The jury is composed of experts and renowned men and women in the field of development, sustainable land management and soil science, taking into account geographical representation, gender balance and area of expertise.
Joachim von Braun
Dr. Joachim von Braun is the Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and Professor for Economic and Technological Change at the University of Bonn, Germany. In 2009 von Braun headed the Strategic Commission of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a research association of 15 international institutes. From 2002 to 2009, he was Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute based in Washington DC, the world's premier research institute addressing food, agriculture, nutrition and related development policies. He received his doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Goettingen, Germany. He has published research on science and technology, policy issues relating to trade and aid, famine, health, and nutrition, and on a wide range of agricultural economics and has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Egypt, Russia and China.
Professor Mick Dodson is a vigorous advocate of the rights and interests of the indigenous peoples of the world. He is a member of the Yawuru peoples, the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters in Western Australia. The first aboriginal person to become a barrister in Victoria in 1981, he is now a law professor and director of the Australian National University's National Centre for Indigenous Studies. He participated in the crafting of the text of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nations, and served for six years as a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. In January 2009, Mick Dodson was awarded with the title Australian of the Year for his lifetime commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal people. He is currently a visiting professor of Australian Studies at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard.
Dr. Dennis Garrity is Drylands Ambassador for the UNCCD and outgoing Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, where he has served since 2001. ICRAF is one of fifteen international agricultural research centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Dr. Garrity's work on developing agroforestry alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture is widely recognized, as are his efforts to develop institutional innovations related to farmer-led organizations in sustainable agriculture and natural resources management. He has also actively promoted the landcare movement in Southeast Asia. He holds a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Nebraska.
Mr. Luc Gnacadja is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Born in Benin, he is an architect by profession. Before taking up his present position, he served as Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development of Benin from 1999 to 2005. He gained firsthand knowledge of the UNCCD process over a number of years in his capacity as Head of Delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biodiversity. He has served as chairman of several international ministerial conferences, related to the environment and sustainable development. In March 2003 he was honored with the "2002 Green Award" in Washington by the World Bank.
Dr. Yolanda Kakabadse is President of WWF International and widely recognized as a global champion of sustainable development and biodiversity preservation. She previously served as Minister of Environment for Ecuador from 1998-2000, and president of the IUCN, the World Conservation Union, from1996-2004. She co-chaired the Environmental Sustainability Task Force of the United Nations Millennium Project from 2002 to 2005. She is chair of the advisory board of Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano, a regional NGO dedicated to managing socio-environmental conflicts Latin America, a member of the board of directors of the Ford Foundation and the InterAmerican Dialogue. She is also a member of the Environmental Advisory Board of CocaCola and the Holcim Foundation. In 1992, she coordinated civil society participation in the Earth Summit. She has received numerous honorary orders and awards and holds a doctorate in science from the University of East Anglia (2008).
Dr. Naomi Kipuri is a Maasai from the Kajiado District of Kenya. She is the Executive Director of the Arid Lands Institute in Kenya, an organization involved in research, documentation and networking on policy and human rights related to indigenous pastoralists and hunter-gatherers in Eastern Africa. She is a member of the Working Group of Indigenous Populations/Communities of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, and of many women's and pastoralist groupings and networks. She worked closely with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and also served on the Technical Advisory Council of the Land Policy formulation in Kenya. She holds her doctorate in anthropology from Temple University, USA.
Don Koo Lee
Dr. Don Koo Lee is Minister of the Korea Forest Service, a post he took up in 2011. As president of COP 10 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, he proposed the Changwon Initiative, which seeks to provide practical measures and specific targets to tackle desertification and land degradation. He served for 30 years as a professor at Seoul National University, as well as president of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations from 2001-2010. He is the author of numerous publications on forest regeneration and silviculture, the establishment and management of trees for wood production.
Dr. Mary Seely has devoted her career to the study of one of Africa's most arid yet fascinating environments, the Namib Desert. After receiving her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of California at Davis, she traveled to southern Africa to study white beetles in the Namib desert in 1967. She later became Director of the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre, where she spent 28 years, growing the centre from a desert outpost to an internationally recognized organization. Following the independence of Namibia in 1990, she established the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia. She is recognized widely for her contributions both as an academic and as an applied scientist. Through her research, publications and supervision of students, she has inspired several generations of scientists. After 16 years as director she is now an associate at the foundation where she enjoys the daily grind of research, contributes as an active fundraiser and serves on the board of trustees.
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental leader and thinker. Director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology, she is the author of many books. She is a leader in the International Forum on Globalization and the slow food movement. In 1993, Shiva won the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award). In 2010, she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for her commitment to social justice. The founder of Navdanya ("nine seeds"), a movement promoting diversity and use of native seeds, she also set up the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology in her mother's cowshed in 1997. Its studies have validated the ecological value of traditional farming and been instrumental in fighting destructive development projects in India. Before becoming an activist, Shiva was one of India's leading physicists. She holds a master's degree in the philosophy of science and holds a doctorate in particle physics.
Dr. Camilla Toulmin is Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) based in London. An economist by training, she has worked mainly in Africa on agriculture, land, climate and livelihoods. This has combined field research, policy analysis and advocacy. Her work has aimed at understanding how environmental, economic and political change impact on people's lives, and how policy reform can bring real change on the ground. Camilla studied economics at Cambridge and London, before gaining her doctorate in economics at Oxford. Camilla is fluent in English and French. She is trustee of ICARDA (Syria), the Franco-British Council and a number of other boards. Her latest book is Climate change in Africa (Zed Books, 2009).