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People

 

Vandana Shiva

Philosopher, environmental activist and eco-feminist — a true environmental guru — Dr. Vandana Shiva is highly sought after as an adviser to Governments around the world on environmental matters and defending the developing country poor. She has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. Among her many notable achievements was the creation in India in 1991 of Navdanya, “Nine seeds”, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, and to promote organic farming and fair trade. Navdanya has a membership of more than 70,000 farmers, and its efforts have resulted in conservation of more than 2,000 rice varieties. She is the recipient of numerous high-profile environment awards, including UNEP’s Global 500 Roll of Honour.


 

Philipe Cousteau

In the footsteps of his legendary grandfather, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Philippe Cousteau is an indefatigable advocate for the conservation of the Earth’s marine and freshwater environments. He is continuing the work of his father and grandfather in a variety of avenues. He is also the CEO of EarthEcho International, the non-profit organization he founded with his sister to empower youth to take action that restores and protects the planet’s water environments. Mr. Cousteau is a high-profile documentary filmmaker and media presenter. Among many other environmental endeavours, Cousteau serves on several boards — such as the The Ocean Conservancy and Marine Conservation Biology Institute — and is a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Initiative Council. In 2009 he was one of the faces fronting UNEP’s Seal the Deal campaign.


 

Pooran Desai

“One Planet Living” is the simple, yet powerful concept at the heart of Pooran Desai’s international initiative to make truly sustainable living places around the world. Mr. Desai is CEO of Bioregional, an “entrepreneurial charity” that helps housing developers make “One Planet Communities” places where living and working within a fair share of our planet’s resources is easy, attractive and affordable. BioRegional is a sustainability advisor to property developers throughout the lifetime of a construction project, guiding them on the 10 One Planet principles covering areas such as energy demand and generation, waste, transport, water use, materials, food, equality and heritage. Bioregional started in the United Kingdom and currently has award-winning and endorsed projects in the USA, UK and Portugal, with others emerging in South Africa, China, Australia and Canada.


 

Yuyun Ismawati

For over a decade Yuyun Ismawati and her Indonesian non-governmental organization (NGO), the Bali Fokus Foundation, have worked prolifically on pollution control and prevention and sustainable development issues. In Bali, a premier tourist destination, concerns about overconsumption of natural resources and unregulated waste disposal prompted Ms. Yuyun to pressure major hotels to reduce solid waste and improve their recycling efforts. Her promotion of “green tourism” became a model that has been successfully replicated in several other resort towns. Bali Fokus produced a handbook for eco-auditing hotels, and has conducted a national workshop for NGOs on solid waste management. Ms. Yuyun helped to craft Indonesia’s first-ever bill on waste management and the country’s strategy on climate change issues. She won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2009.


 

Jochen Zeitz

At the age of 30, Jochen Zeitz was appointed Chairman and CEO of PUMA in 1993 becoming the youngest Chairman in German history to head a public company. As a visionary and a leader in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement he introduced an innovative corporate approach in 2008 – PUMAVision. In April 2010, Mr. Zeitz launched a comprehensive sustainability programme aimed at making PUMA the most desirable and sustainable sports lifestyle company. PUMA has a close relationship with UNEP having been the first major sportswear company to join the Climate Neutral Network in 2009, and having been a leading partner in the “Play for Life” campaign to support the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. In October 2010, he was appointed Chief Sustainability Officer for the PPR Group . Outside his corporate life, Zeitz founded the non-profit Zeitz Foundation which aims to maintain or improve the integrity of ecosystems through the balance of conservation, community, culture and commerce.


 

Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen

Late last year Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen and the crew of the Sea Dragon embarked on the first expedition across the southern Atlantic to research plastic pollution. The pair are co-founders of the 5 Gyres Institute, a non-profit organization committed to research and education about marine plastic pollution. The 4,100 mile Rio-to-Cape Town voyage — the latest in a series of expeditions to each of the Earth’s five sub-tropical ocean gyres — found plastic pollution in every one of the 70 surface samples taken. By examining fish they caught along the way, the crew is furthering its research into whether humans are being harmed by eating fish that have ingested plastic debris contaminated with persistent organic pollutants such as DDT and PCBs. The expedition is run in collaboration with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Pangaea Explorations. 5 Gyres is a partner in UNEP’s Safe Planet campaign.


 

Fatima Jibrell

Few people have worked as prolifically for grassroots environmental causes as Fatima Jibrell, whose work focuses on organizing women and protecting diminishing natural resources in Somalia. Ms. Jibrell is Executive Director of Horn Relief, which campaigned to reduce Somalia’s illicit and environmentally devastating charcoal trade. She is also the co-founder of the Sun Fire Cooking organization, which has been has been instrumental in providing solar cookers and training to villagers in rural Somalia; and is the coordinator of the Resource Management Somali Network, which includes environmental groups throughout the Horn of Africa. Her many other accomplishments include reduction of soil erosion through the promotion of rock dams, and speaking out against the degradation of the Somali marine environment. She won the 2002 Goldman Environment prize and the 2008 National Geographic Society Buffett Award for Leadership in African Conservation.


 

José Goldemberg

With Rio+20 on the horizon, it is fitting to acknowledge Professor José Goldemberg, who was the acting Minister of Environment for Brazil in 1992 during the seminal United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio Janeiro, Professor Goldemberg, a leading expert on energy end environmental issues, has authored many technical papers and books on nuclear physics, the environment and energy, including the acclaimed collaborative work entitled Energy for a Sustainable World. He served as Chairman of the Editorial Board (1998-2000) and a lead author of the United Nations Development Programme’s World Energy Assessment. Professor Goldemberg has held various ministerial positions with the Brazilian Government and is currently Secretary for the Environment of the State of Săo Paulo, Brazil.