AWARD Of The MONTH - (September 2008)

 

 Argentina
Argentina abolishes the death penalty through the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty. 
 
 
Burundi
The government of Burundi endorses the global ban on nuclear testing by becoming the 145th nation to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. 
  
 
United Nations, donor countries and companies
After a meeting at the United Nations, 21 nations and several companies pledged US$16 billion in aid to developing countries to help them meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and about US$9.25 billion to the Horn of Africa for education, preventive health, and alleviate the food crisis. 
  
 United States of America
The United States government commits US$1 billion to support relief and reconstruction of Georgia.
  
 Norway
Norway will donate US$1 billion to Brazil’s Amazon Protection Fund to help prevent deforestation.  
 
 United Nations World Food Program
The United Nations World Food Program sends US$500 million and additional aid workers to help alleviate the food crisis in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.   
 
 The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom donates US$87.7 million to Bangladesh to help the nation adapt her infrastructure, farming, and economies to climate change.  
 
 World Bank
As part of its Education for All – Fast Track Initiative, World Bank donates US$79 million to Mozambique to support the country’s economic development. 
 
 US Joint Emergency Operation Plan and Catholic Relief Services
Teaming up with the US government’s Joint Emergency Operation Plan, the US-based Catholic Relief Services distributes food from a US$53.4 million donation to nearly 3 million people in Ethiopia.
  
 Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia donates US$44 million to Lebanon to pay for tuition fees and books for students in public schools. 
  
 Denmark
Denmark waives Liberia’s debt of more than US$30 million, provides scholarships to female students, and contributes US$22 million to support gender equality activities and programs.
  
 Japan
Japan will give Mozambique US$10 million over a period of five years for the Millennium Villages Program, an initiative to end poverty.
  
 General Electric
General Electric donates US$10 million in medical equipment and services to 81 healthcare facilities throughout nine African nations.
  
 World Bank
World Bank donates US$8 million to Afghanistan’s Food Crisis Response Project which focuses on the rehabilitation of irrigation systems to help solve the nation’s food crisis.
  
 Australia
Australia donates US$7.4 million to Ethiopia through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the provision of food, healthcare, and clean water. 
  
 Iceland
Iceland commits US$6 million to assist small island nations in developing alternative energy sources to alleviate the effects of global warming.
  
 King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
 King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia sends US$3 million in rice to Mali to alleviate the nation’s food crisis.
  
 Saudi Arabia
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud donates US$2 million in agricultural machinery and equipment to Mexican Tabasco State’s flood victims. 
  
 Kirsty Coventry
Zimbabwe swimming hero Kirsty Coventry donates a generous portion of her US$100,000 Olympic award from her country to local charitable organizations.
  
 Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio is the first city in the United States to recommend citizens to eat less meat in order to reduce greenhouse gases.
  
 Nepal
The government of Nepal abolishes the slave-like Haliya system, thereby freeing over 20,000 people in bondage under this system.
  
 Libya
Libya donates 60 tons of humanitarian supplies to Liberia in support of the nation’s reconstruction efforts.
  
 Dubai Cares and Save the Children
Dubai Cares forms a partnership with Save the Children to provide emergency nutrition programs for over 30,000 children and over 21,000 lactating mothers in Ethiopia.
 
 Yemen
Yemen opens her door and welcome approximately 2,200 displaced persons from the Horn of Africa.
 
 Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine
The Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine has launched the Cancer Project to raise awareness about the health risks of processed meat and to ban them from the National School and Breakfast Lunch Programs for children in the USA. 
  
 Erik Solheim
Norway’s Environment and Development Minister Erik Solheim supports the call for the reduction of meat consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases to solve the global warming crisis.
  
 Shaun Coffery
During the 2008 Crawford Fund Conference in Canberra, Australia, CEO Shaun Coffery of Industry Research, Ltd., encourages the reduction of meat consumption in developing countries to halt climate change.
 
 Edvin Sugarev
Edvin Sugarev, co-founder of Bulgaria’s Democratic Party, supports the vegetarian diet as a morally preferred lifestyle which also helps preserve the planet. 
  
 Father José Roque Junges
Speaking at the Congress of Bioethics in Bogota, Colombia, leading bioethicist Father José Roque Junges calls for a morally-based lifestyle that includes a reduction of meat consumption to address the issue of global warming. 
  
