Three new members inducted into the Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame

On Monday 15th November, three more members will be inducted into the Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame; Tsuchiya Haruki from Japan, Manuel Pulgar Vidal from Peru, and Kristine Tompkins from the USA.

The Earth Hall of Fame honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the conservation of the global environment. The award was established in 2010 by the Kyoto Institute of Earth Sciences, Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto City, Kyoto Chamber of Commerce, the International Institute of Advanced Studies, and the Kyoto International Conference Center. The award ceremony is held annually at the Kyoto International Conference Hall, the same place where the 1997 Third Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP3) was held and the Kyoto Protocol signed. This year’s ceremony will include a panel discussion in which ICLEI Japan Chairman Mr. Hamanaka will participate.

Inductees are selected via four criteria;

  1. Those who have made significant contributions to the establishment and consensus-building of the Kyoto Protocol and other global agreements related to global environmental conservation.
  2. Those who have made significant contributions to the conservation of the global environment through awareness-raising, disseminating ideas about living in harmony with nature, and implementing activities related to environmental conservation.
  3. Those whose academic research or technological development has made a significant contribution to the solution of global environmental problems.
  4. Those who have contributed to environmental conservation through creative environmental activities in the community, such as artistic and cultural activities and the practice of eco-friendly lifestyles.

The work of those awarded reflects the seriousness of global warming for humanity. In 2010, the first inductees were Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmental activist, Gro Harlem Brundtland, chairman of the World Commission on Environment and Development, and Dr. Syukuro Manabe. Dr. Manabe studied at Tokyo University and is now based at Princeton University, USA. This year, he was awarded half of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Klaus Hasselmann for his development of the world’s first combined model of atmospheric, ocean, and land surface processes to help predict global warming. The climate models based on his research play an important role in our current understanding of the course of action against global warming and are the basis of the IPCC reports and predictions used for each COP to the UNFCCC.

The work of the 2021 inductees is equally important;

Tsuchiya Haruki, President of Kyoto Eco Energy Institute, President of Research Institute for Systems Technology

Since the 1980s, Mr. Haruki has advocated for an ‘energy cultivating civilization’ which moves from a ‘hunting type’ of society digging for fossil fuels and nuclear materials, to a ‘cultivation type’ which uses the sun, wind power, hydropower, and biomass for energy production.  He established the Research Institute for Systems Technology which analyzed cost reduction of photovoltaic power generation and predicted future costs. He was involved in the preparation of the Second IPCC Report in 1995 and served as an advisor to the Global Warming Countermeasures Research Team of the Japanese National Institute for Environmental Studies. Here, he advocated energy policies such as zero carbon dioxide emissions. Together with WWF Japan, he has been involved in creating the ‘2050 Energy Scenario for a Decarbonized Society’.


Manuel Pulgar Vidal, WWF Climate Energy Leader, Former Minister of the Environment for Peru, Chair of COP20

Mr. Vidal is a lecturer in environmental law and the management of natural resources. He served as Minister of the Environment for Peru and as the chairman of COP20 in Lima. His opinion that non-state actors should be involved in international negotiations laid the foundation for the increased presence of non-state actors in present climate change mitigation measures and greatly contributed to the development of international negotiations on environmental conservation. Since 2016, he has been WWF Climate Energy Leader and has been developing mitigation measures in collaboration with nations, companies, and civic organizations. He also chairs the Green Bond Evaluation Council for the French Sovereign Green Bond.


Kristine Tompkins, Former CEO of Patagonia

Ms. Tompkins helped found, and served as CEO, of Patagonia until 1993. She worked for over 25 years as a nature conservationist in Chile and Argentina, injecting funds, time, and passion into biodiversity conservation projects with her late husband Mr. Doug Tompkins. With the Chilean government, she launched the Tompkins Foundation and established five new national parks. These parks occupy a total area of more than 10 million acres. They have contributed to long-term environmental, cultural, and economic conservation in the area.


More about the Earth Hall of Fame can be read at: http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/earth-kyoto/en/index.html

The ceremony recording is available here.

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