Nobel Peace Prize in Sustainable Development

Publish at 2021-05-03

Nobel Peace Prize in Sustainable Development

What is the Nobel prize?

The Nobel Prizes are awarded "to those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind". It is not a single prize, but five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel's 1895 will are awarded in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. Nobel characterised the Peace Prize as "to the person who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses". Nobel Prizes are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards available in their respective fields.

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, inventor, and businessman who is best known for inventing dynamite. In 1896, he passed away. In his will, he ordered that all of his "remaining realisable properties" be used to create five prizes known as the "Nobel Prizes." Nobel Prizes were given out for the first time in 1901.

The award ceremonies take place once a year. A gold medal, a certificate, and a monetary award are granted to each recipient (known as a "laureate"). The Nobel Prize monetary reward in 2020 is 10,000,000 SEK, which is equivalent to US$1,145,000, €968,000, or £880,000.

Why Nobel prize is so prestigious?

THE NOBEL PRIZE is a big deal. But how did it get this status? From the beginning, the Nobel Prize attracted public attention in a way that no other scientific award had.

It all began with a journalistic error. In 1888, a French newspaper mistakenly wrote that Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, had died. It was his brother, Ludvig, who had passed. But, in addition to lackluster fact-checking, the paper commemorated the event with defamatory prose: "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday," it wrote. Nobel, it is said, was crushed by the idea that he'd be remembered as a "merchant of death." In order to regain control of his legacy, he willed his fortune to create an award that would recognise people who had made positive contributions to mankind.

Alfred Nobel was famous not only for his destructive invention but also for his reclusiveness. His will was made public a year after his death. The surprise announcement sparked a lot of interest from the outset. The fact that the inventor of dynamite had entrusted his money to create a peace prize, among other things, got a lot of people interested in the prize.

The Nobel also attracted a lot of attention because of its huge cash prize. Scientists had been awarded medals, money, and even titles since at least the early Renaissance. But none of those awards came close to the Nobel's purse. It was worth about 20 years of an academic salary in the early days and was the prototypical "genius award" that allowed scholars to pursue their interests freely. Also, the money showed the public that these prizes were important and that the people who won them must also be important and worth attention.

Who got the Nobel peace prize in terms of sustainable development and why?

Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. In its citation, the Norwegian Nobel Committee noted Professor Maathai's contribution to "Sustainable Development, Democracy and Peace." The Committee further stated that Professor Maathai "stands at the front of the fight to promote ecologically viable social, economic and cultural development in Kenya and Africa. She has taken a holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights and women's rights. She thinks globally and acts locally."

In accepting the award, Professor Maathai said: "I believe the Nobel committee was sending a message that protecting and restoring the environment contributes to peace; it is peace work. I always felt that our work was not simply about planting trees. It was about inspiring people to take charge of their environment, the system that governed them, their lives, and their future."

Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement. She authored four books: The Green Belt MovementUnbowed: A MemoirThe Challenge for Africa; and Replenishing the Earth. As well as having been featured in a number of books, she and the Green Belt Movement were the subject of a documentary film, Taking Root: the Vision of Wangari Maathai.

The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is an environmental organisation that empowers communities, particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods. GBM was founded by Professor Wangari Maathai in 1977 under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK) to respond to the needs of rural Kenyan women who reported that their streams were drying up, their food supply was less secure, and they had to walk further and further to get firewood for fuel and fencing. GBM encouraged the women to work together to grow seedlings and plant trees to bind the soil, store rainwater, provide food and firewood, and receive a small monetary token for their work.

Professor Maathai was internationally acknowledged for her struggle for democracy, human rights, and environmental conservation, and served on the board of many organisations. She addressed the UN on a number of occasions and spoke on behalf of women at special sessions of the General Assembly during the five-year review of the Earth Summit. She served on the Commission for Global Governance and the Commission on the Future.