Press releases

Thursday 29 May 1997

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) receives UN environment award

Nairobi, 28 May 1997 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of the United Kingdom has been elected to the prestigious ranks of its Global 500 Roll of Honour for its outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment.

The BBC World Service is the world's leading international broadcaster. Surveys indicate that it is regarded, by its listeners and viewers around the globe, as the most trusted broadcaster compared to its local, national and international rivals. Both World Service Radio and World Service Television have been at the forefront of broadcasting on sustainable development and environment issues.

A good example of this is the BBC World Service Radio Education Department's major initiative Green World. This programme involved the creation and transmission of 25 series of radio programmes, produced in 22 languages, which examined the hopes and fears for the environment together with possible solutions - numbering some 249 individual programmes, covering 40 countries. The Green World initiative was on air for four months between September and December 1996. As a result, vital information was conveyed to millions of listeners who otherwise have little or no chance of accessing such information from any other source. More than 50,000 special leaflets were mailed to environmental agencies and NGOs and the project was also promoted through the Internet. Feedback from listeners already suggests a very positive response to the series, and many NGOs are now using the programmes for their own educational and awareness training.

"In this its 25th anniversary year and the tenth anniversary of the Global 500 Roll of Honour, UNEP is proud to recognize the achievements of these exceptional individuals and organizations", says UNEP's Executive Director, Ms. Elizabeth Dowdeswell.

"In honouring them, UNEP hopes that their examples will inspire and guide many other men, women and young people to join the global coalition dedicated to protecting the environment", adds Ms. Dowdeswell.

The award will be presented in Seoul, Republic of Korea at the World Environment Day ceremonies on 5 June 1997. This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to focus global attention and action on environmental issues.

Some 654 individuals and organizations, in both the adult and youth categories, have been honoured since UNEP launched the Global 500 award in 1987. Among prominent past winners are: French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau; Sir David Attenborough, producer of environmental television programmes; Ms. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway; Anil Aggarwal, the prominent environmentalist from India; Ken Saro-Wiwa, the environmental and human rights activist from Nigeria who was executed for leading the resistance of the Ogoni People against the pollution of their Delta homeland; the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF); Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States; and the late Chico Mendes, the Brazilian rubber tapper who was murdered during his fight to save the Amazon forest.

To forge global links and to implement ideas which can contribute to a more sustainable future, a network of all Global 500 laureates has been formed.

BBC Education Department
218/219 South East Block
Bush House
The Strand
London, WC2B 4PH
United Kingdom
Tel: (44-171) 257 2464
Fax: (44-171) 240 3141

For more information:

Tore J. Brevik
Chief, Information & Public Affairs
UNEP Headquarters
P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254-2-62-3292
Fax: 254-2-62-3927
E-mail: Tore.Brevik@unep.org

Patricia L. Jacobs
Information Officer
UNEP Headquarters
P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254-2-62-3088
Fax: 254-2-62-3692
E-mail: Patricia.Jacobs@unep.org

Thursday 29 May 1997
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