UN to Announce Winners of Champions of the Earth Environment Awards Thu, May 31, 2012

The winners of the Champions of the Earth Awards, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme, will be unveiled on 4 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.

Winners of the 2011 Champions of the Earth Awards with UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Buendchen.

Press Conference: 4.30-5.45pm, Monday 4 June 2012

Venue: Blue Room, Copacabana Palace Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nairobi, 31 May 2012 - A president who is spearheading green policies in Asia, a conservationist tackling poaching in Kenya and a renewable energy entrepreneur from the Middle East are among the winners of the United Nations' flagship environmental awards, to be announced on 4 June 2012 in Brazil.

Other Champions of the Earth laureates include an aeronaut and green transport innovator, a leading environmental scientist and a banker, who is promoting sustainable development in Latin America.

Launched in 2005 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Champions of the Earth has to date recognized 51 individuals and organizations for their leadership on environmental issues. Previous laureates include former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, Chinese actress and advocate Zhou Xun, the Women's Environment & Development Organization (WEDO) and global music legend Angélique Kidjo.

This year, the awards are being held on the eve of World Environment Day (5 June 2012), which is being hosted by Brazil.

In the run-up to the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development (20-22 June 2012), which will also take place in Rio de Janeiro, Champions of the Earth will highlight how outstanding policy leadership, entrepreneurial vision, and science and innovation can inspire global efforts in the transition towards a low carbon, resource efficient green economy.

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner will present this year's winners with their awards. Brazil's Minister of the Environment Izabella Teixeira and Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang are among those set to attend the ceremony.

For more information on Champions of the Earth, please visit: http://www.unep.org/champions/

For media enquiries and to confirm attendance, please contact:

UNEP Newsdesk (Nairobi) on Tel. +254 20 762 3088 or Email unepnewsdesk@unep.org

Amanda Talamonte (UNEP Brazil) on Tel. +55 61 3038 9237 or Email comunicacao@pnuma.org

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