Environmental emergency heroes honoured with Green Star Awards

News and Press Release
Originally published


(Oslo, 1 June 2015): Three organisations from around the world were honoured today as recipients of Green Star Awards for their outstanding efforts to confront environmental emergencies.

Green Stars are awarded by the NGO Green Cross International (GCI), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) every two years. The winners this year were announced at a high-level event in Oslo sponsored by the Norwegian Government.

The winners of this year’s Green Star Awards are, per category:

Preparedness and Prevention: The Malagasy mining and refining project Ambatovy for spearheading, in 2014, the decommissioning of severely corroded ammonia tanks abandoned in a densely populated area for almost 30 years, thereby reducing risk and avoiding a potential chemical emergency.

Response: The French Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre) for its invaluable expertise and support in the aftermath of coastal and marine oil spills in the Philippines and Bangladesh in 2013 and 2014. Cedre advised authorities on the optimum use of available resources to respond to the oil pollution, aiming to prevent the impact on the surrounding environment and on livelihoods such as fishing.

Environment and Humanitarian Action: The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), USA, for putting cooking fuel on the humanitarian agenda through its Safe Access to Fuel and Energy Initiative (SAFE). In displacement settings, food rations typically must be cooked before consumption, but cooking fuel is rarely provided. Women and girls must collect firewood, often exposing them to risk of violence. SAFE combines improved technologies and alternative fuels to better protect women and girls while meeting the energy needs of displaced populations.

These three organizations have all demonstrated remarkable achievements in raising awareness, building capacity and effectively responding to environmental emergencies.

Participating in the ceremony were Adam Koniuszewski, Executive Director of GCI,
Rashid Khalikov, Director Geneva of OCHA, and Mette Løyche Wilkie, Director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) at UNEP.

More than 120 participants from the 2015 Environmental Emergencies Forum (taking place simultaneously on 1-3 June in Oslo), local politicians and representatives from the press also attended the award ceremony. The Norwegian folk music band Fra de mollstemte skoger performed at the event.

Winners in 2013 were announced in Geneva and included Kenya Red Cross Society;
Professor Nikola Nikolov of Macedonia, Sundar Prasad Sharma of Nepal, and Professor Sergiy Zibtsev of Ukraine (joint Award); Mayor of Japan’s Katsurao Village, Masahide Matsumoto; New York City Hurricane Sandy Debris Removal Task Force; World Wildlife Fund and American Red Cross; and Sir David Attenborough.

For more information online:

For further resources (incl. photos):

Media contacts: Government of Norway – Morten Harangen Green Cross International – Etienne Lacombe UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Jens Laerke

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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