Prix Pictet is a yearly £60,000 ($97,000) photography prize awarded for a body of work that focuses on environmental sustainability.This year the theme is ‘earth’. A Mexican garbage dump where people forage to sustain a pitiful existence; the changing landscape and displaced communities of China’s Yangtze River; the devastating impact of oil production in the Niger Delta; and the annual pilgrimage to the desert fronts of the Iran-Iraq war are among the subjects that feature in the work of this year’s shortlisted artists.

LensCulture is pleased to provide previews of all twelve outstanding international photographers who are finalists.

Photographers shortlisted for the first prize are:

Darren Almond, UK
Christopher Anderson, Canada
Sammy Baloji, Congo
Edward Burtynsky, Canada
Andreas Gursky, Germany
Naoya Hatakeyama, Japan
Nadav Kander, South Africa
Ed Kashi, USA
Abbas Kowsari, Iran
Yao Lu, China
Edgar Martins, Portugal and
Chris Steele-Perkins, UK

The winner will be announced by Kofi Annan, honorary president of the Prix Pictet, on 22 October 2009 at the Passage de Retz Gallery in Paris. A further award, in the form of a commission for one of the shortlisted photographers to visit a region where Pictet & Cie (the prize sponsors) are currently supporting a sustainability project, will be announced at the same time.