Maurice Strong was a Canadian businessman, diplomat, and environmentalist. He played a unique and critical role in globalizing the environmental movement, as Founding Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. He is notable for his work in sustainable development and promoting environmental protection at an international level.
Maurice Strong led the historic United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden. This was the first international conference on environmental issues, and it resulted in the founding of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which aimed to coordinate and catalyze global environmental initiatives. Six months later, he was elected by the UN General Assembly to become UNEP’s first Executive Director at its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a role he held until 1975.
He led another significant meeting: the UN Conference on Environment and Development – also known as the Earth Summit. It was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference addressed climate change and underscored the right to sustainable development, among other topics. The conference resulted in the adoption of Agenda 21, a blueprint for sustainable development, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a landmark agreement aimed at mitigating climate change.
Awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
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