The UN’s highest environmental honour is the Champions of the Earth award, given annually. Outstanding leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors are honoured. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Champions of the Earth programme recognises people, organisations, and groups whose deeds have a significant positive influence on the environment.
The Champions of the Earth award is hosted by UNEP. 50 years of groundbreaking scientific research that has shaped international environmental policy have helped UNEP earn its status as the world’s non-partisan authority on environmental matters.
In 2022, the United Nations Environment Programme received a record-breaking over 2,200 nominations for its annual Champions of the Earth award. The UN’s top environmental award honours people and groups from a variety of sectors, including civil society, academia, and the commercial sector, that are breaking new ground in their efforts to safeguard our natural environment.
Categories of the Award
This year, there were three categories for the Champions of the Earth award. The categories were Entrepreneurial vision, Inspiration and Action, and finally Science and Innovation. The prize honours people and organisations that are working to better the world.
The UN Environment Programme announced the 2022 Champions of the Earth on November 22, 2022.
The champions who were awarded belonged to various backgrounds. These were a wildlife biologist, an environmentalist, a business that manages trash sustainably, an economist, and a woman’s rights advocate. They were chosen out of 2,200 nominations.
Inspiration and Action Category
One of the winners was the cutting-edge environmental non-profit organisation, Arcenciel. It was given the honour of assisting Lebanon for 20 years in trash management. According to Robin Richa, general manager of Arcenciel, “We found many issues affecting the environment and particularly the community and the health of society.” We have made an effort to be strategic in determining the activities where we may have a long-lasting impact.
The second choice was Cécile Bibiane Ndjebet. She is the co-founder of Cameroon Ecology and the head of the African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests. She has received acclaim for her work in reversing the damage caused by unsustainable rates of river pollution, wetlands drainage, and forest destruction. Ndjebet stated, “I discovered that women were struggling a lot, and I wanted to speak for these rural women, to improve their lives.
Additionally, in 2000, scientist Constantino Aucca Chutas created the group Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos. It has protected 30,000 hectares of land and nearly three million trees in Peru. “We give something back to Mother Earth when we plant a tree. According to Aucca, “We are certain that the more trees we plant, the happier people will be.
Entrepreneurial Vision Category
Purnima Devi Barman, the “Hargila Army’s” leader and a wildlife biologist, is also among the awardees. The greater adjutant stork was saved from extinction by an all-female grassroots conservation initiative. It generates entrepreneurs, improves livelihoods, and gives thousands of women more authority. She recalls being taken by her grandmother as a young girl to the neighbouring wetlands and rice fields where she “saw storks and many other species.” Barman claimed, “I fell in love with the birds.
Science and Innovation Category
Last but not least, Partha Dasgupta was also included in the winners. He has improved economics by informing people about the value of protecting ecosystems and the natural world. Forecasts for the economy include growth, employment rates, and factory investment. “They never discuss the state of the ecosystems,” asserted Dasgupta. “We need to think about it right away, it’s incredibly urgent.”
As of this writing, 106 honorees have received the title of Champions of the Earth, including heads of state, community activists, business leaders, and pioneering scientists. The Sea Women of Melanesia, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka from Uganda, Maria Kolesnikova from the Kyrgyz Republic, and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley were also among the winners from the previous year.
Every day, people from all around the world take action to invent new ways to restore nature and ensure a healthy planet for future generations. This effort is led by the Champions of the Earth. Their programmes address the triple global issue of climate change, loss of biodiversity and the natural world, and pollution and waste. They serve as a reminder that sustainable growth depends on maintaining the environment.