 Liberia
Liberia passes new laws which prohibit the sale and use of tobacco in public places as well as a complete ban for children under 18 years old.
  
 Jens Holm
Jens Holm, author and a European Parliament member from Sweden, recommends governments to spend money on informing citizens about the benefits of a vegetarian diet on curbing climate change.
  
 Gang Gi-Gap
South Korean Senator Gang Gi-Gap urges Koreans to switch to a plant-based diet to be healthy and environmentally friendly.
  
 Bob Linden
Vegan radio host Bob Linden promotes the benefits of animal-free living on his radio show Go Vegan. 
 
 Erykah Badu, Angela Bassett, and John Salley
African-American celebrities Erykah Badu, Angela Bassett, and John Salley are switching to the vegetarian, animal-free diet.  
  
 Louise King and Mike the Sandman
Louise King and Mike the Sandman, co-hosts of Ireland’s popular East Coast Radio, adopt the plant-based diet for compassionate and environmental reasons. 
  
 Indonesia
The government of Indonesia announces that the bulk of the country’s defense budget will be spent on relief operations rather than on military development.
  
 Russia, Israel
The citizens of Russia and Israel can now visit the country of the other for 90 days without requiring a visa. 
 
 William Yuan
Twelve-year-old William Yuan of Oregon, USA, invented a 3-D cell that is 500 times more efficient than the currently available 2-D cells. 
  
 Hwang Yean-ren and Shen Yu-ta
Professor Yean-ren and doctoral student Shen Yu-ta introduce a prototype air-powered scooter at a press conference in Taipei, Formosa (Taiwan).
  
 Lê Trọng Hiếu
 Young Lê Trọng Hiếu invented a floatable backpack to help children from drowning caused by floods.
  
 Austin Shumway
Fourteen-year-old Austin Shumway of the USA bravely drove for help and saves a family friend who was stung by wasps during a hike.

 Jennifer Nuttall and Atlanta Linning
The quick action of Jennifer Nuttall and Atlanta Linning, age 10 and 11, respectively, save the life of a young boy caught in a swing rope and was dangling from a tree.
 
 Vakkutti Mohanas
When a passenger unintentionally left behind several hundred dollars in an envelope in his taxi, Vakkutti Mohanas promptly reported it and had it returned to its rightful owner.
 
 2 anonymous young boys and their parents
When two twelve-year-old boys found thousands of Australian dollars in a container in Melbourne, Australia, their parents drove them to the police station to turn it in.
 
 Islande Bonne Joseph
During Hurricane Ike, Islande Bonne Joseph guided about 50 people from the flooded streets to a ladder leading up to the safety of her roof. 
 
 Police dog
A police dog helped paramedics and firefighters to track down three missing people who were suffering from hypothermia, two of whom were also physically injured.
 
 Rabbit
A bunny by the name of Rabbit scratched on the door to alert its human companions of a house fire and, thus, saved their lives.
 
 Police rescue dog
A police rescue dog pulls a would-be thief to safety who was struggling to stay afloat in a river.

 

SPECIAL THANKS of the MONTH

Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain, and the United States
Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain, the United States pledge US$6.1 billion in donation and low- interest loans to support the World Bank’s new Climate Investment Funds (CIF) program
  
Gordon Brown
To help those struggling to pay their energy bill, United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces a 3-year initiative in which six major energy suppliers will supply US$1.75 billion to cover the cost for the insulation of 6 million households.
  
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia authorizes over US$300 million to be given to families receiving social assistance. 
  
Wyclef Jean and Matt Damon
After their visit to hurricanes ravaged Gonaives, Haiti, with United Nations officials Haitian-born musical talent Wyclef Jean and top actor Matt Damon help bring in donated funds over US$100 million for further humanitarian assistance.
  
The European Union, United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development, World Bank, Catholic Relief Services, and USAID
International organizations contribute to food security in Africa: The European Union donates US$2.1 million to be distributed to 14 African countries; the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development provides a US$31-million loan to disadvantaged farmers and agricultural traders; the World Bank makes $38.2 billion available to developing nations in the form of loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to create jobs and provide food assistance; and Catholic Relief Services signs an agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to donate US$53.4 million in emergency food aid to Ethiopia. 
  
Denmark
Denmark donates US$40.6 million to Âu Lạc to help the country adjusts to and mitigate global warming through increased resiliency measures as well as enhanced energy efficiency and eco-friendly construction. 
 
