Outstanding environmental changemakers
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 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