James Gustave Speth, dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, was honored with the international environmental Blue Planet Prize by the Tokyo-based Asahi Glass Foundation.
The prestigious prize is presented to individuals or organizations that have made major contributions to global environmental conservation.
Speth was awarded the prize for "a lifetime of creative and visionary leadership in the search for science-based solutions to global environmental problems and for pioneering efforts to bring these issues, including global climate change, to broad international attention."
The prize citation notes that Speth played a leadership role in creating the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970 and that he was among the first to call for international action on global climate change.
According to the citation, Speth "helped to predict the current challenge to the global environment in the Global 2000 Report, as chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter Administration. He then founded the World Resources Institute and led it in the search for science-based solutions to large-scale environmental threats. He went on to serve as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and focused the agency on sustainable, people-centered development. As dean, he now seeks to help the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies become the first global school of the environment."