Egypt
Egypt will invest US$40 million to maintain and protect the River Nile in order to preserve water security.
  
Libya
Libya pledges an agricultural assistance of US$30 million to Liberia to boost the country’s rice production and achieve food sustainability.
  
Spain
To curb the nation’s desertification due to global warming, Spain will plant 45 million trees, costing US$127 million, in 2009-2012. 
  
Chou Hsi-wei
To promote eco-friendly cycling, County Magistrate Chou His-wei of Taipei, Formosa (Taiwan), plans to spend nearly US$24 million to construct a 128-km bicycle trail system around the city.
  
Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng sets aside over US$18 million to help relocate families who currently reside in areas that are prone to flooding and landslides.
 
Japan
Japan agrees to waive Yemen’s debt of US$16.8 million in support of the country’s development.
 
European Union Commission
European Union donates US$3 million to Ghana to help support the development of crafts, arts, and cultural endeavors.
 
Trees of Life
Trees of Life organization spends US$3 million to purchase 10,000 acre in the UK’s Highlands and plant half a million trees to help renew the Caledonian Forest. 
  
Heather Mills
Heather Mills donates US$1 million worth of vegan food to children in Hunts Point, an economically disadvantaged neighborhood in the south Bronx, New York, USA.
 
Skye Bank
Skye Bank in Nigeria donates nearly US$350,000 to the government for the installation of solar powered streetlights in Anambra State.
  
Uganda, German Development Services
To assist the Ugandan people in Nebbi district who have welcomed Congolese refugees in their communities, the German Development Services has commissioned development projects valued over US$184,000.
  
Egypt
Egypt donates US$95,000 worth of rice and cooking oil to the flood victims of Namibia.
  
PetSmart Charities
US chain store PetSmart donates US$50,000 in relief supplies for the animal companions displaced by Hurricane Gustav in the US states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.  
 
Tanya Dickson
Tanya Dickson spends US$15,000 on the recuperation of her 18-month-old rescued cat, Hetty, after he sustained many injuries.
  
North West Public Health Observatory
A new study by the North West Public Health Observatory in the United Kingdom reveals that alcohol is more harmful than previously thought, and includes the number of deaths related by drinking such as accidents, cancers, and heart disease.
 
German Medical Association
The German Medical Association believes tobacco consumption should be viewed as any illness and that re-categorizing the habit would lead to better treatment.
  
Garifuna doctors and Cuba
A first ever hospital has been open for 53 Garifuna communities through the combined efforts of Garifuna doctors and donations from the Cuban government. 
  
Chierika Ukogu
15-year-old Chierika Ukogu in Pennsylvania, USA forms Flip Flop for Africa and, after receiving shoes contributions from various donors, donated 10,000 pairs to children in Nigeria. 
  
Organization of Islamic Conference
Organization of Islamic Conference ships humanitarian aid to Gaza to alleviate suffering for Palestinians in the area.
 
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Lions Clubs International, and ORBIS International
In collaboration with Lions Clubs International and ORBIS International, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, announces his personal funding of “Noor Dubai” to help people in the United Arab Emirates and developing countries who are at risk for blindness.
 
Foodwatch
A study commissioned by the group Foodwatch and conducted by a German institute finds vegan could save more than 86% emission than meat-eater.
  
Yemen and The Supreme National
Yemen reassures Somali refugees of ongoing humanitarian assistance and continues to welcome more into the country, bringing the total to 750,000.
  
Anonymous Canadian donor
A free soya milk distribution center funded by a Canadian donor provides soy milk to children and mothers in Herat city, Afghanistan, to increase their protein intake for preventing malnutrition.
  
Victor Ibrado
Commanding General of the Philippine Army, Victor Ibrado, implements “car-less days” within all major Army camps in the Philippines on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays except for deliveries, emergency situations, and bad weather.
  
The Ethical Vegetarian Alternative (EVA), World Wildlife Fund Belgium, Greenpeace Belgium, and Rajendra Pachauri
The Ethical Vegetarian Alternative, World Wildlife Fund Belgium, and Greenpeace Belgium organized a “Less Meat, Less Heat” event where Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the chief of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, gave a lecture in which he encouraged Belgians to switch to a plant-based diet to reduce greenhouse gas.
 
