Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been awarded the United Nations’ highest environmental accolade.
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Hasina was announced as one of the winners of the Champions of the Earth award in the Policy Leadership category, in recognition of Bangladesh’s far-reaching initiatives to address climate change. Hasina will accept the award at a ceremony in New York on 27 September 2015.
With a population of more than 159 million, Bangladesh is one of the world’s most populated countries. It is also one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Cyclones, floods and droughts have long been part of the country's history, but they have intensified in recent years.
The Champions of the Earth award recognizes Bangladesh’s first-off-the-block initiatives under Prime Minister Hasina’s government to prepare the ecologically fragile country for the challenges it faces from climate change, said United Nations Environment Programme in a press release.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Through a number of forward-looking policy initiatives and investments, Bangladesh has placed confronting the challenge of climate change at the core of its development. These initiatives, from climate change adaptation measures to ecosystem preservation legislation, mean that current and future generations of Bangladeshis are better prepared to address climate change risks and reverse the impacts of environmental degradation.”
About Champions of the Earth
The annual Champions of the Earth award is the highest environmental accolade that the United Nations can confer upon outstanding individuals and organizations. Previous laureates of this inclusive award range from leaders of nations to grassroots activists – all visionaries whose leadership and actions drive the world ever closer to its aspirations of environmental sustainability and a life of dignity for all. To date, the Champions of the Earth has recognized 67 laureates in the categories of policy, science, business and civil society.
The other winners named so far are the National Geographic Society (Science and Innovation); Brazilian cosmetics firm Natura (Entrepreneurial Vision); and South Africa’s Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (Inspiration and Action). Other winners will be announced throughout September. The awards will be handed out at a Gala Ceremony at the close of the Sustainable Development Goals summit, on September 27.