1st International Convention of Environmental Laureates

Freiburg is set to play host to environmental laureates from across the globe: under the patronage of Klaus Töpfer, the European Environment Foundation is organising the first “International Convention of Environmental Laureates”, to be held in Freiburg from 08-11 March 2012.

Platform for international and interdisciplinary exchange between figures who actively shape environmental policy

Joint declaration from international laureates on UN Conference Rio+20

Meetings with young academics, students and school pupils

From 8-11 March 2012, the European Environment Foundation will hold the 1st International Convention of Environmental Laureates in Freiburg. The remit of organising such a convention in the city is a key aspect of the European Environment Foundation’s charitable work.

Sixty figures from more than 27 countires, all winners of prestigious international environmental prizes, amongst of the Right Livelihood Award have announced their intention to participate at the first convention being organised in Freiburg.


The Convention has three key aspects:

  • 60 international laureates will adopt  “The Declaration of International Environmental Laureates on Rio+20” at the convention
  • Exchange between prize winners and young academics, students and school pupils, which is being coordinated together with the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Sciences at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. Other programme features include a panel discussion with selected laureates and young environmental campaigners, as well as round table talks where laureates will discuss issues in detail with the school pupils, students and young academics.
  • Platform for international, interdisciplinary, open-ended exchange between laureates from a broad spectrum of countries and from diverse research and working fields within the wide environmental world. In particular, it is intended to facilitate exchange at a personal level between environmental policy visionaries and pioneers, which is why the convention programme also includes a number of cultural events and opportunities to socialise. Furthermore, all laureates have been invited to attend together with their partners.

The patron of the 1st International Convention of Environmental Laureates will be Prof. Klaus Töpfer, former German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Prof. Töpfer is also a former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi. In a public evening event five selected laureates formulate their expectations for Rio+20. Monika Griefahn, a founding member of Greenpeace Germany and former Environment Minister of Niedersachsen will introduce into the evening.

The convention will be financed by the European Environment Foundation and through contributions from Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik & Messe (FWTM). The Lord Mayor of Freiburg, Dieter Salomon, is a member of the Board of Trustees and has supported the project from its initial stages.

Freiburg is one of the birthplaces of the environmental movement, and has made a name for itself in the fields of solar research and solar technology, traffic policy, environmental and climate protection, and urban development. By launching the convention, the founding members and trustees of the foundation wish to strengthen Freiburg’s role as a “Green City” and a pioneer of sustainability. They also aim to provide fresh impetus to sustainability policy in Freiburg and the discussions that surround this. Bringing together international visionaries and pioneers in Freiburg in this way also serves to publicise and develop ecological endeavours across the globe. The international focus of the convention stems from the conviction that all environmental policy must be implemented on an international scale in order to be effective.

The European Environment Foundation was founded in autumn 2011. The aim of the foundation, which is registered under Swiss law, is to promote dialogue in all environmental policy disciplines within the European states, to provide them with stimuli and to spur on exchange within Europe that is constructive, builds trust, fosters communication and inspires research. The foundation is proud to name 13 distinguished figures from the international environmental movement as its trustees. Prof. Eicke R. Weber, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, holds the position of Chairman. Founders of the foundation and members of the Foundation Board are Dr. Bernd Dallmann and Dip.-Ing. Rolf Hiller.


Date: 2012/02/06