Stewart David
American journalist Stewart David’s article in the Citizen-Times states that switching to a vegetarian diet is the greatest contribution an individual can make to help solve the global warming issue.
 
Dr. Peter Vitousek
The USA’s Stanford University ecologist Dr. Peter Vitousek raises concerns about the detrimental impact of nitrogen, one of the gases attributable to the raising of livestock, to health and the environment.
 
The Saudi Popular Campaign for Relief of Lebanese People
The Saudi Popular Campaign for Relief of Lebanese People made a third distribution of emergency food assistance to Tripoli, Lebanon.
 
Bauchi State, Nigeria
To help offset the rising cost of grain, Nigeria’s Bauchi State government distributes 5,000 bags of grains through 20 local councils.
 
PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (PALYJA)
PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (PALYJA), one of Indonesia’s tap water operators in Jakarta, has boosted the availability of clean water for disadvantaged citizens by 500%, and plans to build 1,700 new water connections by 2009.
  
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization launched a US$500,000 emergency Technical Cooperation Project that provides rice seeds, bean seeds, and fertilizers to farmers in Madagascar to boost its local food production. 
 
Costa Rica’s Channel 7
Airing nationwide, Costa Rica’s Channel 7 completes a series alerting the public to animal farming cruelty and its environmental impact.
 
Dr. Chen Shen Hsien
Dr. Chen Shen Hsien, Director General of Water Resources Agency, Formosa (Taiwan), recommends the reduction of meat consumption to protect water resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  
Kansas Vegetarian Society
The vegetarian society in Kansas, USA holds free vegetarian cooking classes in the Hays Public Library, introducing people to the benefits of healthy living.
  
Women’s Council
A group of women in Siberia found a council to curb alcohol abuse in community by helping those who want to quit heavy drinking.
  
United Kingdom
Beginning on October 1st, cigarette packets in the United Kingdom features graphic pictures showing the damaging health effects of smoking. 
  
Dr. Margaret Chan
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan urges cancer prevention through anti-smoking measures such as advertising bans and higher cigarette taxes.
 
One Laptop Per Child, Rwanda
The non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child, whose goal is to provide opportunities to all children, donates 5,000 XO computers to Rwanda. 
  
Japanese-Sri Lanka Friendship Association
The Japanese-Sri Lanka Friendship Association, in cooperation with the Oruwala Lions Club of Sri Lanka, donates eyeglasses, wheelchairs, sport articles, two ambulances, one fire vehicle, and school items to Matara, Sri Lanka.
 
Unilever and United Nations World Food Program
International manufacturing company Unilever works together with the United Nations World Food Program to aid Pakistan in alleviating child hunger.
  
China
China donates a library to Nigeria equipped with numerous facilities such as computers, sewing machines and DVDs, the library was donated to Universal Basic Education in the Federal Capital Territory.
  
Coalition of environmentalists, scientists, and former navy officers
A coalition of environmentalists, marine scientists and former navy officers advocate the creation of a marine sanctuary in Australia.
  
Florence Kabasomi
Ms. Florence Kabasomi opens a school, giving opportunity to hearing impaired children to receive education in Uganda.
  
Neurosurgeons at Pitie-Salpetriere
French neurosurgeons at the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris are successful in removing malignant brain tumors from patients through a pioneering combination of computerized laser surgery and real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). 
  
Indonesia
To protect its diverse species, the Indonesian government is more than doubling the size of Tesso Nilo National Park, going from 38,000 to 86,000 hectares by the end of this year.
  
William J. Clinton Foundation
The US-based William J. Clinton Foundation plans to help Cambodia preserve and reforest her lands as part of the Clinton Climate Initiative that includes Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
  
Kazakhstan and World Bank
Kazakhstan launches a successful rescue project, supported by the World Bank, to revive and return the North Aral Sea to its pristine state.
 
Janina Ochojska
Janina Ochojska reorganizes the Polish branch of a French foundation, EquiLibre, into the independent Polish Humanitarian Organization (PHO) which becomes Poland’s most recognized charity in providing aid to those in need in Poland and other countries.
  
Prince Charles’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change
Eighteen major United Kingdom and international members of Prince Charles’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change sent a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other top politicians urging them to overcome economic concerns and act decisively in approving climate change legislation.
  
