Geneva – 11 December 2012: Nominations for the 2013 Green Star Awards, recognizing outstanding efforts to reduce the environmental and humanitarian impacts of disasters and conflicts, were called for today by the United Nations and the non-governmental organisation Green Cross International.
The biennial Green Star Awards, first presented in 2009, are a collaborative initiative between the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Green Cross International (GCI), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Emergencies in their various forms can have severe impact on the environment, as well as on human health and livelihoods. The Green Star Awards recognize individuals, organizations, governments and companies that demonstrate remarkable achievements in raising awareness, building capacity, and effectively responding to such crises.
Importantly, the Awards emphasize the nexus between the environment and the need to safeguard communities from emergencies, including industrial accidents, extreme weather events and the fallout of nuclear crises.
“Environmental emergencies can have severe humanitarian consequences. Countries and organizations must be better prepared to respond effectively to them. The Green Star Awards recognize people who have shown leadership and innovation – we hope they will be an inspiration to others,” said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International, said: “The Green Star Awards highlight the link between environmental disasters and humanitarian impacts. They underscore the importance of humanitarian assistance in such emergencies, as well as preparing communities to prevent or respond to an environmental crisis.”
Nominations for the Green Star Awards will be accepted until 15 March 2013. The 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.
In 2011, the Green Star Awards were presented to three organizations for their contribution to dealing with global environmental emergencies: Blacksmith Institute, in recognition of its high quality support to local efforts to manage heavily polluted sites; MSF-Holland, for delivering life-saving medical care in crisis-affected regions; and Terragraphics Environmental Engineering, for its work on hazardous waste issues.
Three individuals were also recognized in 2011: Greek Parliamentarian Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou, who led a reconstruction project following the devastating 2007 wildfires in her country; Professor Mary Comerio, an architect whose primary focus is on seismic safety for housing and post-disaster recovery; and posthumously to Dr Linda Norgrove, a Scottish environmentalist killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
- Video: UN, Green Cross open nominations for 2013 Green Star Awards (11 Dec, 2012)
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For more information, contact:
Green Cross International – Paul Garwood
+41 79 77 60 454
UN OCHA – Jens Laerke
+41 22 917 11 42