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Pedram Yazdani wins Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award 2016

News blog

Pedram Yazdani wins Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award 2016

Hazel Stone

Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 prize winners were announced on 28th June in a ceremony presented by Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE. The winning photographs and films are on display at Royal Geographical Society, before touring to Grizedale Forest, alongside a shortlist of 60 exceptional environmental photographs selected from a submission of 10,000 images by photographers and filmmakers internationally.

Pedram Yazdani, Sand, 2015, Iran

Forestry Commission England are delighted to award Pedram Yazdani the Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award 2016 for his arresting image 'Sand'. Yazdani's work will be showcased alongside the exhibition at Grizedale Forest. This photograph depicts the plight of Lake Urmia in Iran. Once the biggest salt lake in the Middle East, it now contains only ten percent of the original water as a result of climate change and the construction of dams and wells.

"The extraordinary Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year exhibition offers us an opportunity to witness a global selection of images that help us to reassess our human connection to the natural world. The power of these images is in enabling us to engage with subjects that are often already all too familiar, but remain urgent. I am proud to select Pedram Yazdani as the Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award Winner for the photograph ‘Sand’. This arresting image of The Salt Lake Urmia in Iran encapsulates the dramatic impact land management decisions can have on our environment, and how critical it is to get them right.” Ian Gambles Director, Forestry Commission England

Sara Lindström, Wildfire, 2015, Canada

The prestigious title of Atkins CIWEM Environmetnal Photographer of the Year 2016 and £3000 was awarded to Sara Lindström for her imposing photograph ‘Wildfire’. Swedish-born Lindström picked up photography while studying in South Africa, and is now based in the Canadian Rockies. Her projects have seen her travel across more than 50 countries, capturing the beauty of the more remote corners of the earth. “It was an exceptionally warm day in July in southern Alberta when I came across this massive pinkish smoke plume rising high towards the sky. The big flames were thriving on the dry land and had me completely mesmerized in fear and awe.”

Luke Massey, Poser, 2015, Chicago

Luke Massey is awarded Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 for his bold photograph ‘Poser’. He dedicates his photography to drawing attention to the plight of wildlife under threat.

The Environmental Film of the Year 2016 is awarded to Sergiu Jiduc for his film ‘The Karkoram Anomaly Project, Pakistan’, documenting the surging glaciers observed in the world’s highest mountain range, and the subsequent devastation caused by the little understood ‘Glacial Lake Outburst Floods’.

Indian photojournalist SL Kumar Shanth collects the Atkins Built Environment Award 2016 for ‘Losing Ground to Manmade Disaster’, depicting the damage being wrought on the coastline at Chennai, the biggest metropolis in Southern India, by a combination of man-made and natural forces.

SL Shanth Kumar, Losing Ground to Manmade Disaster, 2015, Chennai

Sandra Hoyn, Life Jackets on the Greek Island of Lesbos, 2016, Lesbos

The CIWEM Changing Climate Award 2016 is presented to Sandra Hoyn for her moving photograph ‘Life Jackets on the Greek Island of Lesbos’. Hoyn is a German photojournalist, who's work concentrates on social, environmental and human rights issues.

The exhibition can be seen at Royal Geographical Society, London, 29 June – 21 August 2016 before touring to Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, 3 September 2016 – 1 January 2017