Bestowal of the ethecon awards for 2010
Censure for BP - Praise for Elias Bierdel

The recipients of this year's two ethecon awards have been determined: The „International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2010“ will be given to the German human rights activist Elias Bierdel. The „International ethecon Black Planet Award 2010“ exposes and condemns CEO Tony Hayward, the executive management und the major stockholders of BP.

Since 2006 „ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics“ bestows two international awads annually. A positive prize, the „Blue Planet Award“ recognizes extraordinary efforts to maintain and save the „Blue Planet“. Its negative counterpart, the „Black Planet Award“, exposes and condemns actions responsible for the ruin and destruction of the „Blue Planet“.

The „Blue Planet Award 2010“ will be given to the German human rights activist Elias Bierdel, who has become well-known as the director and chairperson of the relief organization, „Komitee Cap Anamur/Deutsche Notärzte e.V.“ (Cap Anamur/German Emergency Doctors). As such he was involved in 2004 in the rescue of 37 African refugees who had come into sea distress during their crossing to Europe. For three weeks their entry into an Italian harbor was prohibited. Subsequently Bierdel as well as the captain and the first officer were arrested under the charge of smuggling immigrants. They faced imprisonment for several years and high fines. They were not acquitted until October of 2009. Under the impact of this experience Bierdel founded „borderline-europe - Menschenrechte ohne Grenzen e.V.“ (Human rights without borders) in 2007. This organisation is dedicated to the documentation of the plight of refugees on the borders of the European Union. Bierdel is currently working for the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) where he is responsible for the International Civilian Peace-keeping and Peace-building Training Program (for the UN, MSF etc.).

The „Black Planet Award 2010“ criticizes outgoing CEO Hayward, designated CEO Bob Dudley, chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, the management and the major shareholders of BP. Through unnecessary cost cuts effecting safety measures, the multi-million BP company was responsible for one of the worst environmental catastrophies of all times as well as the death of 11 workers. With the resulting oilslick BP literally brought on a „black planet“. Instead of salvaging the oil, the company treated it with a highly toxic solvent which had been banned in Europe many years ago. All this to quickly prevent unsightly pictures in news broadcasts. The dissolved oil is however still in the water and can no longer be recovered. BP has a long history of environmental pollution and work accidents that could have been avoided. Rather then to learn from its mistakes, the oil company is now planning further deep sea drilling in the Mediterranean Sea.

The award ceremony will take place during the ethecon conference on Saturday, November 20 in the Pfefferwerk in Berlin. The conference begins at 2:00 p.m. in the „Großer Saal“ (Large Hall), Schönhauser Allee 176. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required. The conference is backed by the Ethikbank.

With its positive prizes ethecon honored in past years Diane Wilson/USA (2006), Vandana Shiva/India(2007), José Abreu und Hugo Chávez/Venezuela (2008) as well as Uri Avnery/Israel (2009). The censure awards went to the owners, shareholders and executive management of the following companies: Monsanto/USA (2006), Nestlé/Switzerland(2007), Blackwater (Xe)/USA (2008) and Formosa Plastics Group/Taiwan (2009).

In contrast to many corporate, family, church, political and state foundations, ethecon is one of the few foundations empowered by ordinary citizens and which sees its mission in its responsibility toward coming generations. This young foundation is financed through endowment contributions, donations and sustaining memberships.

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