Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), has been selected for the prestigious Sierra Club’s Earth Care Award 2019 for his unique contribution to international environmental protection and conservation.
Sierra Club is an environmental organisation based in the United States and which presents the Earth Care Award annually to honour individuals or organisations that make unique contributions to international environmental protection and conservation.
The prestigious award comes barely three months after Mithika was named one of the world’s top 100 most influential people in Climate Change policy 2019 by Apolitical, a global network for government. He beat professionals, world leaders, and other climate policy activists from recognised institutions to make it to the top 100 list.
Mithika is set to receive the award during a ceremony at the Marriott Oakland City Center in Oakland, California on 14 September 2019. In her congratulatory message to Mr. Mwenda, Ellen Davis, the Sierra Club Honors and Awards Committee chair, said:
You were nominated for this award by the Sierra Club’s International Environmental Justice Team in recognition of your work with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)."
Mr. Mwenda who is currently attending a climate change conference in Bonn, Germany told journalists that he was elated and humbled by his nomination.
This is not a singular honour but the recognition of the work by thousands of PACJA members and partners in Africa and elsewhere who have sacrificed all what they have to ensure we reach this level,” he said, adding: “With profound humility, I accept this Award that will no doubt energise my resolve to continue fighting to accord voice to those at the frontline of climate crisis.”
Several notable figures on matters climate and environment such as James Murombedzi, Ambassador Seyni Nafo, and Tasneem Essopsent also sent Mithika congratulatory messages.
James Murombedzi, Chief, UNECA Climate Change Unit and Coordinator of the Addis Ababa-based African Climate Policy Centre said:
Mwenda has led PACJA into a movement that has become central to this interface between problem and solution, working at all levels from the community right up to the multilateral global levels to stimulate practical and policy innovations to address the myriad of environmental challenges that threaten the very existence of our planet in the way we know it. The Sierra award represents a very timely recognition of this effort”.
Ambassador Seyni Nafo, the Spokesperson of the African Group of Negotiators to the UNFCCC, stated:
This is so much well deserved and testimony for your commitment and sacrifice for the cause and for Africa. “This does inspire all of us to increase our ambition and resolve for the cause as well as our people, so keep up the good work and flame and continue the fight very high as you have always done it!”
Tasneem Essop, the Interim Executive Director of the Climate Action Network International, said:
In the period that I have worked with Mithika and known him, he has been extremely dedicated, firstly by putting African voices into these international processes and also strengthening PACJA. So when anybody thinks about African civil society, you think about PACJA and you know Mithika has led, it is an award he deserves, and finally recognition given to the long, hard and dedicated work that Mithika and PACJA have put into ensuring that Africa’s voice is heard."
About Mr. Mwenda
Before founding PACJA ten years ago with a couple of other individuals, Mr. Mwenda, a public policy analyst, worked as a Program Officer with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) from 2009 to 2010. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Wits School of Governance in South Africa. He also chairs the institutional Collaboration Platform of ECA-based Climate Research for Development in Africa (CR4D) as well as represents the African civil society in the participants’ committee of the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).
PACJA is a continental coalition of Civil Society Organizations with a goal to mobilize and empower African civil society to ensure the realization of environmental and climate justice for all people in Africa. It is the largest consortium of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) with over 1000 members in over 48 countries in Africa, embodying one African voice on climate and environmental justice.
Header Image Credit: PACJA