The conservationists Inge Sielmann (87, of Munich), Dr. Kai Frobel (58, of Nuremberg) and Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger (70, of Fürth) in the first instance, and the entrepreneurs Bernhard (86) and Johannes Oswald (56, of Miltenberg) in the second, are being awarded the 2017 German Environmental Prize by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU). The foundation thus honors the committed work by this trio of conservationists on the first and largest pan-German conservation project, the “Green Belt”, and by the family business OSWALD Elektromotoren toward the development of an especially energy-efficient electric motor for use in machines such as industrial crushers and presses, which has brought about a revolution in drive engineering. The award, endowed with a financial prize of € 245,000 in each case, will be presented to both prizewinning groups on 29 October in Braunschweig by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award, endowed with € 10,000, goes posthumously to the former Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum who has just passed away at the age of 72.
“The stability of System Earth has been strained to its limits”
“In a world growing ever more complex, we need fundamentally new approaches in technology, research, the economic sphere and society as a whole”, stated Assistant DBU-General Secretary Prof. Dr. Werner Wahmhoff today at the announcement of the new recipients of the DBU prizes, which will be presented in 2017 for the 25th time by the foundation. The fight for climate protection and conservation, and energy efficiency, are not an end in themselves here. The stability of “System Earth” has been “strained to our planet’s limits by us humans,” he said. Wahmhoff: “We are the last generation still in a position to make a turnaround, but also the first to suffer from the massive impacts of global changes. Ultimately we are dealing with the question of how, in the year 2050, some ten billion humans can live well and in harmony with the natural basis of existence.”
The German Environmental Award honours commitments and achievements, that contributed decisively to the protection and the preservation of our environment. It also considers projects which promise well for the future criteria.
The following criteria characterise the idea of the award:
the excellent performance primarily should be of model function for other people, enterprises and organisations.
the achievement to be awarded should contribute to recognising environmental problems early and defusing them by means of suitable precaution and applicability strategies.
the merits should be so convincing, that an imitation effect is achieved. Accordingly, the model character and the applicability in practice should stand in the foreground.
innovative, integrated solutions are particularly considered. Co-operation-promoting achievements of interdisciplinary character are dealt with as a matter of priority.
The award, endowed with 500.000 €, is directed at people, enterprises and organisations respectively. Projects, measures or also a person's "life's work" can be awarded. The award is given annually and can be shared among several winners.
The DBU receives the proposals on possible candidates for the German Environmental Award. The following people and institutions are allowed to submit proposals:
The jury, which is nominated by the board of advisors, consists of prominent personalities from economy, science, technology and from societal groupings and submits a recommendation for prizewinners to be awarded. To the board of advisors then makes the final decision.