Women sweep UN’s 2021 ‘Champions of the Earth’ awards 

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A Caribbean-based prime minister, a scientist, a radical of indigenous women, and an entrepreneur were announced on Tuesday arsenic this year’s winners of the United Nations’ Champions of the Earth awards. 

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the all-female Champions were chosen for their interaction and enactment successful advancing bold enactment connected behalf of radical and the planet. 

“These Champions of the Earth inspire, defend, mobilise and enactment to tackle the top biology challenges of our time, including ecosystem extortion and restoration”, the bureau said successful a statement.  

Environmental standard bearers 

The Champions of the Earth grant is UN’s highest biology honour. 

This year’s grant recognises laureates successful 4 categories: Inspiration and Action, Policy Leadership, Entrepreneurial Vision, and Science and Innovation.  

For the 2021 prizes, UNEP received a grounds fig of nominations from each implicit the world. 

The agency’s Executive Director, Inger Andersen, said the winners’ profiles “demonstrate that each of america tin contribute.” 

Every azygous enactment for quality counts. The full spectrum of humanity has some a planetary work and a profound opportunity”, she said. 

“This year’s Champions are women who not lone animate us, but besides punctual america that we person successful our hands the solutions, the cognition and the technology, to bounds clime alteration and debar ecological collapse.”   

UN Secretary-General António Guterres (left) meets Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados.

Driving action  

Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados was honoured successful the Policy Leadership class for her “powerful voice” for a sustainable world coming from the planetary south, consistently raising the alarm astir the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States. 

UNEP calls the Prime Minister “a driving force” for clime action across the Latin American and the Caribbean region, the first region to hold connected the Action Plan for the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. 

Under her leadership, Barbados has adopted ambitious renewable vigor targets, committing to a fossil-fuel escaped electricity and transportation sector, by 2030. 

At the aforesaid time, the country is implementing galore conservation and restoration projects, from forests, done cities, to the coastline and the ocean. She besides co-chairs the One Health Global Leaders' Group connected Antimicrobial Resistance

The Sea Women of Melanesia, from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, were recognized in the Inspiration and Action category. The radical trains local women to show and measure the impacts of wide coral bleaching connected immoderate of the world's astir endangered reefs utilizing marine subject and technology. 

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, from Uganda, was given the apical honour in the Science and Innovation category. She was the first-ever wildlife veterinarian of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and is a recognised satellite authorization connected primates and zoonotic diseases. 

As the CEO and co-founder of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), she leads the implementation of 3 integrated strategic programmes.  

The colonisation  of Solomon Islands, a federation  made up   of hundreds of isladns successful  the South Pacific, mostly   unrecorded  connected  precocious   islands.

The Sea Women of Melanesia, from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands,  trains local women to show impacts of coral bleaching, by Aleta Moriarty/World Bank

Finally, Maria Kolesnikova, from the Kyrgyz Republic, was honoured successful the Entrepreneurial Vision category. She is an biology activist, younker advocator and caput of MoveGreen, an enactment moving to show and amended aerial prime successful the cardinal Asia region.  

Under Ms. Kolesnikova, the organization developed an app called AQ.kg, which collects real-time data, every 1 to 3 hours from the 2 largest Kyrgyz cities, Bishkek and Osh, astir the attraction of pollutants successful the air.  

Ecosystem Restoration 

This year’s awards item the UN Decade connected Ecosystem Restoration, which runs until 2030, coinciding with the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  

According to UNEP, by halting and reversing the degradation of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the world can forestall the nonaccomplishment of 1 cardinal endangered species 

Scientists say restoring lone 15 per cent of ecosystems successful precedence areas and improving habitats tin chopped extinctions by 60 per cent. 

Since its foundation in 2005, the Champions of the Earth award has distinguished 101 laureates, including 25 satellite leaders, 62 individuals and 14 organizations. 

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