The twentieth annual Blue Planet Prize were handed out at the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio De Janeiro Brazil June 2012.
The Blue Planet Prize, given by Japan's Asahi Glass Foundation to leaders who make a difference in safeguarding biodiversity, is one of the world's premier environmental prizes, often referred to as the Nobel Prize for environmentalists.
Three recipients were awarded the prize for 2012: William Rees, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia, Rees's former doctoral student and current president of the Global Footprint Network Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, and Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy.
Rees and Wackernagel were given the award for developing the Ecological Footprint, a comprehensive accounting system that measures human carrying capacity and helps assess the risks to planetary stability from overconsumption.
Lovejoy was awarded the prize for becoming the first person to clarify human caused habitat fragmentation that damaged biodiversity and gave rise to environmental crisis.
This year's winners join a veritable who's who in the conservation world, with past winners that include Lester Brown, James Lovelock, David Brower, Paul Ehrlich, Theo Colborn, Gustave Speth, Amory Lovins, and James Hansen.
View Asahi Glass Foundation, List of Blue Planet Prize Laureates
View Global Footprint Network
View June 22, 2012 Digital Journal press release
View June 19, 2012 Yale Environment 360 interview
View June 18, 2012 National Geographic article
View June 17, 2012 Vancouver Sun article
Asahi Glass Foundation, National Geographic