» UNESCO ‘green’ prize jury picks three winners after nominations double
04.07.2016 - Education Sector

UNESCO ‘green’ prize jury picks three winners after nominations double

© UNESCO/Miriam Tereick - Ms May Makhzoumi, Mr Oscar Motomura, Ms Akpezi Ogbuigwe, Mr Stephen Sterling, Mr Yoshiyuki Nagata

An international jury met to pick three winners from 120 entries for this year’s UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and recommend them to the Director-General of UNESCO for her decision.

The rise in entries – double that of last year- reflects growing interest in ESD and in the prize which honours outstanding projects by individuals, institutions and organizations related to ESD which  were assessed by an international jury at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on 29-30 June.  

The prize, which is funded by the Government of Japan, consists of three annual awards of USD 50,000 for each recipient. It was awarded for the first time by the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 5 November 2015 .

Last year’s laureates were: Asociación SERES from Guatemala/El Salvador; Jayagiri Centre from Indonesia; and rootAbility from Germany. 

Chair of the meeting Mr Oscar Motomura, Founder and CEO of the Amana-Key Group in Brazil said: “The quality has improved considerably and there were many more entries from many more parts of the world. It is growing. And the better countries communicate around it the bigger it will get. I feel it may double again for next year.”

He said the jury had discussed the fact that now that climate change and the environment were well embedded in people’s consciousness the prize could open its focus to better include peace. He said the prize had grown because one of its great strengths was continuity.

Achievements and impacts were foremost

He said: “It is not a one-off, one-day event. The prize doesn’t end at the ceremony. Rather this is the beginning because the award winners can develop their ideas further and the interest generated around the prize sparks new projects.”

Choosing the winners, he said achievements and impacts had been foremost.

“In line with the Global Action Programme we are very focused on results. We have looked at projects where the concept was very strong but the results were not there. We very focused on results.”

Co-chair Mr Stephen Sterling, Professor of Sustainability Education at Plymouth University, said: “Going through the nominations was hugely inspiring.”

They were joined by jurors Ms May Makhzoumi, President of the Makhzoumi Foundation in Lebanon, Mr Yoshiyuki Nagata, Professor the Department of Education at the University of Sacred Heart, Japan and Ms Akpezi Ogbuigwe, founder of ANPEZ Centre for Environment and Development in Nigeria.

The jurors were chosen and appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO based on their independence; expertise and reputation in the field of ESD; equitable geographical distribution; and gender equality.

They will send their recommendations to the Director-General by the end of July and the three prize winners will be announced in September.

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