‘Green Nobel’ prize to recognize environmental work in Amazon rainforest

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The great-grandnephew of Alfred Nobel is offering a “Green Nobel” prize, unrelated to the Nobel Foundation, to environmental champions of the Amazon rainforest.

Marcus Nobel, a Swedish-American businessman based in Portland, Oregon, has instituted the annual environmental prize to spotlight projects that are helping preserve and sustain the rainforest and protect its biodiversity.

The United Earth Amazonia prize will be awarded in June to six winners in the 130-year-old Opera House in Manaus. Prize money has yet to be decided, organizers said.

“Raising consciousness is very important to us,” Nobel said in an interview. His NGO called United Earth focuses on promoting a common humanity living in peace with itself and Nature.

The prize, aimed at giving visibility to exceptional environmental contributions, was first awarded last year, with no prize money. The scope of the 2024 award will be expanded to include Brazil’s neighboring nations that share the rainforest.

A five-meter statue of a globe representing the prize will be erected on the banks of the Rio Negro river in Manaus, as a symbol of the city’s commitment to protecting the Amazon forest, the mayor’s office said.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by David Gregorio)