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UN-HABITAT chief wins prestigious environmental award
25 June 2009 / 03:59

[Nairobi | Author: UN-HABITAT]

Anna TibaijukaThe Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Anna Tibaijuka, has been named one of three winners of the 2009 Göteborg Award, the prestigious “Nobel Prize in Environment”.

The Göteborg Award, celebrating its 10th year, conferred its jubilee prize of one million Swedish Kroner (USD 126,775) to be shared equally among Mrs. Tibaijuka, Mr. Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, and Mr. Sören Hermansen of Samsö, Denmark, who was named by Time Magazine as a 2008 Hero of the Environment.

“We are thrilled to award our jubilee prize to these brilliant visionaries, strategists and system transformers,” said Mr. Stefan Edman, Chairman of the Award Jury since its conception in 2000.

"I am honoured to be given this award. I accept it with humility and on behalf of all of my colleagues,” Mrs. Tibaijuka said, thanking Mr. Edman and the members of the jury.

The recognition comes at an opportune time. “With over 50% of humanity now living in urban areas, the award highlights the urgent need for sustainable urbanization for the future of the planet," said Mrs. Tibaijuka, who was launching UN-HABITAT's campaign on sustainable urbanization in the Pacific region when she heard the news.

Last year’s winners included the former US Vice President Al Gore, who is also a global environment champion.

Established by the City of Göteborg and several interested companies in 1999, the award is funded by the City together with the Second Swedish National Pension Fund, Carl Bennet AB, Elanders AB, Eldan Recycling, Folksam, Götaverken Miljö, Handelsbanken, Nordea, Peab, Schenker AB and SKF.

It aims to “stimulate further positive developments and recognize strategic work for national and international sustainable development”.

Announcing the 2009 winners, the Jury panel said: “Each one comes from a separate continent and they are, locally and globally, knowledgeable, engaged and impatient doers. They are ambassadors for one of the most decisive factors for humanity – the battle for sustainable development in the cities and towns around the globe.”

The award winners will receive their prizes at a ceremony scheduled for 26 November in Göteborg.