Champions of the Earth

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Not to be confused with Defenders of the Earth.

The United Nations Environment Programme established Champions of the Earth in 2004 as an annual awards programme to recognize outstanding environmental leaders at a policy level. Six awards are given out each year to a Laureate representing different geographical regions with one additional special prize.

The Champions of the Earth are invited to accept their award at an international ceremony, which publicizes and encourages the worldwide replication of the achievements of the Champions. This special event was held in Singapore in 2006 and 2007.

This awards programme is a successor to UNEP's Global 500 Roll of Honour.






Special Award



  • Atiq Rahman, Bangladesh from Asia and the Pacific - For his national and international experience in sustainable development, and environment and resource management. He is one of the leading specialists in the field.
  • Albert II, Prince of Monaco, Monaco from Europe: For his commitment to sustainable development in Monaco. Under his leadership, Monaco is now applying an exemplary policy on CO2 reduction in every sphere of society as well as in the business sector.
  • Abdul-Qader Ba-Jammal, Yemen from West Asia: For his environmental policies as Minister and then as Prime Minister in Yemen. He established its Ministry of Water and Environment and the Environment Protection Authority.
Special Prize
  • Helen Clark, New Zealand - For her environmental strategies and her three initiatives - the emissions trading scheme, the energy strategy and the energy efficiency and conservation strategy.


  • Viveka Bohn, Sweden from Europe: for playing a prominent role in multilateral negotiations and her leadership in global efforts to ensure chemical safety;
  • Al Gore, United States from North America - For making environmental protection a pillar of his public service and for educating the world on the dangers posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions;
Special Prize



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