Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message on Champions and Young Champions of the Earth 2020, today:
In the middle of a global pandemic, with societies struggling, economies stretched to their limits and an escalating biodiversity and climate crisis, we need to act boldly and urgently to repair our relationship with nature and take the path of sustainable development.
The Champions and Young Champions of the Earth inspire and mobilize. They act.
Each year, the United Nations honours these environmental champions for their leadership and vision. They see promise in the peril of our times as they take on some of our greatest challenges. They are political leaders, innovators, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and defenders of the environment. Their efforts confront the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
I commend this year’s Champions of the Earth. Their efforts to face down adversity affirm that we can protect and restore our environment for the good of all people and the planet.