||Bhutan Royal Family The King
||Bhutan Royal Family
Coronation 2008 Links
of the Earth
Majesty the King and the people of Bhutan received the Champion of The
||Winner 2005: Ambassador Daw Penjo with the other winners of the Champion
of the Earth award
Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (posthumously),
President Thabo Mbeki and the people of South Africa, His All Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Julia Carabias Lillo, former Environment
Minister of Mexico, Sheila Watt-Cloutier of Canada, President of the Inuit
Circumpolar Conference, and Zhou Qiang and the All-China Youth Federation
received the award which is a trophy and a certificate specially designed
to symbolise the fundamental elements: sun, air, land, and water.
UNEP 'Champions of the Earth' Presented to Seven Environmental Leaders
monarchs, government and religious leaders, as well as indigenous and youth
group representatives were honoured this evening at UN Headquarters with
the inaugural UNEP Champions of the Earth award.
presenting the awards to this unique group of seven environmental leaders,
representing each region of the world, Klaus Toepfer,
of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), hailed them for their efforts
to "fight for, defend and protect the natural riches that we have for too
long taken for granted".
is honoured to recognize the achievements of those who have, to a large
extent, set the environmental agenda and laid the foundations for the many
areas of progress we are able to see and celebrate today", he noted.
Champions of the Earth award was created by UNEP in 2004 to honour individuals
or groups who have made a significant and recognized contribution, regionally
or beyond, to the protection and sustainable management of the Earth's
environment and natural resources. Laureates
have been rewarded for their creativity, vision and leadership, and for
the potential that their work and ideas can be replicated across the globe.
North America, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who was on hand to receive the
honour in person, was recognized for her energies in speaking out on behalf
of the 155,000 Inuit of the Arctic. As Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference,
she has been a highly effective spokesperson on the international stage
on a wide range of Arctic and indigenous issues. These range from the devastating
effects of climate change and its relentless assault on the Inuit's traditional
way of life to global efforts to eliminate persistent organic pollutants,
which pose a particular threat to Arctic peoples and ecosystems.
'Green Patriarch', His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, was
honoured for mobilizing moral and spiritual forces, not just in Europe,
but globally, towards achieving harmony between humankind and nature. As
leader of the Orthodox Church, he has worked energetically to promote mediation
between East and West, and to challenge people and leaders of all faiths
to vigorously pursue peaceful and innovative solutions to the challenges
of the new millennium. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America accepted
the award on behalf of the Patriarch.
present this evening was Julia Carabias Lillo, representing the Latin
American and Caribbean region. She was honoured for her efforts in
coordinating research and rural development programmes in extremely impoverished
peasant communities throughout her native Mexico. She was also recognized
for her outstanding service to her Government as its Environment Minister
in the 1990s and, internationally more recently, as Chair of the Scientific
and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility.
Thabo Mbeki and the people of South Africa have received the Champions
of the Earth award for their commitment to cultural and environmental diversity.
They were also honoured for their efforts towards achieving the goals and
targets encapsulated in the 2000 Millennium Declaration and the World Summit
on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Plan of Implementation, particularly
in the area of clean water and sanitation. Their world leadership in conservation
practices, including spearheading of the groundbreaking sponsorship of
the Peace Parks concept to support cross-border conservation of critically
important wild habitats, has also been exemplary. Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk,
South Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, was on hand
to accept the award.
next honour went to a leader in the West Asia region, the late Sheikh Zayed
Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, for his lifetime work
to protect his country's environment, and for his widely acclaimed contributions
to agriculture, afforestation and species protection. The presentation
of the award recognizing the late Sheikh's environmental achievements was
made yesterday in Dubai to his eldest son Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
President of the United Arab Emirates, during an official visit by Mr.
||Bhutan's permanent representative to the United Nations, Daw Penjo
Asia and the Pacific, the King and the People of Bhutan have been presented
the award in recognition of their commitment to placing the environment
at the centre of the country's constitution and all its development plans.
Bhutan's track record is quite impressive, with more than 74 per cent of
its land under forest cover, and 26 per cent of this cover designated as
protected areas. Also notable are the country's long-standing legislation
and policies that ensure the sustainable use of resources, promote community
involvement in environmental activities, improve land use planning, and
integrate traditional with modern natural resource use practices.
Penjo Bhutan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, accepted
the award on behalf of the King and the people of Bhutan.
special award was given to Mr. Zhou Qiang and the All-China Youth Federation
in recognition of Mr. Zhou's outstanding achievements as honorary chairman
of the Federation and leader of the China Mother River Protection Operation,
which mobilised 300 million Chinese youth to protect the environment. The
Federation, the national umbrella organisation for youth associations in
China, has undertaken almost 900 afforestation projects covering nearly
200,000 hectares. Mr. Zhou was in attendance to accept the award.
UNEP's Division of Communications and Public Information; Press Release
YORK/NAIROBI, 19 April 2005
by KUENSEL, Bhutan's National Newspaper 2006
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