German Environmental Award 2005: Ecologist Berndt Heydemann and Solar Researcher Joachim Luther named as winners

Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt appreciates commitment - "Honorary prize" for Heinz Sielmann's life work
Osnabruck. The German Environmental Award 2005, with 500,000 EUR Europe's best endowed environmental award, goes to the scientist, ecologist and environmental education expert Professor Dr. Berndt Heydemann (75) and the physicist, researcher and director of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg, Professor Dr. Joachim Luther (64). Professor Heydemann receives the award of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) for his scientific contributions to nature conservation and for being a pioneer in the field of bionics. Owing to Professor Luther's commitment, Germany is world-wide one of the leading nations in using solar energy today. The cameraman, director, producer, author and maker of animal films, Professor Heinz Sielmann (88), is recognised with the honorary prize for his life work. Federal President Horst Köhler is to present the award on 16th October in LĂŒbeck.

His scientific works about the salt meadows of the mudflat set the courses for the creation of national parks

Whether nature conservation, bionics or environmental education - for Berndt Heydemann these topics had never been only technically interesting but also of enormous social importance, underlined DBU Secretary-General Dr.-Ing. E. h. Fritz Brickwedde. He was not to create terrifying visions, but solutions and how to find them, played the crucial role for him. His scientific works about the salt meadows of the mudflat set the courses for the creation of national parks. But he placed milestones also with his survey on the ecosystems of the soil and the marine ecology.

Since he had become a professor emeritus, he continued his commitment unremittingly

Since he had become a professor emeritus, Berndt Heydemann continued his commitment unremittingly and was like an "obstetrician” for the modern bionics and eco-technology in Germany", mentioned Brickwedde. In his centre for environmental information and education "Zukunftszentrum Mensch - Natur - Technik - Wissenschaft” (ZMTW) of the Ökotechnologie-Zentrum in Nieklitz (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) he brings science to an approachable fascination. On 18 hectares, a topical park with forest, meadows and fields was created, showing by means of approximately twenty experimentation fields how the nature masters technical, sensoric, communicative and aesthetic challenges.

He consolidated the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems to one of the world-wide leading solar research institutes

Professor Luther devoted himself completely to the inescapable necessary change of our energy systems in view of the definite limitedness of gas, coal and oil, Brickwedde emphasized. If Germany was world-wide one of the leading nations in the use of the solar energy today, this had to be attributed decisively to his work. Joachim Luther achieved exceptional things in his 25 years of activities of research and market launch of solar energy systems. He consolidated the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems with its present headcount of more than 400 to the major European and one of the world-wide leading solar research institutes.

Professor Luther has supported the international networking of activities decisively for many years

With skill and technical competence, he succeeded in forming a symbiotic relationship between basic research on the one hand and industry-oriented development and practical application on the other to introduce solar energy systems successfully at the market together with the German industry. Through his numerous positions and memberships in international committees on research and political level, Professor Luther has supported the international networking of activities decisively for many years. Through him advising the political decision makers, the solar energy could become an important pillar of a forward-looking energy supply.

Heinz Sielmann was one of the first who showed the animal documentary films on TV

Professor Heinz Sielmann was recognised with the honorary prize for his life work because he succeeded in moving people to come under the spell of the nature and making nature conservation to their matter. Heinz Sielmann was one of the first who showed the animal documentary films on TV. Brickwedde: "Still today, any child knows the animal films from Heinz Sielmann like Expeditions into the Wildlife Kingdom, Masters of the Congo Jungle, Galapagos - Dream Island in the Pacific.”

Winner of the German Environmental Award 2005 (f.l.): Professor Heinz Sielmann, Professor Dr. Joachim Luther, Professor Dr. Berndt Heydemann.