Blue Planet Prize Winners
His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan
Date of Birth: 11 November, 1955
His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan, is the visionary leader who introduced the development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) which places the well being of the people at the heart of development activities and programmes. GNH gives importance to environmental conservation, sustainable and equitable development, and promotion of culture and social values which contribute to collective happiness. Using happiness as a social indicator was taken on by the United Nations and OECD also employed it in their reports, giving inspiration for an alternative paradigm to modern society.
Statement from His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan upon Notification of Selection
I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Asahi Glass Foundation for establishing the Blue Planet Prize to encourage and recognize efforts by committed citizens of the world to protect and restore the health of the Earth's fragile natural environment. The challenges from global warming, air pollution, contaminated water and increasing natural disasters have become so severe that corrective measures require concerted and sustained efforts by nations across the world.
Scientists and economists through their groundbreaking discoveries and research have important roles to play in promoting sustainable ways of balancing economic growth and technological progress along with environmental preservation. Political leadership and their commitment to the efforts of scientists and economists will bring us closer towards planning and taking the steps required to maintain the health of the planet we call home.
Professor Stephen Carpenter (USA)
Date of Birth: 5 July, 1952
Emeritus Director of the Center for Limnology,
Stephen Alfred Forbes Professor Emeritus of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor Stephen Carpenter has conducted research on lake ecosystems for more than 40 years. Through his research on lake eutrophication, from nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, he studied the resilience of lakes using mathematical models, providing a new perspective on social-ecological systems. He also worked on the environmental pollution from phosphorus and nitrogen through land use, showing the critical state of the global phosphorus cycle and the need to review human activity from a broad geochemical viewpoint.
Statement from Professor Stephen Carpenter upon Notification of Selection
I am challenged and humbled by the Blue Planet Prize. I deeply believe in the mission of the prize "to repair and preserve the ecosystems that keep us and the multitude of other species with whom we share the Earth alive and well". This mission is the greatest challenge of our time, and we all have much work ahead. I am humbled by the immense accomplishments of past recipients of this prestigious prize, and honored to be among them.
Food and freshwater are essential for all life. The ways we produce food have enormous effects on living systems, including freshwater and the life it supports. With the Blue Planet Prize I will continue my work to build resilience of nature in working landscapes, improve the flow and quality of freshwater, and engage science and the public in the search for transformations that support both life on Earth and human wellbeing.