26 September 2018 – Six of the world’s most outstanding environmental changemakers will be recognized today with a Champions of the Earth Award, the UN’s highest environmental honor. This years’ laureates are recognized for a combination of bold, innovative, and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most urgent environmental issues of our times. The winners of the 2018 Champions of the Earth Awards are:
“In a world of uncertainty, this is certain: We will not solve the extraordinary challenges our world faces today without extraordinary talent, new thinking and bold ideas,” said Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim. “The Champions of the Earth Award and Young Champions of the Earth Prize recognize those not afraid to chart unknown waters or be the voice of the voiceless. These people are changing our world today for a better tomorrow.”
The awards will be presented during the Champions of the Earth Gala in New York City, on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly. The gala, hosted by actor and environmental activist Alec Baldwin and model, actress, producer and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza, will bring together a cross section of world leaders and influencers to celebrate momentum for change in defense of our one planet.
The Champions of the Earth award is the UN’s highest environmental recognition celebrating exceptional figures from the public and private sectors and from civil society, whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment. Past laureates include: Afroz Shah, who led the world’s largest beach cleanup (2016), Rwandan President Paul Kagame (2016), former US Vice-President Al Gore (2007), Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat (2014), scientist-explorer Bertrand Piccard, and developer of Google Earth Brian McClendon (2013)
Also honoured at the event will be seven environmental trailblazers between the ages of 18 and 30, taking home the coveted Young Champions of the Earth Prize, for their ambitious project ideas to restore and protect the environment.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About UN Environment
UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, the civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.
About Champions of the Earth
The annual Champions of the Earth prize is awarded to outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have had a positive impact on the environment. Since being founded thirteen years ago, the awards have recognized 84 laureates – ranging from leaders of nations to grassroots activists – in the categories of policy, science, business and civil society. Visit the website.
The Champions of the Earth are organised in partnership with Weibo – China’s leading social media outlet for people to create, share and discover content online. Weibo combines the means of public self-expression in real time with a powerful platform for social interaction, content aggregation and content distribution.Sina Weibo has over 431 million monthly active users. www.weibo.com
For more information, please contact:
Keith Weller, UN Environment, Head of News and Media, keith.weller[at]un.org