Biologist accepts environment prize

June 12, 2008 11:41:42 AM PDT
American biologist and writer Gretchen C. Daily accepted Norway's $100,000 Sophie Prize on Thursday for her efforts to show the economic benefits of protecting the environment. A jury selected Daily for the prize in March, describing the Stanford University professor as "visionary and focused on finding practical solutions. She is radical in her thinking and pragmatic in her approach."

The awards jury said her many books and articles make her a leading figure in the debate on sustainable development and the environment, with a special ability to translate science into practical recommendations.

"Gretchen C. Daily develops economic arguments for protecting biological diversity and ecosystems. She builds bridges between theory and practice," said Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim, who presented the prize at a ceremony in Oslo.

The jury said an example of that was her 2002 book "The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to make Conservation Profitable," in which she explains the economic value of the world's natural resources and the potential profits of protecting them.

The prize was created in 1997 by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder and his wife, Siri Dannevig, and named after Gaarder's surprise international best-seller "Sophie's World," a novel based on philosophy for young people.

Last year's prize went to former Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson for his efforts to draw attention to the dangers of global warming.

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