Aaron Gekoski’s ‘See No Evil’ wins the FPA2’s 2024 Environmental Photography Award

Environmental Photography Awards

The Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco’s 2024 Environmental Photography Awards have been won by Aaron Gekoski and his devastating ‘See No Evil’, a heartbreaking image of Ning Nong, an orangutan exploited by the tourism industry in Thailand.  

The winners of the 2024 Environmental Photography Awards were unveiled by Olivier Wenden, the Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2), and members of the prestigious jury on the Boulevard du Larvotto in Monaco on Tuesday 4th June.  

“Four years ago, when we started this photography competition, we had about 6,000 photos submitted,” said Wenden. “This year, we had 11,000 photos, of which only 36 were chosen to be part of the exhibition.” 

It took the jury several months to whittle down the entries, which came from more than 2,600 photographers around the world, but one clear winner emerged: Aaron Gekoski with ‘See No Evil’.  

A professional environmental photojournalist, Gekoski won not only the Environmental Photographer of the Year Award, but he also clinched the Category Award for Humanity Versus Nature with his moving image of Ning Nong, an orangutan forced to perform on a daily basis at Safari World in Bangkok, as well as the Change Makers: Reasons for Hope Award for his ‘Substitute Rhinos’ image.  

Aaron Gekoski’s ‘Substitute Rhinos’ won the Change Makers: Reasons for Hope Award. Photo credit: FPA2

“I hope that through this award, more people will know Ning Nong’s story and the immense suffering that Safari World and other similar destinations are responsible for. We need to do better,” Aaron Gekoski shared with those who gathered for the ceremony. “We are responsible for the suffering of these animals in tourism attractions worldwide.” 

Gekoski has spent over five years documenting the conditions of orangutans in captivity, working with an US NGO called Lady FreeThinker.  

His second winning photograph, ‘Substitute Rhinos’ depicts the Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit in Zimbabwe conducting guarding drills. It shares the story of the people and the animals involved in desperate efforts to protect the nation’s wildlife.  

Other laureates at the 2024 Environmental Photography Awards 

Other notable winners include: Magnus Lundgren, who won the Ocean Worlds category with his photograph ‘Inner Space Hitchhiker’, which captures a brown paper nautilus riding a jellyfish in the Philippines; Jaime Rojo, who won the Into the Forest category with ‘Explosion of Monarchs’, which was taken in Mexico’s fir forests; and Daniel Valverde Fernández, who won the Polar Wonders category with ‘Shaking off the Snow’, featuring a polar bear in a Canadian blizzard.  

Jaime Rojo’s ‘Explosion of Monarchs’ won the Into the Forest category. Photo credit: FPA2

Fernando Faciole won the Public Award for ‘Rainy Release’, an image sharing the release of a giant anteater in Brazil, while Thomas Vijayan received the Students’ Choice Award for ‘Parenting Goals’, a photograph of a family of Emperor penguins in Antarctica. 

An exhibition showcasing the 2024 winners and runners-up of the FPA2’s Environmental Photography Awards will remain on the Larvotto boardwalk until 30th July, after which it will be going on tour.

Submissions for the 2025 edition of the Environmental Photography Awards will be accepted between 3rd September and 3rd November 2024.  

To see more images from the Awards Ceremony, click on the images below:

And to watch the Monaco Life reel of the event and exhibition, see below:


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Photo credits: Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco