The prize, a Nobel-like prize founded by the Duke of Cambridge and renowned British naturalist David Attenborough, aims to inspire innovative solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges facing the planet today.
Each of the five winners will walk away with Â£ 1million – the equivalent of over $ 1.3million – and the promise of “professional and technical support” to develop their innovations.
Costa Rica won the award for its compensation program for local citizens to protect and restore tropical forests and local ecosystems, a system the award committee credits for having already reversed decades of deforestation.
Indian organization Takachar’s innovation was technology that attaches to tractors and reduces smoke emissions by up to 98% while converting residue into new products.
Coral Vita in the Bahamas won for its method of accelerating coral regrowth by first cultivating it on land and then replanting it on depleted underwater reefs.
The whole city of Milan has been recognized for its âFood Hubsâ approach to reducing food waste and distributing food to the needy that would otherwise be wasted by restaurants and supermarkets.
And a Thai, German and Italian group won the award for its AEM Electrolyser, a technology that turns renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas.
The winners were announced on Sunday at a brilliant awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London, in what Kensington Palace has called “the most enduring event of its kind.”
âWe are living in the most important time in human history – the actions we choose or choose not to take over the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand,â said William. in a short film recorded in the London Eye for the awards ceremony. “A decade does not seem long, but humanity has an exceptional record of capacity to solve the insoluble.”
William continued that “many answers already exist … but we need everyone – from all parts of society – to raise their ambition and unite to fix our planet.”
“The future is for us to determine. And if we think about it, nothing is impossible,” he added.
âI am very proud of my son, William, for his growing commitment to the environment and the bold ambition of the Earthshot Prize. As a world, we must come together to inspire, reimagine and build the sustainable future that we desperately need, “says Charles.
“Over the next decade, with future generations in mind, the Earthshot Prize and its inspiring nominees will help us find innovative solutions,” added the Prince of Wales. “Together, with all those who join us, we have a real opportunity to offer a better future to humanity while restoring harmony between Nature, People and the Planet.”
Attenborough spoke at the ceremony about the importance of the award and his optimism about humanity’s ability to tackle the most pressing environmental issues of our time. He congratulated Earthshot’s 15 finalists for bringing hope to the world.
âThe natural world on which we depend entirely on is declining at a faster rate than at any time since the end of the dinosaurs. We know where this story is going and now we have to write a different ending. That’s what The Earthshot Prize has. was created to achieve. The 15 Earthshot Award finalists tonight are fueling optimism in finding innovative and brilliant solutions to the world’s challenges, and they give us hope, which we are told is everlasting. “
CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed to this report.