Noteworthy Press Releases from Japan

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Interview Videos of 2020 Blue Planet Prize Winners Released


The Asahi Glass Foundation, chaired by Takuya Shimamura and located in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, has released, on its special website, interview videos of the winners of the 2020 Blue Planet Prize, an international award to recognize contribution in the resolution of global environmental problems (

This year’s winners are Prof. David Tilman of the USA and Dr. Simon Stuart of the UK.
Prof. David Tilman has demonstrated that plant-based foods are beneficial to human health and the environment while red meats negatively affect both of these, thus has advocated shifts towards diets and agricultural practices that are better for human health and the global environment. Dr. Simon Stuart of the UK has led the development of the categories and quantitative criteria for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and contributed significantly to the expansion of the number of species assessed as well as to global amphibian conservation efforts.

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 and 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 interview videos 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 and His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Akishino. Prof. David Tilman, among other topics, spoke to interviewer Hikaru Kobayashi, Adviser of the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, about the importance of biodiversity, how people’s diets are linked with environmental issues and agriculture, and the contributions that people can make through their lifestyles. Dr. Simon Stuart spoke to interviewer Tsunao Watanabe, Chair of the Japan Committee for IUCN, on such topics as the background to the IUCN Red List’s development and the role of the first Red List of each country, as well as the challenges encountered in developing new categories and criteria.

Please visit the 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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