Deadline: 5 May 2024

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched a call for nominations for the annual Champions of the Earth award – the UN’s highest environmental honour, which recognizes outstanding leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector for their transformative impact on the environment.

This year, UNEP encourages nominations of individuals and organizations developing and implementing sustainable policies and solutions to restore land, enhance drought resilience, and combat desertification.

Since the award’s inception in 2005, Champions of the Earth has recognized 116 laureates, including 27 world leaders, 70 individuals and 19 organizations. In 2023, UNEP received a record 2,500 nominations for the award.

As we approach the halfway mark of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, urgent action is needed to protect and revive ecosystems. Restoration improves livelihoods, reduces poverty, builds resilience to extreme weather and slows the climate crisis. To support the natural world, governments, civil society and the private sector must scale up financing, build capacity and shift behaviours.

World Environment Day on 5 June 2024 will focus on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification, marking its thirtieth anniversary this year, will convene its sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) in December.

Restoring and reviving nature is critical to improving human and planetary health. Leaders from all sectors and regions are actively working to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity and nature loss, and pollution and waste. The Champions of the Earth help lead that push. They remind us that environmental sustainability is key to achieving sustainable development.

Individuals, organizations and government entities may be nominated under the categories of Policy Leadership, Inspiration and Action, Entrepreneurial Vision, and Science and Innovation. Nominations are open from 15 April to 5 May 2024 to everyone. The Champions of the Earth will be announced in late 2024.

For more information, please contact:
News and Media Unit, UN Environment Programme.


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