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The Asahi Glass Foundation

Video Interviews Released of 2021 Blue Planet Prize Winners


The Asahi Glass Foundation, chaired by Takuya Shimamura and located in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, has released, on its special website, video interviews of the winners of the 2021 Blue Planet Prize, an international award to recognize the contribution in the resolution of global environmental problems (

This year’s winners are Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the USA and Professor Mohan Munasinghe of Sri Lanka. Professor Ramanathan found that short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including black carbon and methane, have great impact on global warming and that SLCPs’ reduction is effective for both improvement in atmospheric pollution and near-to-mid-term global warming mitigation. Professor Munasinghe of Sri Lanka conceived an innovative sustainomics framework, which views development issues from economic, social, and environmental perspectives. Professor Munasinghe has been doing practical research and development in environmental economics, environmental policy, and sustainable development.

In 1992, the year of the Earth Summit, the Asahi Glass Foundation established the Blue Planet Prize, an award presented to individuals or organizations from around the world in recognition of outstanding achievements in social, natural sciences, and technology, as well as their application toward solving global environmental problems. The Prize is offered in the hope of encouraging efforts to bring about the healing of the Earth’s fragile environment. As a general rule, two recipients are chosen annually, and each recipient is presented with a certificate of merit, a commemorative trophy, and 50 million Japanese yen in prize money.

The video interviews have been created in place of inviting the winners to Japan to attend the award ceremony and give commemorative lectures, which were cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The special website has been designed to simulate the flow of the annual award ceremony, with such content as congratulatory messages from the Asahi Glass Foundation’s Chairman Shimamura, introduction of the Blue Planet Prize by Presentation Committee Chairman Dr. Yoshikawa, and His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Akishino. Professor Ramanathan spoke to interviewer Akio Kitoh, researcher at the Japan Meteorological Business Support Center, about SLCPs, effective methods for reducing CO2 and SLCPs, and the benefits of dialogue with world faith leaders such as Pope Francis and the 14th Dalai Lama. Professor Munasinghe spoke to interviewer Ayumi Onuma, professor at the Faculty of Economics, Keio University, on such topics as the background of Sustainomics and Millennium Consumption Goals (MCGs), of which the concept was incorporated into Goal 12 (Responsible consumption and production) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Please visit our special website to view the interviews, which reflect the earnest desire of the two winners to resolve the increasingly severe global environmental issues.

For more information, please contact:
Toshihiro Tanuma, PhD
2nd Floor, Science Plaza, 5-3 Yonbancho Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 102-0081 Japan URL:
Phone +81-3-5275-0620, Fax +81-3-5275-0871
e-mail:, URL:

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