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Winners of the 2022 Environmental Photographer of the Year competition announced

CIEWM announces Environmental Photography awards

CIWEM and WaterBear have announced the 2022 Environmental Photographer of the Year competition winners, alongside Nikon and Arup.


Now in its 15th year, the Environmental Photographer Of The Year competition showcases some of the world’s most inspirational environmental photography. The annual competition provides an international platform to raise awareness for the issues that put our planet at risk.

Photographer Mehdi Mohebi Pour, has won the highly coveted prize of Environmental Photographer of the Year for ‘The Bitter Death of Birds’ (2021).

The photograph depicts just three of the thousands of birds which died in the Miankaleh Lagoon in Iran due to contamination and lack of water, and it shows the efforts of environmental workers to collect the bodies to prevent the spread of disease. It was chosen as the winning photograph for its surreal portrayal of the circular nature of life between humans and wildlife; as well as its powerful combination of conveying the real environmental issues affecting our planet, whilst using bold and contrasting colours to create a visually arresting photo.

This year’s winner Mohebi Poursays: “It means the world to have won this prestigious award as photographing the climate and showcasing the damage being caused is my biggest priority in life. I want people around the world to know about this sad event of the death of the birds as, if we do not reconsider our lifestyle and take care of the planet, this will soon happen in other countries.”

The competition also celebrates photographers of the future, with 16-year-old Fayz Khan winning the Young Environmental Photographer of the Year award, presented by Nikon, for ‘Beautiful But Hostile Colours on Earth’ (2022).

The competition also introduced an ethics panel in order to improve accountability and transparency in the photo selection process. Following a thorough screening process, the panel, consisting of experts in journalism and photography, provided guidance on this year’s competition rules and reviewed photos that raised ethical concerns. All photos that did not comply with our ethical standards – images that dehumanise people, or that exploit people or animals – were discussed by the panel, where necessary going back to the photographer to ask for more information to make an informed decision.

WaterBear CEO Sam Sutaria, said, “The striking images submitted to the competition this year truly highlight the importance of digital storytelling for raising awareness for the climate issues our planet faces. We hope that these thought-provoking images will encourage storytellers all over the world to continue sharing important stories to drive impact.”

Nikon general manager marketing Stefan Maier said “We are thrilled that Fayz Kahn has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Young Environmental Winner of the Year award. Nikon has been behind some of the most important stories told through photography over the last century, and we’re delighted to support such a young talent as he contributes to the impact photography will continue to have in the future and hones his photography skills.”

Arup global water leader Dr. Mark Fletcher said “It was a privilege to host the winners’ exhibition for this year’s 2022 Environmental Photographer of the Year competition. We are thrilled to be showcasing such a broad range of photography talents from around the world.”

To view the full list of winners, visit the CIWEM website and to learn more about this year’s Environmental Photographer of the Year winners, visit

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“Our mission with the 2022 Environmental Photographer of the Year competition was to challenge and inspire those in front of and behind the lens with regards to how they view the earth and the people that inhabit it. The photographs submitted this year certainly do that and we hope encourage all who see them to think about their impact on the planet."

Terry Fuller
CIWEM Chief Executive