German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier awarded the two biologists with the prestigious German Environmental Prize (Deutscher Umweltpreis). It was received by ornithologist, the head of the Center for Biodiversity and Climate Research, Katrin Böhning-Gaese and swamp and paleoecology researcher, Professor of the University of Greifswald, Hans Yosten, DW reports.
The prize, totaling €500,000, is awarded annually by the German Federal Environmental Fund (DBU) to recognize its outstanding commitment to environmental protection and biodiversity.
The jury noted Ms. Katrin Böhning-Gaese, who heads the Zenkenberg Center for Biodiversity and Climate Research in Frankfurt am Main, for her efforts to predict changes in ecosystems as accurately as possible in the coming decades.
Hans Yosten has been honored for his many years of research into the role of peat bogs in combating climate change.
The most significant environmental award in Europe was awarded on October 10. In Darmstadt, the independent German environmental award (Deutscher Umweltpreis) ceremony took place. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented the prestigious award to biologist, ornithologist Katrin Böhning-Gaese and biologist, swamp researcher, and paleoecologist Hans Joosten. The prize, totaling € 500,000, is awarded by the German Federal Environment Fund (DBU) to recognize its outstanding commitment to environmental conservation and protecting biodiversity.
For the protection of nature and biodiversity
The jury commended Catherine Böning-Gese, head of the Senckenberg Center for Biodiversity and Climate Research in Frankfurt am Main, for her efforts to predict ecosystem changes in the coming decades as accurately as possible. And Professor of the University of Greifswald, Hans Josten, was awarded this honor for his many years of research on the role of peat bogs in the fight against climate change.
According to DBU Secretary-General Alexander Bonde, in their research, both current German Environmental Prize winners have demonstrated the “dramatic nature” of the climate crisis, the “predatory attitude” of humans towards nature, and the existing threats to biodiversity. At the same time, they have found ways to ensure the protection of people, animals, the environment, and the preservation of the planet, Bond said.
German President pointed to the consequences of climate change in Europe
In turn, Frank-Walter Steinmeier touched upon the problems associated with climate change on the planet. The President of Germany pointed out that Europe has already faced the consequences of climate change, recalling the devastating downpours in Central Europe, abnormal heat, and forest fires in the Mediterranean region.
At the same time, the head of state called for an understanding that the negative impact of global warming will most affect developing countries. According to him, the less current generations act, the more future generations will suffer. “We cannot continue to live as before,” Steinmeier said. If the course is not quickly changed, the conditions of life on the planet will be irrevocably destroyed, he added.
On the eve of significant environmental forums
The German Federal Environment Fund, the most significant environmental award in Europe, has been awarded irregularly since 1993. In 2010, Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the USSR and founder of the Green Cross International, became its third honorary laureate.
This year, this prestigious award ceremony took place on the eve of an important event. On Monday, October 11, the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) kicks off in Kunming, China. And in early November, the 26th International Climate Conference will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, which was initially supposed to be held there in 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.