Out­stand­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal change­mak­ers

The Gulf Today - Time Out - - YOUNG WORLD - BY MEENA S. JA­NARD­HAN

Six of the world’s most out­stand­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal change­mak­ers were rec­og­nized last month with a Cham­pi­ons of the Earth Award, the U N’ s high­est en­vi­ron­men­tal honor. This years’ lau­re­ates have been 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 listed below.

1. Joan Car­ling was rec­og­nized with the life­time achieve­ment award for her work as one of the world’s most prom­i­nent de­fend­ers of en­vi­ron­men­tal and indige­nous rights. Car­ling has been at the FORE­FRONT OF THE CONLICT FOR LAND and the en­vi­ron­ment for more than 20 years. Her tire­less and SELlESS IGHT FOR THE EN­VI­RON­MENT has made her a cham­pion to peo­ples and com­mu­ni­ties all over the globe. For more than 20 years, Car­ling has been at the FORE­FRONT OF THE CONLICT FOR LAND and the en­vi­ron­ment, fight­ing for com­mu­ni­ties world­wide locked in deadly strug­gles against govern­ments, com­pa­nies and crim­i­nal gangs ex­ploit­ing land for prod­ucts like tim­ber, min­er­als and palm oil, of­ten bring­ing her INTO CONLICT WITH BUSI­NESSES AND the Philip­pine govern­ment. In her youth, Car­ling was in­spired by the strug­gle against the con­struc­tion of hy­dropower dams along the Chico River. If de­vel­oped, th­ese dams would have af­fected 16 towns and vil­lages and dis­placed 100,000 tribal peo­ples, tear­ing apart their liveli­hoods and so­cial fab­ric. Over the years, she has SEEN IRST-HAND THE EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL dev­as­ta­tion caused by large dams and gold min­ing, and stood up against th­ese projects.

2. Be­yond Meat and Im­pos­si­ble Foods were jointly recog­nised in the Science and In­no­va­tion cat­e­gory, for their revo­lu­tion­ary de­vel­op­ment of a pop­u­lar, PLANT-BASED AL­TER­NA­TIVE TO BEEF, and for their ef­forts to ed­u­cate con­sumers about en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious al­ter­na­tives. With a break­through ap­proach to their re­spec­tive prod­ucts, Be­yond Meat and Im­pos­si­ble foods are de­liv­er­ing sus­tain­able choices to con­sumers world­wide. Live­stock cul­ti­va­tion is re­spon­si­ble for 18% of green­house gas emis­sions world­wide and to­gether the process em­ployed by th­ese Cham­pi­ons of the Earth aims to show the world eco­log­i­cally con­scious de­ci­sions don’t have to mean sac­ri­fic­ing qual­ity, con­ve­nience or in this case — taste. Started in 2009, Be­yond MEAT CRE­ATED A CUT­TING-EDGE BURGER made from peas, pota­toes, beet juice and co­conut oil, with­out gluten, soy or GMOs. The Be­yond Burger LAUNCHED TO SELL-OUT DE­MAND IN 2016 and made head­lines for be­ing THE iRST PLANT-BASED BURGER TO BE SO MEAT-LIKE IT WAS SOLD IN THE meat case at Whole Foods Mar­ket. It is now avail­able at more than 22,000 gro­cery stores, res­tau­rants, uni­ver­si­ties, ho­tels, theme parks and sports sta­di­ums. Im­pos­si­ble Foods was founded in 2011, launch­ing its Im­pos­si­ble Burger iVE YEARS LATER. THE BURGER CON­TAINS wheat, co­conut oil, and pota­toes. The revo­lu­tion­ary tech­nol­ogy that causes this burger to “bleed” and have the sig­na­ture iron af­ter­taste nor­mally only ex­pe­ri­enced in beef burg­ers, is the ad­di­tion of a key IN­GRE­DI­ENT CALLED HEME, AN IRON- rich com­pound pro­duced from yeast that gives meat its taste and helps give blood its color.

3. Em­manuel Macron, Pres­i­dent of France and Naren­dra Modi, Prime Min­is­ter of In­dia, were rec­og­nized in the Pol­icy Lead­er­ship cat­e­gory for their pi­o­neer­ing work in cham­pi­oning the In­ter­na­tional So­lar Al­liance and pro­mot­ing new ar­eas of lev­els of co­op­er­a­tion on en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tion, in­clud­ing Macron’s work on the Global Pact for the En­vi­ron­ment and Modi’s un­prece­dented pledge to elim­i­nate ALL SIN­GLE-USE PLAS­TIC IN IN­DIA BY 2022.

4. China’s Zhe­jiang’s Green Ru­ral Re­vival Pro­gramme was awarded for In­spi­ra­tion and Ac­tion for the trans­for­ma­tion of a once heav­ily pol­luted area of rivers and streams in East China’s Zhe­jiang prov­ince. This ex­cep­tion­ally SUC­CESS­FUL ECO-RESTORA­TION PRO­GRAM shows the trans­for­ma­tive power of eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal de­vel­op­ment to­gether.

5. Cochin In­ter­na­tional Air­port took home the award for En­trepreneurial Vi­sion, for its lead­er­ship in the use of sus­tain­able en­ergy. Co chin is show­ing the world THAT OUR EVER-EX­PAND­ING NET­WORK OF global move­ment doesn’t have to harm the en­vi­ron­ment. As the pace of so­ci­ety con­tin­ues to in­crease, the WORLD’S iRST FULLY SO­LAR-POW­ERED air­port is proof pos­i­tive that green busi­ness is good busi­ness.

The awards were 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, brought to­gether a cross sec­tion of WORLD LEAD­ERS AND INlUENCERS TO cel­e­brate mo­men­tum for change in de­fense of our one planet.

Also hon­oured at the event were 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.

THE AWARD

The Cham­pi­ons of the Earth award is the UN’s high­est en­vi­ron­men­tal recog­ni­tion CEL­E­BRAT­ING EX­CEP­TIONAL iGURES 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 VI­CEPres­i­dent Al Gore (2007), Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat (2014), SCI­EN­TIST-EX­PLORER BER­TRAND PICCARD, and de­vel­oper of Google Earth Brian McClen­don (2013)

Launched in 2005, Cham­pi­ons of the Earth has recog­nised dozens of ex­em­plary in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions. Through their EX­TRA­OR­DI­NARY ACHIEVE­MENTS - whether through po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship, grass­roots ac­tion, sci­en­tific in­no­va­tion, or en­trepreneurial VI­SION - EACH OF TH­ESE CHAM­PI­ONS has in­spired crit­i­cal ac­tion on be­half of the global en­vi­ron­ment.

Cham­pi­ons of the Earth recog­nises lau­re­ates in the fol­low­ing cat­e­gories:

* Life­time Achieve­ment * Pol­icy Lead­er­ship

* Ac­tion and In­spi­ra­tion * En­trepreneurial Vi­sion * Science and In­no­va­tion

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