A solar energy organization in Cuba will receive an environmental award from the United Nations.NAIROBI, Kenya, KE, June 4, 2001 [SolarAccess.com] Cubasolar has been elected to the Global 500 Roll of Honour of the United Nations Environment Programme for outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment. It is one of 18 individuals and organizations to receive the honour this year. Cubasolar is the Cuban Society for the promotion of respect for the environment and of renewable sources of energy. Created in 1984, the non-governmental organization undertakes projects which entail finding solutions to local problems with the help of experts in the field. “The winners of UNEP’s Global 500 Roll of Honour are members of a broad and growing environmental movement that is flourishing around the world,” says UNEP executive director Klaus Toepfer. “They have taken the path that most of us hesitate to take for want of time or caring.” Many of Cubasolar’s projects have had a great impact throughout the country, such as the electrification of rural communities, the fight against desertification in the San Antonio del Sur Valley, the rehabilitation of Camilo Cienfuegos City School, the rehabilitation of the River Sagua Basin and the establishment of medical clinics and schools. The group also supports research, trains professionals and technicians, and disseminates scientific and technical information. It raises awareness of energy use and environmental ethics through the mass media and the production of publications such as its Energia y Tu magazine. The award will be presented in Torino, Italy, at the World Environment Day ceremonies on June 5. World Environment Day is celebrated in 120 countries and was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to focus global attention and action on environmental issues. Since the inception of the award in 1987, 719 individuals and organizations have been recognized with the Global 500 award. Among prominent past winners are French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau; British television producer Sir David Attenborough, former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and British anthropologist Jane Goodall. A network of Global 500 laureates has been formed to forge global links and to implement ideas, which can contribute to a more sustainable future. UNEP invites nominations for the award from the global community. Other recipients this year include the organizing committee for the Olympic Games in Australia. The games in Sydney were committed to ecologically sustainable development and set new environmental benchmarks in the areas of energy, water conservation, waste minimization, pollution avoidance and the protection of the natural environment. The Olympic site used solar energy.