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Current Year Winners

The commemorative lectures by the winners will be held at The University of Tokyo on December 12 (Thursday), at the Kyoto University on 14 (Saturday). Details will be posted on our website at a later date.

2018 Blue Planet Prize Awards Ceremony & Lectures Photo Report

2019 (28th) Blue Planet Prize Winners

Prof. Malin Falkenmark

Prof. Eric Lambin (Belgium)

Born September 23, 1962
Professor, Université catholique de Louvain
George and Setsuko Ishiyama Provostial Professor, Stanford University

He has clarified the land use changes taking place on a global scale, the effects on ecosystems and the effectiveness of policies, using satellite remote sensing technologies and his original method of time-series analysis. From early on, he has pointed out that land use changes are causing adverse effects globally on natural systems. He has explained the relationship between economic activities and land use by linking socioeconomic data. His research activities have significantly influenced how public authorities and private enterprises develop land use policies for conserving forests. Those research findings have provided scientific support for making the most of forest certification programs, for implementing green purchasing commitments, and for promoting green procurement. He has made great contributions by stimulating the adoption of concrete interventions and practices to improve the sustainability of socioeconomic activities from the individual to the global scales.

Prof. Malin Falkenmark

Prof. Jared Diamond (USA)

Born September 10, 1937
Professor, Department of Geography University of California, Los Angeles
Historian, Non-fiction author

His ideas and arguments presented in his trilogy, Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and The World Until Yesterday, include civilization theory, organizational theory, and society theory, and were created as a result of his exceptional intellectual explorations. They provide deep insight into the roots of today's environmental issues from a very broad perspective, explaining the significance of environmental issues in the history of human civilization from a unique perspective. In Collapse, he has listed 12 items as major factors in global environmental issues. He has regarded environmental issues as fundamental to any study of human history. Based on this concept, he has influenced the consciousness of contemporary civilization across nations and generations toward a mindset of thinking about the next steps for civilization. These achievements of Professor Diamond are highly appreciated.
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Remarks from the Award Recipients upon Notification of their Selection

I am extremely honored to receive this presigious prize. It is a great encouragement to continue working even harder to better understand changes in land use around the world, and to improve the design and evaluation of policies to promote sustainable land use.
I am indebted to all the senior colleagues in my field, on the shoulders of which I was able to stand. I have also been very fortunate to work with many bright, young people who joined my research team over the years. This prize rewards a collective effort.
Land use is changing rapidly. We need to become smarter in the way we manage land to mitigate climate change, reverse biodiversity loss, maintain the delivery of ecosystem services while at the same time ensuring food security and enabling communities to flourish thanks in part to their attachment to the places they inhabit.

The English-language expression “out of the blue“ means “totally unexpected,“ and “dropping out of the blue sky.“ In fact, the phone call telling me of my winning the 2019 Blue Planet Prize did come to me “out of the blue,“ so for me the prize is doubly blue.
But, in another sense, the prize did not come out of the blue at all - because it reflects the research that I have been doing for the last six decades, and my life experiences that impressed on me already as a child the importance of history, geography, and the environment. My studies in New Guinea on birds and people have served for me as a window on understanding our planet.
I’ve lived in half-a-dozen countries, where I’ve seen how differences in geography have
differently shaped the lives of my friends from those different countries.
I have a special connection to Japan through my Japanese relatives by marriage. My wife Marie and I have repeatedly taken great pleasure in visiting Japan, in coming to understand Japan through the eyes of our relatives, and in learning how Japan’s environment has shaped Japan.
For all these reasons, I am thrilled to receive the Blue Planet Prize. The prize symbolizes
what I have learned from life, and what I have tried to teach and to give back to life.