Linda Long
Linda Long compiles a new cookbook called “Great Chefs Cook Vegan,” featuring three- and four-course vegan meals developed by twenty-five of the world’s leading chefs.
  
Alanna Mitchell and Dr. Charlie Vernon
Alanna Mitchell, author of a book called “Seasick,” and scientist Dr. Charlie Vernon outlined how carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying the world’s oceans and, if without intervention, may cause mass extinctions on Earth.
 
United Nations World Food Program and Liberia
The United Nations World Food Program collaborates with the government of Liberia to feed those in need through a three-year school development program.
   
Italy
To protect honeybee colonies, Italy has banned a number of pesticides that were being widely used on crops such as sweet corn and sunflowers.
 
Formosan local governments
To help stop global warming, several local Formosan governments have cancelled the traditional barbecues, and Taipei City hosted festivities and a more plant-based dinner for 10,000 people.   
 
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has released a new book, “Kick the Habit,” which provides information about how to achieve carbon neutrality, highlighting the large toll of meat eating on the environment, along with suggestions for its reduction to save money and reduce emissions. 
  
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates implements a two-month  citizenship campaign to register those persons currently without a nationality with the  hope of eliminating their travel difficulties between countries, as well as their ability to receive public services.
  
Israel
Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection organizes a conference where 50 Israeli Arab imams came together to discuss environmental issues.
  
Iowa State University students
Many students from Iowa State University in the US have switched to a plant-based diet to protect the planet. 
  
Wildlife Conservation Society, Rwanda, and Burundi
Rwanda and Burundi, with the assistance of US-based Wildlife Conservation Society, have partnered to conserve the largest remaining area of mountain forest in East Africa. 
  
Jerusalem  Biblical Zoo’s staff
Arava, a 10-year-old spurred tortoise whose back legs are paralyzed, has been fitted with a custom-made metal board with wheels attached by the staff at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo to enable greater mobility.
  
Lugbe, Nigeria
 Lugbe, Nigeria plants 2,000 trees and plans to plant another 4,500 by the end of the year to help halt climate change. 

Norway  
Norway will invest a portion of its US$400 billion government pension fund in sustainable energy development.  
 
USA  
The United States approves of US$250 million in “farm sales” to Cuba, enabling the island nation to import food and wood through private lines of credit. 

Rhode Island 
Rhode Island, USA spends US$1 billion to build offshore wind farms to provide 15% of the state’s energy.   

Germany  
Germany’s Economy Ministry will provide millions of euros in subsidies to help consumers buy energy-saving appliances and build eco-friendly buildings.  
 
Canada  
Canada allocates US$7.8 million for three new wildlife reserve areas covering 450,000 hectares on the northeastern side of Baffin Island.  
 
The Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust  
The Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust will jointly donate US$6.6 million to fund collaboration between scientists from the United Kingdom, Ghana, and Tanzania with priority given to projects that benefit the development of Africa and her people.  
 
BRAC  
BRAC, a charitable organization in Bangladesh, is recognized with the 2008 Conrad N Hilton Humanitarian Prize, along with US$1.5 million, for its exemplary efforts in helping improve people’s lives throughout Bangladesh and Africa.    

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) 
The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) spent approximately US$1 million to set up a farming operation for the small village of Djilakh, Senegal and plans to donate another US$1.2 million to expand the farm.  
 
Kwara State of Nigeria  
The Kwara State of Nigeria sets aside US$850,000 for afforesting and beautifying her cities, and repairing and updating Forestry Department vehicles.  

France  
Beginning January 2009, residents in France can apply for zero-interest, government-supported loans of up to €30,000 that can be used for thermal insulation and home heating systems.  
 
Moscow, Russia

Motivated by spiritual and ethical reasons, five to ten percent of Muscovites have adopted the plant-based diet.  

Ban Ki-moon  
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urges world leaders to take immediate actions to stop global warming instead of waiting for the 2009 Kyoto Protocol successor.  
 
Boris Johnson 
London mayor, Boris Johnson, announces a series of measures to prepare and mitigate effects of climate change such as flooding, extreme temperatures and drought, and reducing the city’s carbon emissions 60% by 2025. 

The Philippines 
Manila, Philippines is in the forefront of a campaign to change to energy-efficient lighting systems by switching out incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps.   

