Winners announced for 2020 Paulson Prize

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 19, 2020
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Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former U.S. Treasury secretary and chairman of the Paulson Institute, speaks at a virtual award ceremony to announce the winners of the 2020 Paulson Prize for Sustainability, Nov. 18, 2020. [Photo courtesy of the Paulson Institute]

The Paulson Institute, in partnership with Tsinghua University, announced the winners of the 2020 Paulson Prize for Sustainability on Wednesday during a virtual award ceremony. This year, the annual awards went to the City Waste Battery Recycle and Reuse Project and the Haikou Wetland Protection and Restoration Project in the Green Innovation and Nature Stewardship categories, respectively.

"This award is designed to promote solutions that address the urgent challenges of ecological degradation and biodiversity loss. We want to inspire governments, businesses and citizens to be good stewards of nature by valuing and investing in the conservation and restoration of China's natural heritage and chart a better course for our planet," said Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former U.S. Treasury secretary and chairman of the Paulson Institute, an independent "think and do tank" dedicated to fostering a U.S.-China relationship since its founding in 2011.

Amidst the backdrop of the global pandemic, the Paulson Prize's acknowledgment of leaders in sustainable solutions is now more critical than ever.

"Countries around the world are closely connected, and mankind shares a common destiny. Sustainable development remains a long and arduous task," said Chen Xu, chairperson of Tsinghua University Council. "It is of great significance that we hold this virtual award ceremony, which demonstrates our persistent efforts in sustainable development and highlights the determination and actions of local governments, enterprises, institutions, and industry organizations to actively participate in sustainable development."

The City Waste Battery Recycle and Reuse Project, managed by GEM (Wuhan) Urban Mine Recycling Industrial Park Development Co., Ltd., was awarded the Prize in the Green Innovation category. GEM utilizes innovative internet technology to integrate dry cell recycling networks in cities and communities. Most notably, it has forged partnerships with more than 200 battery manufacturers and vehicle manufacturing companies for the targeted recycling of waste batteries, building a full life-cycle value chain system of power battery collecting, cascade utilization, resource recycling, material processing, and power battery pack re-making.

This year, the newly launched Nature Stewardship award was created to recognize innovative projects that preserve and protect the natural environment.

The Haikou Wetland Protection and Restoration Project, managed by the Haikou Wetland Protection and Management Center, was awarded the inaugural Paulson Prize in the Nature Stewardship category. The Haikou Wetland Protection and Management Center developed the wetland+ protection and restoration model. Since the start of the project, the wetland protection rate has increased from 16.01% to 55.53% because of the establishment of two national and five provincial wetland parks. Their efforts have resulted in wider swaths of protected Haikou wetlands and greater preservation of local biodiversity.

In addition, the Prize also recognized three other organizations with excellence awards in Green Innovation for their effort in designing sustainable solutions, including "Ecological Chief," a new model of urban planning and management in Nansha district, Guangzhou; JD's Green Stream Initiative, which builds a green supply chain for China's e-commerce industry project; and Agricultural IoTs, a smart model of livestock industry project.

In the Nature Stewardship category, the recognition of excellence awards went to the Sanjiangyuan National Park-Namsei Valley of the Cats Nature Watch Project, the Action on Finless Porpoise Assisted Patrol for Yangtze River Great Conservation Project and the Civil Protected Areas Project.

The Paulson Institute and Tsinghua University jointly organize and hand out the prize. Since 2013, the Paulson Prize has promoted sustainable development in China and beyond, awarding projects in China that provide innovative, scalable, and market-based solutions at the intersection of economics and the environment.

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