Investigating Environmental and Social Issues Around the World (11 photos)

Happy in her own world, Abhijit Nandi

It’s really intriguing to view global environmental and social issues through a lens. These photos are part of CIWEM's Environmental Photographer of the Year 2008 Exhibition. The images are meant to enhance our understanding of the causes, consequences and solutions of climate change. Over 1,400 pictures were entered into the competition, examining issues such as poverty, climate change, human rights, leisure, culture, biodiversity and natural beauty. A selection of these images are currently being shown at the Apothecary Gallery in Hammersmith, London and will run until February 27th, 2009. Above, “the woman in my picture is returning home from the paddy field after a long day at work. She never thought a village woman could be the subject of a photograph, so when I told her I’d like to take a picture of her, she just laughed” -Abhijit Nandi

Elizabeth, Jon Spaull “This is of a woman in a village in northern Ghana who has just collected water from a well installed by the local community with the help of WaterAid. Before the well was put in she had to collect water from a stream, with all the inherent risks of sickness and disease.”

The wind collector, Donnie Mackay “This says everything about individual expression in wild natural landscapes and is a good metaphor for small-scale electricity generation and waste collection in the Hebrides.”

Climate change affecting transport, Somenath Mukhopadhyay “Monsoon season, which lasts from June to September, brings vital rain for India’s farmers but also massive destruction. Floods, mudslides, house collapses and lightning strikes have killed at least 225 people across the country in 2008 so far.”

The last tree, Junjie Lou “In China, 90% of urban groundwater and 75% of rivers and lakes are polluted. As a result of widespread water pollution 700 million people drink contaminated water, while waterborne diseases have led to a rising number of premature deaths.”

Green steps, Ly Hoang Long “Terraced paddy fields for rice require large quantities of water and have an adverse environmental impact because of the amount of methane gas growing rice generates. World methane production due to paddy fields is thought to be between 50m and 100m tonnes a year.”

Yet to go, Abhijit Nandi, India “These child workers in Kolkota, West Bengal, are in a hurry to catch the last train but the road to their station is flooded due to heavy rain.”

An illegal tannery, Alex Masi “Two children use their legs to find the remaining skins in a bath of contaminated water during liming – the process of removing hair and impurities with the use of chemicals, especially chromium – in one of 160 illegal tanneries in Jajmau, India. Children are paid $1 a day to work, while those in nearby villages are starting to show symptoms of chromium contamination. Most of the leather is exported to Europe.”

Pollsmoor prison, Peter Davies “Essex charity worker Siobhan Mattimoe talking to young prisoners in the juvenile wing of the Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town, South Africa.”

Warming, Saikat Mukherjee ‘December in the village of Purulia, West Bengal. The women live on the foot of Ayodhya Hill and with the approach of evening they made a fire to get warm’

Winning team, Nimai Ghosh A football team from West Bengal celebrate their victory CIWEM’s website Apothecary Gallery’s website 33 Greyhound Road, London, W6 8NH 020 7381 5727





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