Environmental emergencies are severe risks resulting from natural disasters such as earthquakes, technological disasters such as industrial accidents, conflicts, or combinations of these. These emergencies cause or threaten to cause severe environmental damage and harm to human health and/or livelihoods.
The Green Star Awards recognize those who have made remarkable efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to environmental emergencies around the world.
A joint initiative between the UN Environment Programme, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Green Cross International, the Award aims to:
- Raise awareness of environmental emergencies and disasters
- Encourage increased international efforts to prevent, prepare for and respond to such disasters;
- Amplify the connection between environmental impacts of disasters and emergencies, and the consequences for affected populations and providers of humanitarian assistance
Nominations will be accepted from 1 October – 30 November 2010; please click here for more information on the nomination process.
The Green Star Awards is presented every two years as part of the Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies (AGEE) meeting. The first Awards ceremony took place on 6-8 May 2009 in Brussels, Belgium at the 8th AGEE meeting. The next ceremony will be held on 18-21 May 2011 in Switzerland at the 9th AGEE meeting.
The idea for the Awards came in June 2007 during the 7th AGEE meeting in Rosersberg, Sweden where meeting participants recommended the establishment of a special recognition scheme. As a result the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Green Cross International (GCI) were requested to develop a suitable award or honor.
This video was put together by GCI partner Yoox and shows the Smart Water for Green Schools project at the Al-Iman School in Ghana, the first school in the pilot phase of the project. This new project launched earlier this year in February and seeks to build rainwater harvesting systems and ecological latrines at schools in order to provide a reliable supply of water, hygiene and sanitation facilities, as well as environmental education to students, teachers, and parents living in transboundary river basins.