Two Greenpeace images have won awards at the prestigious World Press Photo Awards. An image depicting the world’s largest river sucked dry by climate change, and another image of the forgotten victims of nuclear power; two children from Belarus, suffering the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster nearly twenty years after the reactors core exploded releasing clouds of radioactive material into the environment.
Big river boat trapped on a sand bank, during one of the worst droughts ever recorded in the Amazon.
"There are no prizes for those who made these photographs a reality," said International Executive Director Gerd Leipold. "The images are a graphic warning of the consequences of the global obsession with dirty energy at the expense of communities and the environment."
The effects of climate change received huge attention during the past year. A record Atlantic hurricane season caused havoc for communities along the Caribbean coast whist the Amazon suffered a severe drought bringing the risks associated with climate change into stark focus.
Far less attention was focused on the lingering effects of nuclear power as we approach the twentieth anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor meltdown and explosion. Nuclear energy is the most dangerous means ever devised to generate electricity. The image of Natasha and Vadim shows the destructive power of the nuclear industry.
"The pictures are all the more powerful, not just because of their quality, but also because of the message they send. They are a view of the present, but also a glimpse of what the future might look like unless action is taken now," said Greenpeace photo editor John Novis.
The winning images were taken by Greenpeace commissioned photographers Daniel Beltra (Amazon) and Robert Knoth (Chernobyl).
An exhibition of Robert's portraits of nuclear devastation in the former Soviet Union will be launched internationally by Greenpeace in April.
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