A hearty welcome to the Prix Pictet; a new global photography prize that focuses on sustainability. The award is sponsored by Pictet & Cie,a Swiss bank, in association with the Financial Times newspaper. Each year a different theme will be the focus of the prize; this year's theme is water. The prize is $100,000 and the chance to work on a water-related project. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations is the Honourary President: "Climate change is not just an environmental issue, as too many people believed for too long. It is an all-encompassing threat. It is a threat to the world's supply of fresh water, our source of life."
The mandate for the photographers is: "works that are of outstanding artistic merit that also communicate messages of urgent global significance." The 18 finalists have been announced, chosen from the 200 photographers from 43 countries who entered the competition. The finalists include TreeHugger favourite Ed Burtynsky who has photos of the impact on the landscape of the Alberta tar sands and the oil fields in Azerbaijan (photo). Others include photos of Colombia, Antarctica, icebergs, dust storms in China and waste in Lahore. The winner won't be announced until October, but the public can vote on-line for their favourite photo.
Roman Signer: Boots
David Maisel: The Lake Project
Aerial photographs of Owens Lake, a formerly 250 square-mile lake in California which was depleted to bring water to the desert.
Robert Polidori: After the Flood
"I attempted to make visual sense of the forces of chaos that threw houses about as if they were made of cardboard, these photographic records are offered as a kind of visual Last Rites for life trajectories that are no more."
:: Prix Pictet