block light from entering the surface and prevent oxygen uptake by organisms below, impacting human health and habitats in the area. Green barrier by Sandipani Chattopadhyay, 2021. Courtesy of Photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021

Environment of the Future Laureate

An aerial view of the flooding of the Panaro River near Modena, Italy.

An aerial view of the flooding of the Panaro River near Modena, Italy. Flood by Michèle Lapini, 2020. Courtesy of Photographer and Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021