Stockholm International Water Institute, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Water Management Institute  
A collaboration between the Stockholm International Water Institute, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Water Management Institute results in a report titled “Saving Water: From Field to Fork – Curbing Losses and Wastage in the Food Chain” that calls on governments worldwide to reduce food wastage so as to conserve water, curb food shortages, and minimize world hunger.  

Zambia  
To reduce the distance students have to travel to school, Zambia plans to build 1,500 schools by the end of 2008.  

Malaysia 
Malaysia uses an enzymatic process to de-ink mixed office paper during recycling, which  is more effective and environmentally friendly.  

Bulgaria  
Stara Planina Mountains, a poor area in Bulgaria that was once known for making rifles, is now growing roses to benefit from the global organic boom of beauty products.  

Scientists at Leeds Dental Institute  
Scientists at Leeds Dental Institute in the United Kingdom have developed a technique called photodynamic therapy that uses light to improve dental hygiene.  

Dr. Daniel Nocera and Dr. Matthew Kanan  
Dr. Daniel Nocera of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and Dr. Matthew Kanan have developed a technique that will split water at room temperature, achieving an efficient way to store excess energy received from sunlight.  
 
Boston, Massachusetts, USA  
To reduce electricity by 25 percent, the city of Boston, Massachusetts in the US launches a two-month project called “Lights out Boston.”  

Dr. Essop Pahad  
Dr. Essop Pahad, Minister of the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, encourages the South African government to ensure that by the end of 2009, an increasing percent of public sector employees will be individuals with disabilities.  

Solar Botanic Energy  
US-based Solar Botanic Energy Systems is developing artificial trees where the leaves utilize the sunlight and wind to generate over 5000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.  

US Environmental Protection Agency 
The United State’s Environmental Protection Agency introduces new emission standards by mandating that lawn and garden equipment reduce pollutant emissions by 35%, and personal aircrafts by 70%.  

University of California, San Diego 
The University of California, San Diego installs solar “trees” on the roofs of parking lots, the canopies of which provide enough energy to power four family homes as well as recharging electric cars.  

Prince Charles  
Prince Charles highlights the loss of marine wildlife due to plastic bags in addressing the Marine Conservation Society meeting in the United Kingdom.  

New Zealand  
The passing of the Climate Change bill in New Zealand creates the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme which provides incentives for clean technology adoption as well as eco-wise business practices and investments.   

Father Oh Woong Jin  
Father Oh Woong Jin of Korea built the “The House of Love” for eighteen homeless men living under a bridge, which eventually became Flower Village, with 9 locations offering a home, care and love for those in need.  
 
Chicago, Illinois 
Chicago, Illinois plans to become one of the greenest cities in the United States by increasing energy efficiency, improving transportation and planting adaptable vegetation.  

Japan  
To help prevent erosion, 3,000 mahogany seedlings have been planted in the Philippines along the banks of the Panay River through the funding from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.  

Âu Lạc (Vietnam)  
To minimize the effects of climate change, Âu Lạc (Vietnam) raises shore levels and plants up to 350,000 hectares of trees in key areas.  

The Sahara Project 
The Sahara Project has enabled the growing of crops in desert areas using desalinized seawater through a combined technology of solar panels and greenhouses.  

American Heart Association, William J. Clinton Foundation 
The United States beverage industry makes available lower calorie and less sugary drinks through a voluntary agreement with the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.  

Rwanda  
Rwanda is the first country where the women Parliament members outnumber the men.  

San Antonio, Texas 
San Antonio, Texas is the first city in the US to harvest and sell methane gas that is produced during the treatment process of the city’s waste.  

Animal Protectors Grant Program  
A local animal welfare charity group and three university student organizations in Singapore launch the Animal Protectors Grant program to provide funding for animal welfare projects of winning applicants.  

Drs. Joe Brown and Mark Sobsey  
Drs. Joe Brown and Mark Sobsey initiated a study and discovered that the ceramic water filters being distributed throughout rural households in Cambodia are effective in removing up to 99.9% of the E.coli, which earned them the grand prize of the International Water Association’s 2008 Project Innovation Awards.  

Egypt  
Travel from Gaza has been made possible when Egypt, as a humanitarian gesture, opens the Rafah crossing to Palestine.  

Namibia, Seacology, United Nations Environmental Program  
Namibia’s Environment and Tourism Ministry, Seacology, and the United Nations Environmental Program sponsor a freely distributed magazine, “Green Bay,” which raises awareness and provides information about improved natural resource conservation, sustainable practices and green technologies.  

