UN environmental prize awarded to Ian Kiernan of Australia

Ian Kiernan, founder of the Clean Up the World Campaign, has been awarded the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Sasakawa Environment Prize. The Prize, worth US$200,000, is considered one of the most prestigious environmental awards in the world.


Kiernan will be honoured for mobilising millions of people around the globe to take responsibility for their own environment. He will receive the Prize at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 16 November.

“The Prize has been awarded to Mr. Kiernan for communicating in the most visible way and to the world at large, the need to protect the environment. In a sense, Ian Kiernan’s success is a fairy tale come true,” said Lord Stanley Clinton-Davis, Acting Chairman of the Selection Committee. “Who would have thought that in the six short years since he launched Clean Up the World that he would have captured the imagination of so many, and single- handedly done so much to arrest environmental degradation”.

Ian Kiernan’s story goes back to 1987 when he embarked on a solo journey by sail around the world. Appalled by the inordinate amount of garbage floating in the world’s oceans, he vowed to himself that upon his return to his native Australia that he would do something to help remedy these careless acts of man. His vision gave birth to a world wide movement which today brings together, every September, more than 40 million people from 120 countries in a world-wide clean-up effort.

The Campaign has had wide ranging results, not only in terms of public participation, increased awareness, and the removal and disposal of rubbish, but in helping to bring about long-term change and improvement to waste management practices and policies.

Due to his increasing commitment to Clean Up the World, Ian Kiernan has closed his building business and now works fulltime as Chairman of Clean Up the World.

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