WWF Sweden appoints Pella Thiel as the Environmental Hero of the Year 2019 in the category Biodiversity. Greta Thunberg is appointed as Young Environmental Hero of the Year and Magnus Carlson, singer in Weeping Willows wins the climate category. The award was handed out by the King of Sweden, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony in Stockholm.

The motivation from WWF Sweden reads:

“With a clear voice, passionate debater and devoted spokesperson Pella Thiel speaks for nature. She spreads the message of the self-evident Rights of Nature in a clear and compelling way. Tirelessly working for an international law against ecocide and for global biodiversity, her voice for nature reaches across borders all the way into the heart of the UN.”

With this appointment, the WWF gives recognition not only to the worldwide movement calling for change, led by Greta Thunberg but also to global movements already implementing the change demanded. Pella Thiel is the co-founder and Vice-Chairman of End Ecocide Sweden, an NGO founded by her in collaboration with Earth lawyer Polly Higgins and others. She is the coordinator of Rights of Nature Sweden, an expert in the United Nations Harmony with Nature network as well as part of The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature Advisory board.

Secretary General of WWF Sweden Håkan Wirthén, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Pella Thiel at the Award ceremony.


Pella Thiel comments on the award: I am very pleased that the work for the Ecocide law and the Rights of Nature is highlighted in this way by the WWF. There is an increasing understanding, led not least by Greta and Fridays for Future, that society needs a transformation of economic, legal and political systems to deal with the ecological crisis. These among the most powerful ideas to base such a cultural shift on. Thanks to a global movement of activists, lawyers, indigenous peoples, churches and many others, it is already happening.

Anders Wijkman, Honorary President Club of Rome, Sweden: For too long mankind looked upon Nature as something for us to conquer and dominate. At our peril, we never understood we are part of Nature and totally dependent on Nature for our sustenance. We urgently need to rethink our relationship and Pella Thiel is showing the way. Her ecocide approach is probably the only way to stop greed to step by step to destroy our life-supporting system.

Mari Margil, CELDF – International Center for the Rights of Nature of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, US: Pella Thiel is a true champion for Nature. She’s a key leader in advancing the Rights of Nature in Sweden, including the proposed constitutional amendment recently introduced in the Riksdag, and efforts to secure the rights of Lake Vättern. We are proud to partner with her and the NGOs of which she is a founding member – the Rights of Nature Sweden, Lodyn and End Ecocide Sweden.

Hana Begović, an organizer at Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, Ecuador: The award to Pella Thiel is of great importance to raise awareness around the Rights of Nature. We see the growing demands to find solutions for the climate crisis and we are seeing that the Rights of Nature has the potential to be a powerful solution for the challenges we are facing as an Earth Community on this planet.


Pellas speech with english subtitles: