The UN Environment Programme’s Champions of the Earth Award honours individuals, groups and organizations whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment. The Champions of the Earth award is the United Nation’s highest environmental honour. It recognizes outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment. Champions of the Earth inspire, defend, mobilize and act to tackle the greatest environmental challenges of our time.
The call for nominations comes a month after UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that humanity is waging war on nature with biodiversity collapsing, ecosystems disappearing, air and water pollution killing millions of people and climate change worsening with apocalyptic fires and floods.
For the past 15 years, the Champions of the Earth award has shone a spotlight on the work of people and organizations that have dedicated their lives to working for a healthier, more just and more sustainable planet. Laureates have ranged from heads of state and community activists to captains of industry and pioneering scientists.
Nominations are open to everyone and nominees can be individuals, government entities, companies and other organizations.
Every year, individuals, groups and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the protection and restoration of the environment are recognized in four categories:
- Policy Leadership
- Inspiration and Action
- Entrepreneurial Vision
- Science and Innovation
- Lifetime Achievement
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Champions are selected from over global 1,500 nominations. These are received from the public nomination process.
A team of UNEP staff and subject experts reviews and considers each nomination, creating a list of finalists. These are sent to a high level jury who select the laureates. In 2020, the jury consisted of five leaders of United Nations and other international organizations.
The criteria for selection are:
- Impact – Have the nominee’s actions resulted in profound environmental gains or demonstrated significant potential for replication and scaling?
- Novelty – Has the nominee done or achieved something new and innovative?
- Power of the story – How compelling and inspiring is the nominee’s story?
Last date of registration: 12 Feb 2021.
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