“The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve”.
“People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth”, Prince William exclaimed the urgency to save the single planet we possess.
He has initiated the most ambitious awards to replenish and reward the efforts saving planet Earth: The Earthshot award or five “Earthshots” to improve fragile human life for everyone, if achieved by 2030, for generations to come.
These awards have earned its name from President JF Kennedy’s Moonshot that aggressively worked to put man on the moon back in 1960s.
These “the first of its kinds” awards are being commonly referred to as “Eco Oscars”, the ceremony of which was held at Alexandra Palace in London on Sunday Oct. 17, 2021.
It holds about one million-pound prizes for each winner in 5 categories, to be given annually for the next ten years accolading the best possible solutions to the environmental problems.
Following are the categories and respective winners:
Protect and Restore Nature: The republic of Costa Rica
It had cleared its forests in past and been trying to plant even more now. The awarded project moots a scheme compensating the local citizens of their services in restoring the natural ecosystems and revival of rainforests.
Revive our Oceans: Coral Vita, Bahamas
Two best friends who joined their hands in growing corals at least 50 times more than their replenishment rate using a dedicated machinery.
Build a Waste-Free World: The City of Milan, Italy
It excelled in collecting and disbursing the unconsumed food to the hungry, simultaneously cutting waste and killing hunger.
Fix our Climate: AEM Electrolyser, Thailand, Germany and Italy
Electrolysis producing clean and green hydrogen by splitting water into its constituents using renewable energy.
Clean our Air: Takachar, India
Led by Vidyut Mohan, a portable waste to worth machine is turning the agricultural waste into sellable Bio-products like fertilizer, utilizing the normally burnt paddy stubble and other allied wastes from fields.
“Globally, we generate USD 120 billion of agricultural waste every year. What farmers cannot sell, they often burn, with catastrophic consequences for human health and the environment.”
“The burning of agricultural waste causes air pollution that in some areas has reduced life expectancy by a decade”, explains the project.
This problem encircles and pollutes Delhi every winter.
This technology has reduced about 98% of emissions and consequently improved air quality.
The awards have been created by Prince William and renowned Nature Enthusiast David Attenborough. Provision of funding is to allow the businesses and individuals to accentuate impact under the ethical solutions taken.
Prince William explains further: “Time is running out,” he said. “A decade doesn’t seem long enough, but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable.”
This helps celebrate particular ‘people and places’ driving the much-anticipated changes around; and to inspire the world to muster courage and undertake efforts in repairing the planet.
What can the world infer from the concept of such awards?
Recognizing the passion to drive changes required within the rapidly changing world is really appreciated. However, for these projects to succeed, a scaled-up approach is needed in a way that makes a significant difference worldwide.
The gestation period for these winning schemes may take several years to bear countable difference. Much needed herculean effort in practice will be needed.
Governments need to be supportive and proper implementation may be overseen vividly.
Awards and the upcoming COP26:
The world has in recent past witnessed some of the irreparable damage to its ecosystems. With rising sea-levels, razed-down forests, stranded marginalized population, wiped-out biodiversity and inadequate climate legislations around the world, the planet seems to be in despair.
These winners have dared to provide something to the ailing planet, that’s been in dearth: a sense of optimism in future.