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Do You Know a 2009 Champion of the Earth?
07/ 11/ 2008

Do You Know a 2009 Champion of the Earth?UNEP Evolves its Annual Awards to Spotlight Transformational Leaders in Environmental Policy, Business, Civil Society and Science & Technology

Nairobi/World, 7 November 2008 - Whether it be combating climate change or stemming the accelerating loss of biodiversity or promoting sustainable agriculture and recycling - some people and organizations are making a real and landscape-shifting difference.
They may be Presidents, politicians, economists, scientists or philosophers or perhaps musicians, artists, actors, religious or civic figures operating on the global, national or local stage.
They may be community leaders, business leaders or youth leaders who are triggering a transformation aimed at bringing forward tomorrow's world today by turning their societies into beacons of fundamental and sustainable change.
Whomever and wherever they are UNEP wants to know and looks forward to award the brightest and the best as a 2009 Champion of the Earth.
With the new four categories, UNEP aims to highlight the urgency of cooperation between all players and all sectors of society to achieve a global Green Economy: one that reflects the real needs and aspirations of six billion rising to nine billion people by 2050.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said: "We are looking for real and inspirational champions - people and organizations who are not fazed by what can sometimes seem to be insuperable challenges. Individuals and organizations who refuse to accept the status quo."
"The world is facing multiple crises but also huge opportunities to move to a more resource-efficient, more intelligently-managed planet. There are those who have been working for decades and others who have are just now stepping up to the bar," he said.
"So we want to learn about these outstanding and catalytic candidates from Asia and the Pacific, West Asia and Europe to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and North America. Who is your Champion of the Earth 2009?" said Mr Steiner.
The 2009 award ceremony will take place in parallel to the annual Global Business Summit for the Environment (B4E), co-hosted by UNEP and the United Nations Global Compact in Paris, France, next April.
The Summit, attended by international business leaders and policy makers, will highlight the most urgent environmental challenges facing the world and discuss business-driven solutions for mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Notes to Editors
Background on the Champions of the Earth prize and previous laureates, including biographies and photographs, is available from or from UNEP DCPI at
No monetary reward is attached to the prize. Each laureate receives a trophy designed especially for the occasion with environmentally friendly materials.
UNEP invites nominations from individuals who have made a significant contribution globally, regionally and beyond, to the protection and sustainable management of the environment and natural resources. Deadline for receipt of nominations is on 1 December 2008. Candidates are judged by a senior UNEP panel.
For More Information Please Contact Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, on Tel: +254 20 762 3084, Mobile: +254 733 632755 or +41 79 596 5737, E-mail:
Or Lucita Jasmin, Head of Special Events, on Tel: +254 20762 3401, Mobile: +254 713601244, E-mail:

Further Resources
UNEP Champions of the Earth: Nomination Form
UNEP Champions of the Earth website