HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed presents Zayed prize

Published June 9th, 2008 - 05:27 GMT

HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed presents Zayed prize

Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai presented the world’s most prestigious environment award, the Zayed International Prize for the Environment carrying a total prize money of US$ 1 million in Dubai yesterday

The first prize for Global leadership in environment was awarded to Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway. Dr. Brundtland is a Norwegian politician, diplomat and physician and an international leader in sustainable development and public health. She is a former Prime Minister of Norway and has served as the Director General of the World Health Organization. She now serves as a Special Envoy on Climate Change for the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

Dr. Brundtland was educated as a Medical Doctor at the University of Oslo in 1963, and Master of Public Health at Harvard University in 1965. From 1966 to 1969, she worked as a physician at the Directorate of Health, and from 1969 she worked as a doctor in Oslo’s public school health service. She was Norwegian Minister for Environmental Affairs from 1974 to 1979, and became Norway’s first and to date only- female Prime Minister. She became Norwegian Prime Minister for two subsequent terms.
She was Chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), widely referred to as the Brundtland Commission, developing the broad political concept of sustainable development in the course of extensive public hearings that were distinguished by their inclusiveness and published its report Our Common Future in April 1987. The Brundtland Commission provided the momentum for the 1992 Earth Summit/UNCED and for the Agenda 21.

Dr. Brundtland was elected Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 1998. In this capacity, she adopted a far-reaching approach to public health, establishing a Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, and addressing violence as a major public health issue. She spearheaded the movement, now worldwide, to achieve the abolition of cigarette smoking by education and persuasion.

Under her leadership, WHO was one of the first major employers to require freedom from tobacco addiction as a condition for employment. Dr. Brundtland was recognized in 2003 by Scientific American as their Policy Leader of the Year for coordination a rapid worldwide response to stem outbreaks of SARS. In 1994, Dr. Brundtland was awarded the Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen.

In 2004 the British newspaper, The Financial Times, listed her as the 4th most influential European over the last 25 years, behind Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher.

In May 2007, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon named Dr. Brundtland, as well as Ricardo Lagos (the former president of Chile), and Han Seung-soo (the former Minister of South Korea), to serve as UN Special Envoys for Climate Change. The Jury decided that her achievements and perseverance made her worthy of the Zayed Prize.

The second Zayed Prize for Scientific/ technological achievements in environment was awarded to two professors; Jane Lubchenco from the United States of America and V. Ramanathan from India.

Prof. Jane Lubchenco is a world leader in environmental sciences. She discovered fundamental ecological and evolutionary relationships among animals and plants in complex coastal systems. She has studied the effect of aquaculture on world fish supplies and how biotic and abiotic local interactions can have a strong influence on the large-scale properties of ecosystems. Her recent work has shown how coastal oceanographic features can affect local community structure and dynamics. Such studies have led to a general understanding of factors affecting the distribution abundance and biodiversity of species. Author of several Citation Classics papers, she is a fellow of the US National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society, and European Academy of Sciences, TWAS, and the Royal Society of the UK.

Prof. V. Ramanathan is among the most distinguished climatologists in the world. He identified the famous chlorofluorocarbons, stratospheric ozone and other pollutants as significant factors in the anthropogenic greenhouse effect (manmade factors leading to global warming). He also demonstrated the positive amplifying effect of water vapor absorption on global warming, the global cooling effects of clouds on climate. More recently, he made significant contributions to the discovery of the widespread Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABC) phenomenon. He showed that soot in the clouds led to a reduction in the solar radiation at the ocean surface, heating of the atmosphere and regional climate changed in South Asia.  He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Academy of Sciences for Developing Countries (TWAS), and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. For his outstanding contribution to the environment he received the Rosby Award and the Volvo Prize. The Jury decided that their achievements were worth the Zayed Prize.

The third prize for Environmental action leading to positive change in society was awarded to two Non–Governmental Organizations. The two NGOs are Environment Development Action in the Third World (ENDA) in Senegal and Tierramérica in Latin America.

Environment Development Action in the Third World was established in the Senegal in 1972. For more than 30 years it has demonstrated success in improving the environment and people's lives throughout the Continent of Africa. It has successfully transferred leadership through three generations of excellent leaders.

ENDA has established itself as one of the leading sustainable development organizations in the world. It is a member of RING, the world network of leading sustainable development organizations.

ENDA has a positive impact at local, national and regional levels. Working with the poorest of the poor in rural and urban areas, ENDA has achieved great success under very difficult circumstances. It is one of the very few successful pan-African Environment and Development Organizations that works throughout Francophone and Anglophone Africa and in North Africa.

ENDA is highly regarded by national governments and by the international community for its rigor in "research-action-learning", development impact, financial accountability and transparency. It is successful in a range of projects and activities from environmental action research, combating desertification, sustainable energy, working with women, youth and children, education training and awareness programs, and grassroots community self-help programs.

Tierramérica is a specialized information service on Environment and Development, produced by the international news agency, Inter Press Service (IPS). It is sponsored by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and The World Bank (WB). The Tierramérica Administrative Board includes the UNEP, UNDP, WB and IPS.

The history of Tierramérica began in 1995. In its first phase the project produced a bi-monthly supplement distributed by 12 newspapers in 11 countries, achieving a circulation of one million. With its attractive design, Tierramérica received the award for excellence of The Society of Newspaper Design in 1996. Since 2000, the weekly print edition of Tierramérica is published in newspapers and magazines in Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. Today, the general and technology headquarters located in Uruguay, while editorial coordination is based in Mexico, with Internet, radio and Portuguese edition based in Chile, Venezuela and Brazil, respectively. The multimedia presence of Tierramérica includes a weekly page published in a network of 20 newspapers and selected news broadcast by 400 radio stations in 10 countries throughout Latin America. Tierramérica news, reports and interviews are published weekly on its website in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Tierramérica serves as a space for debate, drawing a wide range of social actors from Latin America and the world. Its editorial board includes Carlos Fuentes, José Roberto Marinho, Rigoberta Menchú, Maurice Strong, Elena Poniatowska and César Gaviria, among other personalities.

The Jury decided that their achievements fulfill the objectives of the Zayed Prize, in line with the philosophy of the late Sheikh Zayed and the vision of the H.H. the Patron, and they are worth the award. The Higher Committee and the International Jury of Zayed Prize do hope that these awards inspire and encourage the winners and other to achieve even more for better life on earth.

Founded in 1999 by H. H. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the Zayed International Prize for the Environment is worth US$ 1 million and is meant to recognize and encourage environmental achievements supporting and promoting the implementation of Agenda 21, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation for Sustainable Development, in line with the vision and philosophy of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Father of the United Arab Emirates (Mercy be upon him).

The Zayed International Prize for the Environment is considered to be one of the most important contributions of the United Arab Emirates towards global efforts to promote sustainable development at the local, regional and international levels. It reflects the great concern of its leaders and people about the environmental issues at all levels.

The Zayed International Prize for the Environment, being open to both individuals and organizations, is presented every two years in three categories:

The first prize is worth US$ 500,000, the second US$ 300,000 and the third worth US$ 200,000. Each winner of the Zayed Prize in any category receives a Zayed Prize Trophy and a Zayed Prize Diploma, in addition to the financial award.

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