– Hans Herren Honored with Right Livelihood Award 2013 –
The Swiss agronomist and entomologist Dr. Hans R. Herren was honored with the Right Livelihood Award 2013, also known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’. He received the award “for his expertise and pioneering work in promoting a safe, secure and sustainable global food supply” realised through his project the Biovision Foundation (Switzerland).
When a new pest threatened the cassava root in Africa, Herren designed and implemented a successful “Africa-wide Biological Control Programme”. With the help of a worldwide network, the natural enemy of the cassava mealy bug, a parasitic wasp, was identified in Paraguay. Once it had been ascertained that the wasp would not turn itself into a problem for the African agro-ecosystem, Herren began one of the biggest release campaigns in human history. Some 1.6 million wasps were released between 1982 and 1993, in 24 countries in the cassava belt, from Senegal to Angola. The programme re-created the natural balance between the mealy bug and its natural enemy, thus ensuring a sustainable and long-term solution of the mealy bug problem.
The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honour and support those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”. Unlike the Nobel Prizes and most other international prizes, the Right Livelihood Award has no categories. The Laureates come from all walks of life, they are farmers, teachers, doctors, or simply, concerned citizens. This open nomination process works like a seismic detector of the most urgent problems of today and thus allows for timely, often even agenda-setting awards.
For the complete press release please consult the website of the Right Livelihood Award.