The Prize Winners

Special Prize for the International year of Biodiversity 2010

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany


Angela Merkel (b. 1954) has demonstrated strong leadership of global environmental issues including climate change and biodiversity conservation policy at national, EU and international levels as the Chancellor of Germany. It is a notable achievement that Chancellor Merkel hosted the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD/COP9), stimulated the discussion about business and biodiversity, and consolidated the mainstreaming of biodiversity that started at CBD/COP8.

Under Chancellor Merkel's strong leadership, Germany has endeavored to mainstream biodiversity and nature conservation in development strategies especially for the private sector. For the first time at a Group of Eight (G8) Summit, Chancellor Merkel focused on biodiversity at the Summit held in Heiligendamm, Germany, and raised head-of-state awareness about biodiversity as an important political issue. Similarly, intensive discussion about biodiversity was conducted at the G8 Environmental Ministers' meeting in Potsdam, and then the Potsdam Initiative (Biodiversity 2010) was adopted. As a part of the Potsdam Initiative, TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) and B & B (Business and Biodiversity initiative) were promoted, and such initiatives greatly promoted the mainstreaming of biodiversity from a socio-economic viewpoint. Based on the results of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005), Chancellor Merkel incorporated that "biodiversity constitutes the indispensable foundation of our lives and of global economic development" into the Chair's conclusion, demonstrating a recognition that biodiversity and ecosystem service are the very basis for economy and society.

Chancellor Merkel has also recently proposed to set up a new body to deal with the science of biodiversity to support decision makers in formulating their biodiversity conservation policies, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a similar institution to the UN panel of climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Germany took the lead in providing financial support for the conservation of biodiversity in the High-Level Segment of CBD/COP9, announced in 2008. Merkel pledged EUR 500 million for the protection of forests and ecosystems between 2009 and 2012 and an additional EUR 500 million each year thereafter under the Life Web initiative.

In summary, Chancellor Merkel has successfully raised global awareness of biodiversity as an important political issue. She has contributed to mainstreaming of biodiversity from a socio-economic viewpoint including initiating TEEB and B&B and greatly promoted the implementation of the Life Web Initiative, which contributes to expanding protected areas, and the establishment of IPBES. Her achievements are highly valued and deserve this year's special prize that commemorates the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB).

* This profile was prepared in 2010.

Biographical Summary

Studied Physics at Leipzig University
Awarded a doctorate
Member of the academic staff at the Central Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Academy of Sciences
Deputy Government Spokeswoman of the de Maizière Government
Member of the German Bundestag
Federal Minister for Women and Youth
Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
General Secretary of the Christian Democratic Union Germany (CDU)
Chairwoman of the CDU Germany
Chairwoman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Record of Honors and Awards

The Most Powerful Woman in the World (Forbes Magazine)
Honorary doctorate (Hebrew University, Israel)
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen (The City of Aachen, Germany)
Honorary Doctorate (Leipzig University, Germany)
Honorary Doctorate (Wrocław University of Technology, Poland)
CBD Award

Articles and Publications

Doctoral thesis "Untersuchung des Mechanismus von Zerfallsreaktionen mit einfachem Bindungsbruch und Berechnung ihrer Geschwindigkeitskonstanten auf der Grundlage quantenchemischer und statistischer Methoden"