David Attenborough, world-renowned broadcaster and natural historian, has been presented the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2019 by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

David Attenborough was given the prize for “revealing the wonders of the natural world, educating and entertaining generations of people through his films and books for tirelessly working to awaken humankind to the need to preserve and protect the biodiversity on our planet, and advocating the necessity to live a sustainable and harmonious way of life, working with rather than against nature,” the citation read.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while speaking on the occasion on Monday,  underlined the importance of climate and environment in the backdrop of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In his message, Manmohan Singh said, “It doesn’t need an epidemic to tell us that we are not in good shape.”

“Climate change, the assault on the oceans, the pollution of the atmosphere, the junk floating about in space, the reduction of forest cover, the extinction of life in rivers, the reduction of natural habitat for any life other than humans – all this is evident to anyone,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Congress President spoke at length about the life and contributions of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi- after whom the prize is presented.

“India needed to accelerate the pace of investment, and expand its economic infrastructure,” she said.

“But at the same time, she (Indira Gandhi) was very sensitive to the imperative of maintaining what she would often call ecological balance,” the INC president added.

“Sir David through his prodigious creativity in educating humankind with brilliant films and books about the natural world,” she further said.

“And he has, of late, been the most sensible voice warning us that we, more than anything else, are responsible for the accelerating threat to the environment on our planet,” Sonia Gandhi added.

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