Now in its 14th year, The Environmental Photographer of the Year (EPOTY) competition showcases the most inspirational environmental photography from around the world.  The award celebrates humanity’s ability to survive and innovate and showcases thought-provoking images that call attention to our impact and inspire us to live sustainably. The competition supports the urgent calls to action of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and recognises the intricate interconnected nature of development, poverty reduction, equality, security and climate action and the unprecedented effort from all sectors of society needed to address the defining issues of our time.

This year’s collaboration between WaterBear, Nikon Europe and CIWEM is empowered by the media reach and storytelling capabilities of the WaterBear platform and global network and the specialist expertise of CIWEM and Nikon. 

The top award will be granted to a single image that furthers people’s understanding of the causes and effects of environmental change and social inequality, highlights solutions to the climate and ecological emergency, and inspires us to live sustainably.

The winning photographer will receive: 

o    £10,000 cash prize and award certificate

o    A spread and interview in CIWEM’s The Environment magazine

o    A profile on the WaterBear platform

o    Feature on Nikon Europe’s website

o    & more

1. Entries must be received by 11.59 BST on 14 August 2021 (‘the Closing Date’).  

2. Each entrant may enter up to ten (10) still photographs.

3. All photographs entered must have been completed since 01 January 2018.

4. Entries must be submitted as digital files only. For initial entry, all still photography images must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at a high quality level, with a maximum file size of 199MB. SEE DIGITAL SPECIFICATIONS SECTION BELOW FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

5. If shortlisted, entrants must be able to supply images as RAW files or original JPEGs. SEE DIGITAL SPECIFICATIONS BELOW FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

6. Entrants must be the sole author and owner of the copyright for all the entries they submit, or they must have obtained permission from the copyright holder to submit the entries on their behalf. A copy of any such written permission must be supplied to the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) on request.

7. The photographer retains the copyright to all their entries into the Environmental Photographer of the Year. The photographer will be credited. The photographer agrees that CIWEM will not be liable to the photographer in the event of inadvertent omission of the credit.

8. Do not add a signature to any entry as judging is done anonymously and entries with overlay signatures will be rejected.

9. It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure that all the necessary permissions are obtained from people featured in the entry.

10. All entries, should be a faithful representation of the original scene and localised adjustments should be used appropriately. Some digital adjustment or editing is allowed, but entrants should understand that the objective is to remain faithful to the original experience, and to never deceive the viewer or misrepresent reality. SEE DIGITAL ADJUSTMENT GUIDELINES SECTION BELOW FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

11. Each entrant agrees to participate in related publicity and to the use of their name and entry for the purposes of advertising, promotion, exhibition, transmission and publicity of the competition and exhibition and CIWEM without additional compensation.

12. By entering the Competition, you grant CIWEM a non-exclusive sub-licensable licence to reproduce, publish, exhibit and communicate your entry to the public by exhibiting your entry through all media throughout the world for 10 (ten) years in relation to the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition and CIWEM’s charitable activities. This includes but is not limited to: the competition judging process; an exhibition and tour (including virtual); inclusion in an Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition catalogue or book; online galleries; private viewings, websites and microsites, corporate communications, on sponsor’s network platforms and apps, reports, promotional, press, PR and marketing activities including digital and social media (paid and organic) and press and marketing materials, educational support and brand ambassadors, all of which are associated with the Environmental Photographer of the Year and CIWEM’s charitable activities and public benefit remit; and associated merchandising. CIWEM is allowed to pass on any entry to online and print publications and to its sponsors including WaterBear, to be used either for editorial or image based promotion and exploitation only by CIWEM and its sponsors in relation to the Environmental Photographer of the Year, with full credit given to the photographer. CIWEM’s use of the photographs may further include third party licensing (including further licensing opportunities to sponsors) to generate revenue, however, in the event that CIWEM’s use is for ancillary purposes, it shall consult in good faith with the entrant about an appropriate share of revenue.

13. By entering the competition you accept that your entry may be exhibited by CIWEM or other exhibitions organised or attended by CIWEM and by the sponsors as part of the Environmental Photographer of the Year. CIWEM reserve the right to reproduce any entry for exhibition purposes.

14. CIWEM cannot accept liability for the misuse of entries and or failure of any third party to comply with the Environmental Photographer of the Year’s credit guidelines.

15. By entering the Competition you are granting CIWEM permission to sub-license its rights to Sponsors of the Competition under the same terms and conditions contained herein.

16. CIWEM may grant to its Sponsors of the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition (detailed on this website ) the right (including but not limited to) reproduce any entry from the exhibition in their own marketing, publications, use in exhibitions (including virtual), on websites, microsites, corporate communications, transmission on the WaterBear platform and its apps, reports, promotions, digital media, social media (paid and organic), private viewings, online galleries, press and PR, brand ambassadors, marketing, education support and the Sponsors promotion of their sponsorship of the Environmental Photographer of the Year.

17. Judges appointed by CIWEM will choose the exhibition and winners. The judges’ decision on all matters relating to the competition is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into. During judging the judges reserve the right to move entries from one category to another where appropriate and not award any entry within a category.

18. CIWEM reserves the right to cancel this competition at any stage.

19. CIWEM reserves the right to amend, remove or introduce additional judging categories, including prizes and conditions, at any stage during the competition.

20. The competition is open to all international photographers, both amateur and professional, and of all ages.

21. It is the responsibility of each entrant into the competition to ensure they have read and abide by the General Rules. By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to the General Rules, that their entry complies with the General Rules, and that they will be liable to the Owners and their licensees in respect of any damages or losses incurred as a breach of the General Rules by the entrant.

22. Any entrant found to not comply with the General Rules at any stage of the competition will be disqualified and any prizes will be forfeited.

23. The decision of CIWEM on all matters relating to the Competition is final and binding.