This is the third time the prize has been awarded since 2016, previous winners being Ban Ki-moon (then Secretary General of the United Nations) and John Kerry (former US Secretary of State and US Chair of the Arctic Council).
The Arctic Circle promotes dialogue between politics and business, environmental experts, the scientific community, indigenous peoples and other international stakeholders. In this way, the international non-governmental organization aims to address the problems facing the Arctic due to climate change and melting sea ice. The annual Arctic Circle Assembly has taken place in Reykjavik, Iceland, every October since its founding in 2013. With more than 2000 participants from over 60 countries, the Arctic Circle Assembly is one of the largest annual international gatherings on the Arctic. Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) regularly take part with expert presentations and in discussion panels. The fact that the Arctic Circle Prize, which was awarded for the third time anyway, is now going to research for the first time is a very special distinction.
Voices at the award ceremony:
H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Chair of the Arctic Circle; President of Iceland 1996-2016:
“We are all experiencing the dramatic impacts of climate change in the Arctic. Scientists are doing very important work by quantifying the consequences of warming and deriving predictions about future developments. But this year's award winners go far beyond that: the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany is a pioneer in international Arctic research. With the MOSAiC expedition, it has coordinated and led an unprecedented project that takes Arctic research to a new level. It combines excellent research with providing targeted knowledge for our social, political and economic actions.”
Prof. Dr Antje Boetius, Director Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research:
“It is a great honour for us to be included among the Arctic Circle Award winners. We all have a responsibility to move from knowledge to action when it comes to our common future on the planet. The rapid warming of the Arctic and the transformation of this special habitat of many people and an incomparable nature concern all of us. The prize to the AWI is at the same time an award for international polar research. Our role is to show how interconnected we are with the Arctic region in our human history and our future, and how much there is to gain on the way to sustainable management of our planet Earth.”
Prof. Dr. Markus Rex, head of MOSAiC - Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate:
“We accept this award on behalf of many hundreds of MOSAiC expedition participants from all over the world. Together we have pushed the boundaries of polar research with this gigantic project. We now have a better understanding of the Arctic and its role in global climate change than ever before. Our society faces climate change decisions that will deeply affect the way we live and do business. We need a robust and reliable scientific basis for this. And this is especially true for the dramatically warming Arctic, which helps determine our weather and climate. Creating this knowledge impels us. We are proud and grateful that the Arctic Circle recognises these achievements.”
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