2020 Paulson Prize for Sustainability (Nature Stewardship) Awarded to Haikou Wetland Protection and Restoration Project

Beijing—Today, the Paulson Institute, in partnership with Tsinghua University, announced the winners of the 2020 Paulson Prize for Sustainability during a virtual streaming award ceremony. This year, the prestigious annual awards went to City Waste Battery Recycle and Reuse Project and Haikou Wetland Protection and Restoration Project in the Green Innovation and Nature Stewardship categories, respectively.

The Paulson Institute and Tsinghua University jointly organize the Prize. Since 2013, the Prize has promoted sustainable development in China and beyond, awarding projects annually to projects in China that provide innovative, scalable, and market-based solutions at the intersection of economics and the environment.

“This award is designed to promote solutions that address the urgent challenges of ecological degradation and biodiversity loss. We want to inspire governments, businesses and citizens to be good stewards of nature by valuing and investing in the conservation and restoration of China’s natural heritage and chart a better course for our planet,” said Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Chairman of the Paulson Institute and former US Treasury Secretary.

“Countries around the world are closely connected, and mankind shares a common destiny. Sustainable development remains a long and arduous task,” said Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council. “It is of great significance that we hold this virtual award ceremony, which demonstrates our persistent efforts in sustainable development, and highlights the determination and actions of local governments, enterprises, institutions, and industry organizations to actively participate in sustainable development.”

City Waste Battery Recycle and Reuse Project, managed by GEM (Wuhan) Urban Mine Recycling Industrial Park Development Co., Ltd, was awarded the Prize in the Green Innovation category. GEM utilizes innovative internet technology to integrate dry cell recycling networks in cities and communities. Most notably, it has forged partnerships with more than 200 battery manufacturers and vehicle manufacturing companies for the targeted recycling of waste batteries, building a full life-cycle value chain system of power battery collecting, cascade utilization, resource recycling, material processing, and power battery pack re-making.

This year, the Prize added a second category, The Nature Stewardship award, created to elevate innovative projects that preserve and protect nature. The award seeks to honor and inspire industries and projects that pursue efforts to conserve and restore the natural ecosystem. Lao Niu Foundation supports the establishment of this category.

Haikou Wetland Protection and Restoration Project, managed by the Haikou Wetland Protection and Management Center, was awarded the inaugural Paulson Prize in the Nature Stewardship category. Haikou Wetland Protection and Management Center developed the “wetland+” protection and restoration model. Since the start of the project, the wetland protection rate has increased from 16.01% to 55.53% because of the establishment of two national and five provincial wetland parks. Their efforts have resulted in wider swaths of protected Haikou’s wetlands and preservation of local biodiversity.

In addition to this year’s awardees, the Prize recognized three other organizations with excellence awards in Green Innovation for their effort in designing sustainable solutions, including:

  • “Ecological Chief”: A New Model of Urban Planning and Management in Nansha District
  • Guangzhou Project, JD’s Green Stream Initiative: Building a Green Supply Chain for China’s E-Commerce Industry Project and,
  • Agricultural IoTs: A Smart Model of Livestock Industry Project.

In the Nature Stewardship category, the recognition of excellence awards went to:

  • Sanjiangyuan National Park-Namsei Valley of the Cats Nature Watch Project
  • Action on Finless Porpoise Assisted Patrol for Yangtze River Great Conservation Project and,
  • Civil Protected Areas Project.

Amidst the backdrop of the global pandemic, the Paulson Prize’a acknowledgment of leaders in sustainable solutions is now more critical than ever.

Learn more about the Paulson Prize for Sustainability.