Chinese environmentalist Xie Zhenhua and Brazilian campaigner against illegal wildlife trade Dener Jose Giovanini are this year’s co-winners of the Sasakawa environment prize, the UN environment agency said Tuesday.
Xie, vice chairman of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, has been active in environmental protection in China for more than two decades, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a statement.
“One of Mr. Xie’s most important contributions has been to persuade colleagues … that economic growth without environmental protection cannot last,” the statement said.
Giovanini is the founder of Brazil’s National Network for Combatting Animal Trafficking, which addresses the problem by harnessing public support and offering alternative, wildlife-related livelihoods for potential poachers, the statement added.
The two laureates will split the 200,000 dollar prize, which will be presented to them by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on November 19.
The UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize, sponsored by the Nippon Foundation and founded by the late Ryoichi Sasakawa, has been awarded annually since 1984 to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the management and protection of the environment.