Prominent "backing": Federal President Horst Köhler to present German Environmental Award

Germany's head of state underlines with his promise the importance of environmental protection

Prominent "backing" for the German Environmental Award of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU, Osnabrück): Federal President Horst Köhler presents Europe's best endowed environmental award in the Rheingoldhalle in Mainz (Rhineland-Palatinate) on 31 October 2004. In his letter to DBU Secretary General Dr. Fritz Brickwedde, President Köhler emphasised that the protection of environment and nature was "one of the most important tasks for which we are responsible today".

Dr. Brickwedde was pleased about the promise of the President. Thus Germany's head of state documented the significance that he attaches to the environmental protection in a modern state. Since 1999, Köhler's predecessor Johannes Rau had presented the with 500,000 Euro endowed "Nobel prize for environmental protection", that is annually awarded by the DBU since 1993. With the German Environmental Award, the DBU as an independent institution wants to honour both achievements and commitments contributing decisively and in exemplary manner to the protection and the conservation of the functional ability of the environment or will contribute in future to a considerable environmental relief, as defined in the guidelines. The award should incite people, enterprises and organisations to recognise environmental problems in time and to defuse them already in advance.

In 2003, the award was presented in equal shares to the bionic specialist and tree researcher Professor Claus Mattheck and the entrepreneur Hermann Josef Schulte, whose company developed a filter system for diesel engines. Among others, the Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme UNEP, Professor Klaus Töpfer, is one of the previous award winners (2002), as well as the later chemistry Nobel prize winner Professor Paul J. Crutzen (1994). In thirteen years the DBU promoted 5,700 environmental projects with more than altogether one billion Euro of financial backing.

Further information about the DBU and topical photos can be found under www.dbu.de