The event, held at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, was attended by Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, who presented the world’s most prestigious environment award.
The Zayed International Prize for the Environment, in its fourth year, was launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in honour of the late Shaikh Zayed.
The honour carries $1 million in prize money across three categories, which were awarded at the ceremony attended by ministers of environment from around the world, heads of regional and international organisations, Gulf dignitaries, international media, members of the international jury and the technical advisory committee.
The UAE's Minister for Environment and Water, Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, said the prestigious award came during a crucial time for the environment, when it was facing so many challenges.
"The Zayed International Prize for the Environment and similar non-government organisation initiatives have an important role in formal and informal efforts towards protecting the environment," he said.
He said Shaikh Mohammed, and the government, have already announced several initiatives to balance the country’s rapid development, including limiting emissions from petrol operations and developing clean energy alternatives. Most recently, Masdar (the sustainable city in Abu Dhabi), green buildings legislation in Dubai, and the introduction of hybrid cars to the public transport system have been announced.
Dr Brundtland, who received $500,000, a trophy and a diploma, was honoured for her active involvement in sustainable development, which started when she chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) and her present achievements as special envoy on climate change for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.
The four other awardees are Prof Jane Lubchenco, a leader in environmental sciences from the US, and Prof V. Ramanathan, a distinguished climatologist from India but working in San Diego, California - they jointly won the Zayed Prize for Scientific/Technological Achievements; and, the Environment Development Action in the Third World (ENDA) in Senegal and Tierramerica in Latin America - two non-governmental organisations - which won the Zayed Prize for Environmental Action Leading to Positive Change in Society.
Prof Ramanathan was cited for identifying the famous chlorofluorocarbons, stratospheric ozone and other pollutants as significant man-made factors leading to global warming.
They both received $300,000, a trophy and a diploma.
For the third prize, Environment Development Action in the Third World based in Senegal has demonstrated over 30 years of success in improving the environment and people's lives throughout the African continent.
Tierramerica, an international environment and development news agency, has served as a space for debate, drawing a wide range of social factors from Latin America and the world since 1995.
They each received $200,000, a trophy and a diploma.
The Zayed International Prize for the Environment aims to encourage environmental achievements supporting and promoting the implementation of Agenda 21, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation for Sustainable Development
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