Environmental emergencies inflict massive human, natural and economic costs that require drastic action. To curb such losses, the United Nations and Green Cross International will award environmental champions who are striving to stop and reverse the effects of such disasters.
The Green Star Awards is a joint initiative between the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Green Cross International (GCI), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The prize recognizes individuals, organizations, governments and companies that demonstrate remarkable achievements in raising awareness, building capacity, and effectively responding to environmental emergencies.
Nominations are coming in for the 2013 awards, but more candidates are invited to ensure that the full range of environmental emergency action is covered.
In the past decades, the world has seen more and more extreme weather, leading to devastating disasters. More than 300 disasters were recorded in 2011. They affected 206 million people and inflicted record economic damages of US$366 billion, according to the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters.
“In 2011, nearly 30,000 lives were lost to environmental disasters. It is very important to raise awareness and spread good practices in the world, and it is exactly what these awards intend to do,” according to Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International.
March 15, 2013, is the cut-off date for nominating for the Green Star Awards. The form can be downloaded by clicking here.
“The Green Star Awards are both an environmental and a humanitarian award. We will be looking for high-profile awardees in order to reach a much larger audience than before,” said Wendy Cue, Chief of the Joint UNEP / OCHA Environment Unit.
In 2011, Blacksmith Institute, a leader in the field pollution cleans ups and advocacy on toxic threats, was one of the Green Star Awards laureates. According to Richard Fuller, Blacksmith Institute Chief, the awareness garnered from the Green Star Award has been invaluable in raising awareness with a wider audience about the problems Blacksmith has been battling.
The 2013 Green Star Award winners will be announced on 2 September 2013 during celebrations in Geneva, Switzerland, to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of GCI by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev.
For full details on the nomination process (including nomination form), please visit www.greenstarawards.net