Guwahati, Nov 22: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced its 2022 Champions of the Earth, honouring a conservationist, an enterprise, an economist, a women’s rights activist, and a wildlife biologist for their transformative action to prevent, halt and reverse ecosystem degradation.
Assam-based acclaimed conservation biologist Dr Purnima Devi Barman , popularly known as Hargila Baidew (Stork Sister), is among the Champions of the Earth. She has been, honoured in the Entrepreneurial Vision category, for being a wildlife biologist who leads the “Hargila Army”, an all-female grassroots conservation movement dedicated to protecting the Greater Adjutant Stork from extinction. The women create and sell textiles with motifs of the bird, helping to raise awareness about the species while building their own financial independence.
Dr Barman is associated with premier research-based biodiversity conservation organization, Aaranyak based here.
The other UNEP’s 2022 Champions of the Earth are:
● Arcenciel(Lebanon), honoured in the Inspiration and Action category, is a leading environmental enterprise whose work to create a cleaner, healthier environment has laid the foundation for the country’s national waste management strategy. Today, arcenciel recycles more than 80 per cent of Lebanon’s potentially infectious hospital waste every year.
● Constantino (Tino) AuccaChutas (Peru), also honoured in the Inspiration and Action category, has pioneered a community reforestation model driven by local and Indigenous communities, which has led to three million trees being planted in the country. He is also leading ambitious reforestation efforts in other Andean countries.
● Sir Partha Dasgupta (United Kingdom), honoured in the Science and Innovation category, is an eminent economist whose landmark review on the economics of biodiversity calls for a fundamental rethink of humanity’s relationship with the natural world to prevent critical ecosystems from reaching dangerous tipping points.
● ● Cécile BibianeNdjebet (Cameroon), honoured in the Inspiration and Action category, is a tireless advocate for the rights of women in Africa to secure land tenure, which is essential if they are to play a role in restoring ecosystems, fighting poverty and mitigating climate change. She is also leading efforts to influence policy on gender equality in forest management across 20 African countries.
Since its inception in 2005, the annual Champions of the Earth award has been awarded to trailblazers at the forefront of efforts to protect our natural world. It is the UN’s highest environmental honour. To date, the award has recognized 111 laureates: 26 world leaders, 69 individuals and 16 organizations. This year a record 2,200 nominations from around the world were received.
Following the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), this year’s awards shine a spotlight on efforts to prevent, halt and reverse ecosystem degradation globally.
UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
The UNEP’s Champions of the Earth honours individuals and organisations whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment. The annual Champions of the Earth award is the UN’s highest environmental honour. It recognizes outstanding leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector.