United Nations Environment Programs Awards Top Prize for Pioneering and Inspirational Environmental Action – Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil Receives Honor 

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Pioneers and trailblazers whose work has had a significant and positive impact on the environment were given the United Nation’s highest environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth Award, at a ceremony hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the Museum of Natural History in New York, on Wednesday 18 September 2013.

Wednesday 18 September 2013, NewYork City – by Mike Leventhal NYC TV News Staff Writer

Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil was in New York City on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 to receive United Nation’s highest environmental honor, the Champions of the Earth Award,

Ms. Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil is recognized for her key role in reversing deforestation in the Amazon and her role on high-level UN panels on sustainable development. According to government figures, Brazil has cut deforestation by 84 per cent over eight years, from an annual loss of over 27,000 sq km in 2004 to around 4,500 sq km in 2012. Apart from the prevention and control of deforestation, the land use planning policies implemented by Ms. Teixeira resulted in 250,000 sq km of conservation areas – the equivalent of 75 per cent of global forest protected areas.

Other winners of UNEP’s 2013 Champions of the Earth Award include: Janez Potocnik, EU Environment Commissioner; Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food Movement; Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil; Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, and Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo from the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.

UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said, “Leadership and vision will be the hallmarks of a transition to an inclusive Green Economy in developed and developing countries alike. That transition is under way and has been given fresh impetus by the outcomes of last year’s Rio+20 Summit.”

“This year’s Champions of the Earth are among those who are putting in place the actions, policies and pathways to scale-up and accelerate such transformations. As such they are lightning rods towards a sustainable 21st Century,” he added.

The Award includes the following categories: Policy Leadership, Entrepreneurial Vision, Science and Innovation and Inspiration and Action.