Maldives Promotion House – Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed and Oscar-award-winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio are among the new members of the jury for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which recognizes innovation, leadership, long-term vision and impact in renewable energy and sustainability.
They will be joining the new jury members including, Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy for South Africa, Timothy Wirth, president of the UN Foundation and Better World Fund, Andre Agassi, founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and Grand Slam Tennis Champion, and Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation.
Other continuing members who will also be present in the jury include Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grímsson, HE Ahmed Al Sayegh, chairman of the renewable energy company Masdar, and Susan Hockfield, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The jury will convene later this year as the final judging panel in a four-tiered open process to select the prize winners and finalists who will be honoured in an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 17, 2012.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize was created to honor the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the United Arab Emirates and a champion of environmental stewardship. Managed by the renewable energy company Masdar on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, the annual award this year offers a total of USD4 million in prize money.
President Mohamed Nasheed is a keen environmentalist and has won many awards. He has been recognised worldwide for his work on creating awareness on the impact of climate change. In May 2009, Nasheed was presented with Coral Cultivation Initiative Award by Huvafen Fushi Resort and Underwater Spa, Maldives in recognition of his active participation in cultivating coral in the resort’s nursery as well as for his efforts in creating greater awareness on the impact of climate change in the Maldives.
In June 2009, the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund awarded Nasheed, the 2009 Anna Lindh Award for the instrumental role he played in bringing democracy to the Maldives and in recognition of his efforts on the world stage to highlight the dangers of climate change by bringing people and their human rights at the heart of the debate.
On the Earth Day of 2010, Nasheed was awarded the Champions of the Earth Award, the United Nations’ most prestigious environmental prize at a gala event in Seoul, Republic of Korea which was in conjunction with the B4E Business for the Environment Global Summit.
In August 2010, Newsweek named President Nasheed in its list of “world’s ten best leaders” he was also referred to as a hero among environmentalists. In 2010, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers.
In March 2011, following his official visit to the Republic of Mauritius, he was decorated by president Jugnauth and was awarded the highest distinct order of merit in the country. He was elevated to the rank of Grand Commander of the star & key of the Indian ocean (GCSK) during the official lunch offered by the president at the Château of Réduit .
A documentary about Nasheed’s efforts to halt climate change, The Island President was filmed throughout 2009 and 2010, and will also appear at film festivals in 2011.