The Green Star Awards honour actors who demonstrate outstanding dedication to preventing, preparing for, and responding to the environmental impacts of disasters.
The awards are a joint initiative between Green Cross International (GCI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The awards ceremony was held in Brussels in conjunction with the 8th meeting of the international Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies (AGEE), which is hosted by the European Commission.
The 2009 winners were:
- Mike Cowing, United Nations Environment Programme;
- Center for Scientific Support in Disaster Situations (CENACID) of Paraná Federal University in Brazil;
- Spiez Laboratory, Switzerland;
- Government of the Netherlands;
- Government of Sweden.
An international jury of environmental emergency experts selected the winners, based on their work in a variety of domains including international response and capacity-building missions.
“These first ever recipients of the Green Star Awards have demonstrated immense dedication to and capacity for responding to environmental emergencies and also to helping affected populations both immediately and in the long run. Due to climate change and the increased frequency and severity of such disasters, it is important that the world becomes aware of environmental emergencies and the best way to respond quickly and adequately” – Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International.
“These awards highlight the environmental impact of natural and man-made disasters. I hope that by improving awareness of the environmental consequences of such emergencies, we can improve response to future disasters by having more actors involved” – John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
“The Green Star Awards recognize the efforts of leaders whose work ultimately contributes to the stability of post-crisis societies” – Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.