On April 21, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), announced the winner of the “Earth Champion“. The United Nations’ highest honor rewarding those “who take bold steps to protect our world” chose to salute the work of naturalist and documentary filmmaker, Sir David Attenborough. Established in 2005, the award ” Champion of the Earth” singles out “environmental leaders” like David Attenborough, or his predecessor, indigenous activist Nemonte Nenquimo, as “inspirations” to the world, as the site from UNEP. Back on the journey of this fierce defender of nature.
A naturalist on television
A Cambridge graduate in 1947, the naturalistbegan his career in 1954 at the BBC with the release of the series ZooQuest. The show follows in the footsteps of rare animals in order to popularize them with the public. The consecration of Attenborough’s work comes a few years later. In 1979, he made a documentary series, Life on Earth. This traces the history of the alive since the dawn of time and will be viewed by more than 500 million people. A personal investment for this nature lover who devotes three years of his life to it and travels thousands of kilometres.
Famous documentaries around the world
The naturalist focuses initially on the living world wishing to show the world “the spectacular wonder of nature” as related by the Press release from UNEP. The Living Planet (1984), or The Trials of Life (1990) thus show nature and its occupants. Over time, the director gradually became a defender of nature through his more recent documentaries such as Can We Save Planet Earth? Where Saving Planet Earth (2007). Widely acclaimed around the world, some of these achievements have earned him three Emmy Awards and eight BAFTAs. A work also recognized across the Channel by Queen Elizabeth II in person, who dubbed him in 1985 and in 2020. The film David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planetreleased in 2020, honors the nonagenarian by retracing his extraordinary fight for the Environmental Protection.
A spokesperson for the land
Now 95, David Attenborough has dedicated his entire life to promoting the beauty of nature and the need to protect it. If the director conveyed this message through his documentaries, he also spoke at international assemblies. Since 1982 and his appearance at the tenth meeting of the UNEP Governing Council, he has advocated unified action by all the countries of the world to combat global warming. He took to the podium at COP26 in Glasgow in the fall of 2021 asking leaders to act. “If working separately we are a powerful force to destabilize our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it,” he said. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP hailed this “source ofinspirationduring the presentation of his award, calling him a messenger “who spoke for the planet long before anyone else”.
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Who is Sir David Attenborough, named “Champion of the Earth”?