Hundreds of people and organisations around the world contribute each day towards creating a better and more sustainable world for us all to live in. Each year, UNEP honours visionaries whose actions and leadership have had a positive impact on the environment through the Champions of the Earth Award. The nominations for the 2014 Champions of the Earth Award are currently being accepted until 14 March 2014.
The UNEP Champions of the Earth Award celebrates individuals and organizations for their leadership, vision, inspiration and action on the environment. Previous laureates have been recognized for their efforts in areas such as the management of natural resources, demonstrating new ways to tackle climate change and food waste, taking uncompromising business decisions based on sustainability models and raising awareness of emerging environmental challenges. The list of previous Champions laureates include Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Chinese actress and environmental advocate Zhou Xun, the Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO) and global music legend Angélique Kidjo.
UNEP’s Champions of the Earth—lauded each year in the fields of Policy and Leadership, Science and Innovation, Entrepreneurial Vision, and Inspiration and Action—serve as an inspiration for transformative action as the world transitions to an inclusive Green Economy.
This year, UNEP is particularly interested in individuals who have made a substantive contribution to tackling climate change as the global community works towards the agreement of a new comprehensive climate deal, which will be adopted in 2015 and implemented from 2020. Women and youth nominees are also strongly encouraged.
Google Earth, Brazil’s Minister of Environment Izabella Teixeira and Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food Movement, were among the award winners in 2013. Other winners in 2013 were European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik; Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD; Jack Dangermond, founder of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), and Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo from the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.
Champions of the Earth is now in its 10th year, and since its inception has seen steady growth in both profile and the number of nominees. It has recognized heads of state, companies, activists, musicians and many others at award ceremonies in major cities such as Singapore, Paris, Seoul, New York City and Rio de Janeiro. The 2014 winners will be unveiled at a gala event towards the end of the year.