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President Bharrat Jagdeo is among six winners from government, science, business and entertainment to be awarded this year’s United Nations Champions of the Earth prize for their leadership in environmental conservation.The winners, announced by Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary-General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, also include Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, an international climate change campaigner.The UN called Jagdeo “a passionate forestry and ecosystem infrastructure proponent.” He won the Special Award for Biodiversity Conservation and Eco System Management.Accepting the award yesterday in Seoul in the Republic of Korea, President Jagdeo said he was deeply honoured to accept the award, but interpreted it is as an endorsement of the people of Guyana’s longstanding efforts to help change the way the world values scarce natural resources.He said for years, the people of Guyana have demonstrated real commitment to the preservation of nature and biodiversity,Cheap NFL Jerseys, most notably as it relates to the country’s still largely intact tropical rainforest.“But they have also struggled against the global economic reality that long term national development and protecting nature are frequently competing, not complementary, objectives,” Jagdeo noted.Without changing this reality, the world will fail to reverse today’s dangerous trends of climate change and biodiversity destruction, the President declared.He said despite the very valuable efforts of many – and years of well meaning philanthropy – much of the world’s biodiversity has been lost and more than half of the world’s tropical forests have been lost in the last 60 years.“I believe that this is because for too long, we focused on stopping the consequences of biodiversity loss, rather than addressing its drivers.“In Guyana, we didn’t want to just despair – we wanted to prove that it is possible to change this economic reality. And the emerging climate change agenda’s recognition of the importance of forests as an abatement solution provided us with an opportunity to maybe start changing things.”He referred to the decision to put virtually all of the country’s rainforest under long term protection if the right economic incentives were created and use the payments received for forest services to re-orient the economy into a low carbon, environmentally sound trajectory.“Now, we are putting these ideas into practice. The Government of Norway is the first international partner to value some of the ecosystem services provided by Guyana’s forest, and to start paying for them,” he stated.He said Guyana is about to start investing those payments in the new economy.“Over the next five years,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China, we will remove virtually our entire energy sector from fossil fuel dependence, and we will catalyze new economic sectors to provide our indigenous and other forest communities – as well as citizens across the country – with valuable economic alternatives that do not put pressure on our forests.”He said by extension, a sustainable international economy is also possible, with many other forest countries willing to step up.“If their efforts are supported by progressive international policies – where developed countries move their economies onto a sustainable path at the same time as helping developing countries who aim to do likewise – I believe that we can build out from national experiences such as ours; protect forests and by extension preserve biodiversity; unleash the biggest wave of green innovation the world has ever seen; and create real benefits and opportunities for people across the world today and for generations to come.”Afghanistan’s Director General of the National Environmental Protection Agency and sustainability advocate, Prince Mostapha Zaher, and Japanese earth scientist and pioneer of research into how the oceans cycle carbon,Jerseys From China, Taro Takahashi, are also on the winners’ list.Chinese actress Zhou Xun received the award for her reputation as a green lifestyle guru. Through her “tips for green living” initiative, Ms. Xun encourages people to reduce their carbon print through simple changes in lifestyle.United States venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla was recognized for his efforts as a green energy entrepreneur. In September 2009, Mr. Khosla’s venture capital firm announced it had raised $1.1 billion for a “green fund” that would be used to spur development of renewable energy and other clean technologies.The trophies were presented at a gala event in Seoul to mark International Mother Earth Day, in conjunction with the Business for the Environment Global Summit in the capital of the Republic of Korea, which is being attended by more than 1,Cheap Jerseys For Wholesale,000 representatives from business, government,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, and civil society.“The six winners represent some of the key pillars upon which society can build green growth and a development path to unite rather than divide six billion people,Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic,” said Mr. Steiner.The Champions of the Earth, an international environment award established in 2004, recognizes achievements in areas of entrepreneurial vision, policy and leadership,Authentic MLB Jerseys Online, science and innovation, inspiration and action.The year’s awards had a special category for biodiversity and ecosystems management. To date, the award has recognized 34 outstanding environmental leaders.
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