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Winners emerge for MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2020

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The AEON Environmental Foundation and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have announced the winners of the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2020.

The winners are Dr. Paul Hebert, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Canada; Ms. Melina Sakiyama, Co-founder, Global Youth Biodiversity Network; and Mr. Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy, Founder, Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch. 

The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity is a prestigious biennial international prize organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation and the CBD Secretariat. It honours individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Each of the prize winners is awarded a monetary prize of USD 100,000 to support their work in addition to a commemorative gift and a plaque.

“Climate change, and the frequent occurrence of disasters due to climate change, is causing rapid changes in biodiversity and having an immense impact on the global environment,” said Mr. Takuya Okada, Chairman of the AEON Environmental Foundation. “Efforts to conserve the global environment will become even more important. In addition to honouring the achievements of the Prize winners in 2020, we will continue to actively promote environmental activities in order to pass on the beautiful and healthy planet Earth to the next generation.”

“At a time when the world is facing an interlinked crisis of health, climate and biodiversity, it is crucial to work together to find solutions and ways to live in harmony with nature. Each of this year’s winners are contributing to these objectives and inspiring positive change for people and planet” said Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and CBD Executive Secretary. “I would like to express my deepest appreciation for their commitment and achievements and my wholehearted congratulations.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in lieu of an in-person award ceremony and events, the winners and their work will be celebrated in a series of online activities in the coming months.

The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity aims to raise public awareness of the importance of biodiversity to human wellbeing and global issues, such as climate change, and to contribute to the objectives of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020. It aims to support action for biodiversity and to inspire others by honouring individuals who have made major contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and by bringing attention to their achievements.

The prize for Biodiversity was established by the AEON Environmental Foundation in commemoration of its 20th anniversary in 2010, which coincided with the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity and the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10), held in Nagoya, Japan. The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity is an international biennial prize and this year marks its sixth edition. Sixteen prize winners from 15 countries have been selected so far and their work is relevant around the world.


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