Osnabrück. Marine biologist Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius (51, of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven) and an interdisciplinary team of wastewater experts from Leipzig who have made the distant vision of "Clean Water for All" a truly tangible goal in Jordan, will each receive half of the 2018 German Environmental Prize award by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU), which is endowed with EUR 500,000. The DBU thus emphasizes the importance of the seas for climate, biodiversity and food supply and warns of climate change, environmental pollution and overfishing. At the same time, the further demand of the United Nations to make clean water available to the entire world population by 2030 and to ensure adequate sanitation for all, and thus significantly better living conditions, is to be underlined. The prize will be presented by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on 28 October in Erfurt to Prof. Boetius and to the team from Leipzig which includes Prof. Roland A. Müller (55), Dr. Manfred van Afferden (57), Dr. Mi-Yong Lee (47), – all of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – and Wolf-Michael Hirschfeld (70), the initiator of the Education and Demonstration Center for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment.
"Living oceans are a must. Without them, we cannot exist."
DBU Secretary General Alexander Bonde emphasized today at the announcement of the award winners that oceans are an important habitat for animal and plant species, and are also the most important heat accumulators on our planet, regulating its climate. They buffer the effects of industrialization and absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and heat, he continued – and they are the "weather kitchen" of the earth, because wind, storms and precipitation often arise above them. Bonde: "Living oceans are a must. Without them we can't exist."
The German Environmental Award honours commitment and achievements that make a decisive and exemplary contribution to the protection and preservation of our environment now and in the future.
The following selection criteria characterise the central idea of the award:
The award, endowed with 500.000 €, is directed at persons, companies and organizations. In the name of sustainable environmental protection innovative products, technical improvements, research results or life achievements associated with a specific person can be awarded.
The award is given annually and can be shared among several winners.
Around 200 people and institutions from all important social areas can submit their proposals for possible candidates for the German Environmental Award to the DBU branch office. The DBU examines and evaluates the proposals and submits its assessment to the jury, consisting of important personalities from business and science, society and the media. The jury discusses the proposals and submits its recommendations to the DBU board of trustees, which then makes the final decision.