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Global Pollution Fighter Richard Fuller is honored with the Medal of the Order of Australia

/EIN News/ -- New York, NY, June 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global pollution nonprofit Pure Earth today announced that its Founder and President Richard Fuller has been awarded the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia 2018 for services to conservation and the environment.

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The Australian honors system recognizes men and women whose actions have set them apart and enriched the community across a broad range of professional, public and community service sectors and only a limited number are issued each year.

Sometimes referred to as the ‘Global Pollution Czar’ for his tireless efforts and leadership in combatting the world’s worst pollution problems, Fuller hopes that this recognition will help generate greater awareness of the global pollution crisis.

“As an Aussie based in New York, this is a great honor.  But my hope is that this recognition brings more attention to the global pollution crisis that is taking 9 million lives every year, and disabling millions more,” says Fuller.

From humble beginnings, Fuller has grown Pure Earth into the leading global nonprofit focused on the intersection of environment and health, cleaning up the world’s worst polluted places, often populated with families who are marginalized and invisible.

Under Fuller’s leadership, Pure Earth implements cost-effective solutions that clean up pollution problems, in particular those that pose a threat to public health. Working with local and national agencies, it provides strategic, technical, and financial support to clean up toxic sites and change harmful work practices.

Pure Earth is now staffed by more than 75 people, spread over 20 countries in the global south.  Logging untold miles, traveling the globe to secure support and funding for new projects, Fuller has sought out the leading environmental health champions in many countries and empowered them to expand their work at home.  The Pure Earth team has completed over 110 cleanup projects, with funding from stakeholders like the World Bank and European Union, improving life and health for over 4.2 million people.  The organization also developed and maintains the world’s largest database of toxic hotspots.

Fuller’s global impact on pollution is evidenced by his support from around the world.

“It is no exaggeration to say that Richard was instrumental in embedding pollution remediation as an integral part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” says Jairam Ramesh, Member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. “If countries are able, by 2030, to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses’ caused by pollution, we will all owe a big debt to Richard Fuller”.

Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia and of the International Crisis Group believes Fuller’s work has had a significant impact on some of the world’s worst pollution problems. “It takes a particular kind of environmentalist to make his life’s mission ‘brown’ problems in the global south, rather than green ones in the north,” said Evans. “Glamorous work it isn’t, but the impact of Fuller, and those whom he has inspired, on some of the world’s worst pollution problems has been simply incredible.”

In 2012, Mr. Fuller convened the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), to scale up the response to the growing crises posed by toxic pollution. GAHP’s 60+ members include environment and health ministries from 20 countries, several multi- and bilateral agencies, NGOs and academic institutions committed to collaborating to solve disease-causing pollution.

The Lancet Commission on Pollution + Health, co-chaired by Richard Fuller and Dr. Phil Landrigan of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, published a landmark report in October 2017 revealing pollution’s severe and underreported contribution to the Global Burden of Disease, along with the economic impacts.  The report was a blockbuster receiving over 3,000 media pieces with an estimated reach of 2 billion worldwide.  Highlighting affordable solutions, the Commission aims to increase attention and investment toward pollution control in the international development agenda.

For more on Richard’s path and the pollution issues, check out “The Brown Agenda: My Mission To Clean Up The World’s Most Life-Threatening Pollution”, published in 2015.

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NOTES TO EDITORS

About Pure Earth

 Two decades ago, after building a sustainability-consulting firm, Great Forest, Fuller invited friends from around the globe to a virtual think tank.  The challenge?  Identify a major environmental problem causing great harm, but not being addressed.  After a few brainstorms, it was clear to Richard and friends that rapid industrialization in the developing world was resulting in rampant disease-causing pollution.  He saw it hitting babies and young children the hardest.  Fuller and his childhood pal, Oz, traveled through Southeast Asia, organized a few cleanups with simple, low-cost interventions, and the model for Pure Earth (then called the Blacksmith Institute) was born.  Fuller used just his profits from Great Forest to fund the work of Pure Earth for the first several years, until receiving attention and support from the international community.

From humble beginnings, Fuller has grown Pure Earth into the leading global nonprofit focused on the intersection of environment and health, cleaning up the world’s worst polluted places, often populated with families who are marginalized and invisible.

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Magdalene Sim
                    Pure Earth
                    2128703490
                    mag@pureearth.org
                    
                    Angela Bernhardt
                    Pure Earth
                    +1 212-870-3478
                    angela@pureearth.org
                    

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