The first finalists for the Duke of Cambridge’s ambitious £ 50 million global Earthshot award to help repair the planet over the next 10 years have been announced and include a schoolgirl, a city and a country.
The prestigious global environmental award is designed to promote solutions on climate change. The 15 inaugural finalists, three in each of the five award categories, were chosen by experts and members of the award council.
Five will receive the top prize of £ 1 million, while all will receive personalized support from global companies to scale their work. The winners will be announced at a ceremony next month.
Revealing the long list, Prince William said: “More than half a century ago, President Kennedy’s Moonshot program united millions of people around the goal of reaching the moon. Inspired by this, the Earthshot award aims to mobilize collective action around our unique ability to innovate, solve problems, and repair our planet.
“I am honored to present to you the 15 innovators, leaders and visionaries who are the first finalists for the Earthshot award. They are working with the urgency that is required in this decisive decade for life on Earth and will inspire us all with their optimism in our ability to face the greatest challenges in human history. “
Created by William and the Royal Foundation, the award is designed to lead an unprecedented global search for the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the environmental challenges facing the planet.
The 15 inaugural finalists, from 14 countries, were chosen from 750 nominations, far exceeding the number expected for the award’s first year. Among them is a 14-year-old schoolgirl from the city of Milan and Costa Rica.
Each of the finalist solutions excelled in the rigorous selection process and was evaluated for their potential to create a revolutionary impact around the world, their ability to help us achieve our Earthshot goals while positively impacting the people, communities and the natural world. the organizers said.
Each of the shortlisted finalists will be supported by members of the award’s global alliance, a network of private sector companies around the world that will help scale their solutions for even greater impact.
The five winners will be selected by the Earthshot Award Council, whose members include William. Queen Rania of Jordan and Sir David Attenborough. The awards ceremony will take place on October 17.
In his introduction to the official Earthshot book, the Duke said: “I wanted to recapture Kennedy’s Moonshot spirit of human resourcefulness, purpose and optimism, and turn it with a sharp and urgent focus into the most urgent challenge of our time: repairing our planet. . “
The turning point was that, while in Namibia, he took an early morning trip to try to catch a glimpse of a black rhino. “The rich wildlife that I saw thrive on that visit struck a chord. The community conservation model is an excellent example of how a simple and positive solution can have far-reaching benefits for both humans and nature, ”he said.
“Most important of all, it is a success story that can be replicated and scaled. I wanted to find a way to bottle that spirit of innovation and community and mass-produce it globally. “
The finalists for each of the five specified categories are:
Protect and restore nature category: Pole Pole Foundation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a community-led conservation initiative that protects gorillas and local livelihoods; the Republic of Costa Rica for a pioneering plan that pays local people to help revive the rainforest: Restor, Switzerland, an online conservation platform.
Clean our air category: the Blue Map application, China, an environmental database; Takachar, India, which creates products from agricultural waste; Vinisha Umashankar, India, a 14-year-old activist who has designed a solar-powered steam ironing cart.
Revive our oceans category: Coral Vita, Bahamas, to restore dying coral; Living Seawalls, Australia, for helping to return marine life to coastal defenses: Pristine Seas, USA, A Global Conservation Program.
Build a world without waste category: the food waste centers of the city of Milan; Sanergy, Kenya, for turning human waste into safe products for local farmers; Wota Box, Japan, a water treatment plant that converts wastewater into clean water.
Fix our weather category: AEM Electrolyser, Thailand, Germany and Italy, for the development of green hydrogen technology; Reeddi Capsules, Nigeria, which brings affordable electricity to energy-poor communities; Solbazaar, Bangladesh, peer-to-peer energy exchange network.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism