SANTIAGO – This week, Chile’s former president Michelle Bachelet moved to Washington, United States, to receive an award from the National Geographic, through the Pristine Seas project, for the environmental policies promoted during her administration.
Through its website, Nat Geo affirmed that the former president “is a world leader that implemented bold conservation initiatives.”
“In 2017, inspired by the work of the Pristine Seas project, she led her government to create three large marine protected areas “: one near the Juan Fernández Archipelago, another near Cape Horn and the third near the Desventuradas Islands.
Great evening at @NatGeo last night celebrating heroes as @NG_PristineSeas & Explorer @Enric_Sala celebrates & honors the extraordinary contributions of Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile. She and her team are an inspiration to us all. pic.twitter.com/U38qiICOzv
— Jean Case (@jeancase) June 14, 2018
The President of the Board of Directors of The National Geographic Society, Jean Case, affirmed through Twitter that the event was aimed at celebrating and distinguishing “the extraordinary contributions of Michelle Bachelet (…). She and her team are an inspiration to all of us.”
Ina video message shared on Twitter, the “excited” Ms. Bachelet said: “We demonstrate that it is not necessary to be a rich country to promote an environmental agenda that makes a difference.”
¡Emocionada de recibir hoy el primer “Planetary Leadership Award” de @NatGeo por nuestra protección a océanos y parques nacionales y el fomento de energías renovables! Demostramos que no es necesario ser un país rico para impulsar una agenda medioambiental que hace la diferencia. pic.twitter.com/yaW0Y8FV2f
— Michelle Bachelet (@mbachelet) June 15, 2018
At the ceremony was also present the former foreign minister and current president of the PPD, Heraldo Muñoz, who was also recognized by the agency.
Last year, Michelle Bachelet became the first South American head of state to win the prestigious United Nations “Champions of the Earth” prize.
Chile protects over 1 million km2 of marine area, which is the largest conservation zone in the world. In October 2015, President Bachelet established the marine park Nazca-Desventuradas in the San Ambrosio and San Felix Islands, and a range of protected areas and marine parks in the Juan Fernandez Islands.
She has also extended protected areas in Easter Island. Aside from marine environmental protection, her policies have seen renewable energy production surge from 6 to 17 per cent of Chile’s energy creation in just 4 years.