The president recommends more than 12 million acres of the region receive the highest level of protection available for public lands.
The U.S. Department of Interior says it’s the first time it’s recommended additional protections and that their new recommendations have the potential to be one of the largest conservation measures “since Congress passed the visionary Wilderness Act over 50 years ago.”
They resolve that the United States and Canada must and will play a leadership role internationally in the low carbon global economy over the coming decades, including through science-based steps to protect the Arctic and its peoples.
HELSINKI - Canadian Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier was selected Thursday as one of three winners of the 2015 Right Livelihood Awards — the so-called “alternative Nobels.”
The organization cited Watts-Cloutier for her “lifelong work to protect the Inuit of the Arctic and defend their right to maintain their livelihoods and culture, which are acutely threatened by climate change.”
She will share the equivalent of about $475,000 with Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera of Uganda for her struggle for gay rights and sexual minorities, and Italian surgeon Gino Strada for providing medical assistance to victims of war.
Watt-Cloutier, who was born in Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec and was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, is listed as a member of the board of directors with the group Canadians For a New Partnership.
Watt-Cloutier served as president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Canada from 1995 until 1998 and was the council’s international chairwoman from 2002 until 2006. The ICC represents some 155,000 Inuit in Canada and other northern countries.
Watt-Cloutier’s numerous awards and 13 honorary doctorates include being made an Officer in the Order of Canada in 2006.
She is also the author of a book published earlier this year entitled “The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet.”
The Right Livelihood Awards, announced in Stockholm, were founded in 1980 by Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull.
Through his music, acclaimed Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi has added his voice to those of eight million people from across the world demanding protection for the Arctic. Einaudi performed one of his own compositions on a floating platform in the middle of the Ocean, against the backdrop of the Wahlenbergbreen glacier (in Svalbard, Norway).