USA  
To help improve the well-being of children and adolescents, a US Federal Trade Commission report recommends that the media, businesses, and schools should advertise nutritious food and drinks, inform about constructive lifestyle habits, and adopt high nutritional standards, respectively.  

General Motors Corporation  
US automaker General Motors Corporation announces that the company will recycle all waste from more than half of its 180-plus manufacturing facilities around the world by 2010.  

Maryland, USA  
The US state of Maryland outlines plans to reduce its carbon footprint by planting trees and implementing other measures to offset the effects of rising sea levels.    

Cameroon  
As part of a National Tree Planting Campaign, Cameroon is planting 75,000 trees to cover 250 hectares of land in the Southwest Province.  

Queensland and New South Wales  
Queensland and New South Wales organize conferences with the focus on alleviating mental illness for those affected by global warming.   

Hu Angang  
Public policy professor and political advisor Hu Angang encourages China to adopt international goals for decreasing emissions.  

The United States National  Research Council  
The United States National Research Council calls on the US government to impose a nationwide ban on ocean littering.  

Mayor Thomas  
Launched by Mayor Thomas in 1995, the Boston Schoolyard Initiative has created 71 outdoor classrooms from renovated school sites.  

Blanche Mannix  
Blanche Mannix of Bridlington, United Kingdom, turns 103 and credits her longevity to her vegetarian diet.  

The United Nations World Food Program  
The United Nations World Food Program announces the establishment of the Purchase for Progress initiative (P4P), with a commitment to buy food directly from local farmers, thus also benefiting regional economies.  

Dr. Ese Owie  
Dr. Ese Owie, executive director of Climate Change Africa, highlights the need for African leaders to immediately address global warming through steps such as risk assessment and developing sustainable energy.  

Rishon LeZion  
Rishon LeZion, a city in Israel, has achieved 70% of its 100% water independence goal set seven years ago by Mayor Meir Nitzan.  

Kiberia Youth Initiative for Community Development  
As members of the Kiberia Youth Initiative for Community, a group of Kenyan youths joined together to clear an abandoned area where they now successfully grow and sell organic vegetables.  

Uganda’s National Population Secretariat 
 Uganda’s National Population Secretariat marks 20th anniversary through the planting of 5,000 trees at the Nakasongola district.  

The Akan Film Producers Association  
Through their movies, the Akan Film Producers Association (AFPA) promotes harmony between cultural groups and encourages peaceful relations between ethnic groups.  

Dr. Wallace S. Broecker  
In recognition of his excellence in sciences, culture, and humanitarian endeavors, Dr. Wallace S. Broecker of Columbia University has been awarded US$885,000 from the Balzan Prize Foundation of Milan, Italy.  

Ten private businesses 
Ten private businesses were honored with the 2008 World Business and Development Awards for their work in helping to implement the UN Millennium Development Goals.  

Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand  
Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand joins the United Nations’ “Say No to Violence Against Women” by accepting the appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).  

Kentucky, USA 
Kentucky has authorized a tax incentive for a plant that will manufacture affordable electric cars starting in 2009. 

Malaysia  
Malaysia’s State Industrial, Trade and Environment Committee deployed the first 500 units of Reefscape, a reef ‘starter’ material made of concrete, to 10 sites around Redang Island off the eastern coast of Malaysia as part of the International Year of Reefs initiative to help speed the re-growth of corals.  
 
European Commission  
The European Commission sets goal to make high speed internet access available in all member nations by 2010.  

The Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International  
The Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International constructs the first gorilla sanctuary in eastern Africa.  

The staff at Umitamago Aquarium  
Fifteen people from the Umitamago Aquarium in Oita, Japan, saved a weakened young dolphin by taking turns to hold her up for 5 days, and then designing a special life jacket that allows her to swim on her own.  

Ofir Drori  
Ofir Drori, a former journalist from Israel, establishes the Last Great Ape Organization (LAGA) that seeks to keep wildlife safe through law enforcement in the Cameroon.  

Sang Guen 
 Korea’s dog celebrity Sang Guen, a four-year-old Great Pyrenees, stars in the launch of an animal welfare campaign in Seoul, Korea.  
 
Mother and father swan  
A swan couple adopts and raises four little grey geese as their children in Fuerstenberg, Germany.