The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) honoured significant effort and work done by policy makers, pioneers in environmental work, entrepreneurs and innovators for creating positive impact on environment and making a transition towards green economy.

The United Nation’s highest environmental accolade, ‘the Champions of the Earth Award’ was presented to pioneers and trailblazers for their innovative work in the field of environment at a ceremony hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the Museum of Natural History in New York, Wednesday.

Recognised for providing powerful tools to monitor and scope the state of the environment, Co-founder and Vice President of Google Earth, Brian McClendon and Geographic Information System (GIS) pioneer, Jack Dangermond, are among this year’s laureates.  Giselle Bündchen, the UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, presented the award.

The the awards were given in various categories like policy leadership, entrepreneurial vision, science and innovation, and inspiration and action.

Other winners of UNEP’s 2013 Champions of the Earth Award include: Janez Potocnik, EU Environment Commissioner; Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food Movement; Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil; Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, and Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo from the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.

UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said, “Leadership and vision will be the hallmarks of a transition to an inclusive Green Economy in developed and developing countries alike. That transition is under way and has been given fresh impetus by the outcomes of last year’s Rio+20 Summit.”

“This year’s Champions of the Earth are among those who are putting in place the actions, policies and pathways to scale-up and accelerate such transformations. As such they are lightning rods towards a sustainable 21st Century,” he added.



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