“I was completely surprised and delighted by this important award,” said Antje Boetius about the announcement of this year’s award winner by the German Federal Environmental Foundation –DBU (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt). The DBU honors the achievements of individuals who have made an exemplary contribution to environmental protection with Europe’s most valuable environmental prize. “Being awarded as a ‘pioneer of environmental protection’ is a great honor. This puts my research field, the deep sea and the polar regions, in the spotlight and gives visibility to the environmental problems in our last areas of unspoiled nature. The prize is also a welcome acknowledgement of the direct communication of knowledge from frontier research to the general public as an essential part of environmental protection,” the researcher continues. In addition to the marine biologist from Bremen, a team of Leipzig wastewater experts will also be honored.
Advocate for the Protection of the Oceans
With this award, the DBU recognizes Boetius’ many years of research work, who with her findings from deep-sea and ecosystem research has made a decisive contribution to understanding global climate events and biodiversity. For many years, she has drawn attention to the impact human activities, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and overfishing, have on our oceans. The scientist is also active in numerous scientific and political bodies. It is also very important to her to communicate her research and the broader contexts to the general public in an understandable way. She is therefore considered a strong advocate for the protection of the oceans.
Specific Ideas on How to Use the Prize Money
On October 28, 2018, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will present the prize, endowed with a total of 500,000 euros, in Erfurt. In answer to the question of which projects will receive her prize money of 250,000 euros, Boetius says: “For some time now I have been supporting projects by artists whose works shed light on societal problems or who represent the beauty and value of nature in a special way. I also think projects by and for young people who are doing something for a better world are very important. Such generous prize money can be put to good use for this.”
MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences
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