World Press Photo Awards

Feature story - 10 February, 2006
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 reactor's 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 agraphic warning of the consequences of the global obsession with dirtyenergy 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 Amazonsuffered a severe drought bringing the risks associated with climatechange 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 devisedto generate electricity. The image of Natasha and Vadim shows thedestructive power of the nuclear industry.

"The pictures are allthe more powerful, not just because of their quality, but also becauseof the message they send. They are a view of the present, but also aglimpse 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).

Anexhibition of Robert's portraits of nuclear devastation in the formerSoviet Union will be launched internationally by Greenpeace in April.