Society

Jens-Kjeld Jensen wins the 2020 Nordic Council Environment Prize

Image credits: Sverri Egholm
Image credits: Sverri Egholm

Jens-Kjeld Jensen, an honorary doctor, writer, chef and nature enthusiast from Nólsoy has won the 2020 Nordic Council Environment Prize for his work on studying and sharing the development of biodiversity in the Faroe Islands, the Nordic Council announced on Tuesday.

The nature enthusiast has five books and over 500 articles about biodiversity in the Faroe Islands to his name, of which more than 200 are scientific and popular science pieces.

Jens-Kjeld Jensen was awarded the environment prize at a digital awards ceremony for the Nordic Council prizes for 2020 on Tuesday evening. The planned ceremony in Iceland unfortunately had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Mr. Jensen said it was fantastic just to be nominated for the prize, and he hadn’t dreamed of actually winning it.

The rationale reads as follows:

Jens-Kjeld Jensen is awarded the prize for the lengths he has gone to in order to put the spotlight on the diversity of nature in the Faroe Islands. Jens-Kjeld has collated his knowledge over more than 40 years, describing everything from fleas, mice, and birds to fossils, fungi, and shrubs in the Faroese mountains.

As a self-taught researcher and communicator, his books and hundreds of scientific and popular science articles have informed and, where necessary, warned the Faroese and professionals of the threat that invasive species and interventions in nature pose to the fragile natural environment of the Faroe Islands.

Jens-Kjeld Jensen works with natural scientists around the world and has been involved in documenting more than 350 new species in the Faroe Islands. His work is known and respected among both the Faroese and his colleagues, and he has even had a species of moth named after him. Many Faroese children and adults have, through kindergarten or school excursions, gained an insight into the wonderful world of nature when visiting Jens-Kjeld’s home on the island of Nólsoy. This is why they also think of him and get in touch with him when, later in life, they see or find something exciting in nature.

Jens-Kjeld Jensen’s contribution to the understanding and preservation of the diversity of Faroese nature is invaluable: he is an example of just how much a true impassioned individual can accomplish in their pursuit of a richer natural world.

For this, the adjudication committee believes that Jens-Kjeld Jensen should be awarded the 2020 Nordic Council Environment Prize.

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