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UNEP Champions of the Earth 2022: Highest Environmental Honour of UN Celebrates Ecosystem Restoration

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UN’s highest environmental honour celebrates ecosystem restorationThe United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has named the 2022 Champions of the Earth, honouring five environmental protectors —a conservationist, an enterprise, an economist, a women’s rights activist, and a wildlife biologist—for their transformative efforts to prevent, halt, or reverse ecosystem degradation.

  • The UNEP Champions of the Earth 2022 awards highlight global efforts to protect the environment in the backdrop of the United Nations (UN) Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

UNEP Champions of the Earth

i.The annual UNEP Champions of the Earth award, established in 2005, is the highest environmental honour bestowed by the United Nations (UN).

  • It recognizes individuals and organizations whose actions have a positive impact on the environment.
  • It honours outstanding leaders in the private sector, civil society, and government.

ii.The Champions of the Earth are acknowledged in four categories: Policy Leadership, Inspiration and Action, Entrepreneurial Vision, & Science and Innovation.

  • So far, the award has recognized 111 laureates: 26 world leaders, 69 individuals, and 16 organizations.

UNEP Champions of the Earth 2022:  


UNEP Champions of the Earth 2022


Category – Inspiration and Action

1Arcenciel (Lebanon), An Environmental Enterprise
2Constantino (Tino) Aucca Chutas (Peru), A Conservationist
3Cécile Bibiane Ndjebet (Cameroon), A Women’s Rights Activist

Category – Science And Innovation

4Sir Partha Dasgupta (United Kingdom), An Economist

Category – Entrepreneurial Vision

5Dr Purnima Devi Barman (India), A Wildlife Biologist

About the Champions of the Earth 2022:

i.Arcenciel (Lebanon), an environmental enterprise, recycles more than 80% of Lebanon’s potentially contagious hospital waste every year.

ii.Constantino (Tino) Aucca Chutas (Peru) pioneered a community reforestation approach supported by local and Indigenous groups, and has planted 3 million trees in Peru.

iii.Sir Partha Dasgupta (United Kingdom) is a renowned economist who gave a landmark review on the economics of biodiversity.

iv.Dr. Purnima Devi Barman (India) is a wildlife biologist who leads the “Hargila Army,” an all-female grassroots conservation campaign aimed to protect the Greater Adjutant Stork from extinction.

v.Cécile Bibiane Ndjebet (Cameroon) is a dedicated advocate for women’s land tenure rights in Africa.

India’s Purnima Devi Barman Honoured with UN’s Highest Environmental Award

Dr. Purnima Devi Barman, an Assam-based wildlife biologist from India, has received the UNEP 2022 Champions of the Earth award in the Entrepreneurial Vision category.

  • Barman received the award for her efforts to protect the greater adjutant stork, known as “Hargila” in Assamese, by establishing the “Hargila Army,” an all-female grassroots conservation campaign.
  • The women in the Hargila Army design and sell textiles with bird motifs, raising awareness about the species while gaining financial independence.

Hargila – The Greater Adjutant Stork

i.Hargilas are five-foot-tall birds that live in wetlands in parts of Southeast Asia, including India and Cambodia.

  • Hargilas can be found in Assam and Bihar in India.

ii.According to a 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List update, there are only about 1,200 Hargilas left in the world, categorizing the species as “endangered.”

Recent Related News:

The Textile committee (TC), the Government of India, has signed a Cooperation Agreement on “Mainstreaming Sustainability & Circularity in the Textiles Sector” with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to minimise the negative environmental impacts of the Indian textile industry by promoting sustainable practices and mainstreaming knowledge of circular production best practices in the textile and apparel sector.

About the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Establishment – 1972
Headquarters – Nairobi, Kenya