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A Year after Rio, some prominent players lauded


June 12, 1993


A Year after Rio, some prominent players lauded

By Ashali Varma

United Nations, New York: To mark the first anniversary of the Earth Summit, Earth Day International, which links more than 3,200 environmental groups in 140 countries, presented the First Annual Earth Day International Awards, at a star studded ceremony at the United Nations on June 10. Sponsored  by Commitment Future Foundation, the awards were given to individuals worldwide who  have made outstanding contributions to the preservation of the planet through their actions,  leadership and commitment.

This years recipients were Dr. Marcello Carvalho de Andrade and Pele from Brazil; Jacques Cousteau from France; Vice President Al Gore, Ted Danson, Don Henley, Chief Oren Lyons, Robert Redford, Laurance Rockefeller and Ted Turner from the US; Wangari Mathaai from Kenya; Vandana Shiva from India; Dr. Michio Hashimoto and Senator Kanji Inoki from Japan; Erivan Haub from Germany; Bianca Jagger from Nicaragua; Paul McCartney and Sting and Trudie Styler from UK; Zlatko Pejic from Croatia and Ema Witoelar from Indonesia.

Master of Ceremonies, Michael York said that the Earth Day International Awards represent the highest honor that can be bestowed upon individuals and referred to the awards as “the Oscars of the environment.”

Vice President Al Gore in a taped video address congratulated Maurice Strong on his efforts at The Earth Summit and said that President Clinton and he were committed to building on the spirit of the Earth Summit.

In his acceptance speech, Sting, the internationally renowned songwriter and recording artist who has been a strong advocate on the preservation of the rain forests and the fundamental rights of its inhabitants said, “Native people in both North and South American can teach us more than others on how to save the planet.”

Bianca Jagger dedicated her award to the indigenous people of the world. She spoke strongly about human rights and the war in Croatia, “It is important for peace and the future of the earth to end this war. Let’s do something about it.”

Vandana Shiva from India praised AI Gore and the US for signing the Biodiversity Treaty without conditionalities.

Linked via satellite were Ted Danson, Don Henley and Jane Fonda, (who accepted the award on behalf of Ted Turner). Ted Danson received the award for forming the American Oceans Campaign to alert people to the dangers of unchecked pollution and the need to protect “marine life as “marine ecosystems don’t get the attention they deserve from policy makers.

The award winners were chosen in consultation with Maurice F. Strong, the Secretary General of the Earth Summit.  David Veniot of Earth Day International said that the awards will be given annually on Earth Day and The Earth Council would help in the selection process.