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President Jagdeo receives 2010 Champion of the Earth Award from UNEP

Lord Nicholas Stern describes President as “one of the world’s foremost heads of government in advocating for a global low carbon future” His Excellency, President Bharrat Jagdeo, has been awarded the 2010 Champions of the Earth Award by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). President Jagdeo received the prestigious award for his outstanding international leadership on combating climate change and his pioneering model on low carbon economic development. The Award was presented to the President at the 4th Annual Business for Environment (B4E) Global Summit and UNEP Champions of the Earth gala awards event in Seoul, South Korea yesterday.


In presenting the prestigious award, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Environmental Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner, stated that, “President Jagdeo is a powerful advocate of the need to conserve and more intelligently manage the planet’s natural and nature-based assets. He has recognized more than most the multiple Green Economy benefits of forests in terms of combating climate change, (and) also in terms of development; employment; improved water supplies and the conservation of biodiversity.”


Immediate congratulations were sent by Lord Nicholas Stern, widely credited with changing global understanding of the economic impact of climate change.

Lord Stern said: “I warmly congratulate President Jagdeo, with whom I serve on the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group for Climate Finance. He has been one of the world’s foremost heads of government in advocating for a global low carbon future, and his tireless advocacy, particularly on the urgent need to protect the world’s forests, has made a tremendous contribution to the international climate change agenda. I know that he shares my view that a future high carbon world is one of disaster, and we must re-double our international efforts to build a prosperous, low carbon future.”


According to the UNEP, the award is given to ‘people and organizations truly distinguished’ when it comes to making a real difference in protecting the planet earth’. UNEP’s Champions of the Earth Awards honours the ‘best and brightest as they strive to take action for our planet through their visionary thinking, unwavering dedication and committed action towards the sustainable use of the planet’s resources for global green growth’.

2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai said: “I would like to congratulate President Jagdeo on becoming a ‘Champion of the Earth’. His tireless work to keep the world’s attention on the importance of saving our forests has been an inspiration to many across the world. His leadership continues to remind us that progress is possible and that we can save the world’s forests while at the same time fostering prosperity and improving the lives of our people”. Professor Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. She was the first African woman to win the prize.

The Champions of the Earth Award for President Jagdeo comes on the heels of other significant recognition of President Jagdeo’s pioneering and aggressive policies on sustainable economic growth through Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

The strategy is premised on the concept of Avoided Deforestation which allows Guyana’s 15 million hectares of rainforest to serve as a carbon sink, a process that is critical to combating global climate change. Deforestation accounts for about 20% of human-generated greenhouse emissions. This year, Guyana will receive payments for avoided greenhouse gas emissions, and will soon start investing those payments in a new low carbon economy.
This will remove virtually the entire energy sector from fossil fuel dependence, and will catalyse new economic sectors to provide Guyanese with valuable economic alternatives that do not put pressure on Guyana’s forests. To support the LCDS, the Governments of Guyana and Norway have agreed a ground-breaking model where Norway will pay US$250 million towards Guyana’s forest climate services between now and 2015. This is the second largest deal of its kind in the world.
In 2008 President Jagdeo was named by TIME Magazine as a Hero of the Environment.
The President is also currently serving on a UN High Level Advisory Panel on Climate Change Financing. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed President Jagdeo to the High Level Panel along with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, and the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg.
Past winners of the Champions of the Earth Award include Al Gore, Thabo Mbeki, Mikhail Gorbachev; Prince Albert II of Monaco; Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordon, the King of Bhutan; and Eric Solheim, Minister of the Environment and International Development (Norway).

The UNEP Champions of the Earth Award is the highest environmental award given by the United Nations.
President Jagdeo has stated that his US$40,000 prize money will be donated to Amerindian communities in Guyana.


Green Economy Takes Centre Stage at UNEP 2010 Champions of the Earth Awards
– winners from Guyana, Afghanistan, China, Japan and the Maldives are recognized as ‘Pillars of Transition to a 21st Century Green Economy’


The 2010 Champions of the Earth, the United Nations’ highest awards for environmental leadership, were announced yesterday.


President Jagdeo
The six winners, drawn from the worlds of government, science, business and entertainment, each exemplify how action, inspiration, personal commitment and creativity can catalyze a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient 21st-century Green Economy.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, yesterday announced the winners of this year’s UNEP Champions of the Earth awards as:

The President of Guyana and passionate forestry and ecosystem infrastructure proponent, His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo

The President of the Maldives and international climate change campaigner, His Excellency Mohamed Nasheed

Prince Mostapha Zaher

The trophies were presented at a gala event in Seoul, Republic of Korea during Earth Day and in conjunction with the Business for the Environment Global Summit (B4E), which is being attended by more than 1,000 representatives from business, government, and civil society.

The awards, first established in 2004, recognize achievements in areas of: Entrepreneurial Vision, Policy and Leadership, Science and Innovation, Inspiration and Action, and a special category for 2010, Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management.

The Champions of the Earth is an international environment award given out every year by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The award recognises individuals who embody commitment and vision towards environmental leadership through their action and their influence. To date, the award has recognized 34 outstanding environmental leaders.



Category/ies:Guyana News, Regional News.
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