EPIBuilding a Sustainable Future
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Monday, February 06, 2012

On Sunday, February 12, Lester Brown will be inducted into the Earth Hall of Fame Kyoto.

This prestigious award is given in recognition of the achievements of people who have contributed to the conservation of the global environment. The significance of the award being given in Kyoto, Japan, is that this city is the birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto is also a beautiful city, with its temples, shrines, and gardens, designed around the truth that “man is part of nature, and his life comes from nature.” Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple located in Matsuo, Nishikyō Ward

The award, which was first given in 2010, was begun as a way to affirm that all people, regions, and countries have a share in solving our planet’s environmental problems. Thus those who receive the award are people who have worked on behalf of Earth.

Temple in KyotoThe theme for 2012 is on the global commons and commemorates last year’s catastrophic disasters in the Tohoku region of Japan.

This is the third year of the award. Inductees in 2010 were Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and chairperson of the United Nations’ World Commission on Environment and Development, whose 1987 report, “Our Common Future,” advocated the concept of sustainable development; Syukuro Manabe who developed a model used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Climate Change to project global warming; and Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, for her untiring efforts to promote coexistence with the environment. 

Inductees in 2011 were Elinor Ostrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics, who proved that management of communal resources is most effective when a community with vested interests in the resource plays a complementary management role; His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk, Kingdom of Bhutan, who proposed the concept of Gross National Happiness, stressing a “better way of life” respecting both culture and nature; and Masazumi Harada, who has conducted social medical research on environmental pollution issues beginning with Minamata disease.

Klaus Toepfer, Head of UNEPThis year’s inductees are Lester Brown and Klaus Töpfer

Klaus Töpfer is Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Known for promoting environmental and sustainable development, Töpfer believes that environmental policy is the peace policy of the future. As Germany's Minister of Environment, he introduced groundbreaking environmental regulations and laws, including the life-cycle economy and "Green dot." He actively contributed to the success of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and was a forerunner in the negotiations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the establishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The Earth Forum Kyoto, which oversees this award, is the result of the cooperation between the prefectural government and many of Kyoto’s universities and research organizations.

The Earth Hall of Fame Kyoto Management Council is comprised of Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto City, Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japanese Ministry of the Environment, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, International Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Kyoto International Conference Center.

Congratulations to Lester and Klaus Töpfer.


Reah Janise Kauffman

Posted by Reah Janise on 02/06 at 10:25 AM


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