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For the love of the planet

As part of its Perpetual Planet Initiative, Rolex is pleased to announce the five Laureates of the 2023 Rolex Awards for Enterprise.  
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Five pioneers whose ambitious projects will help to improve lives while protecting the planet for future generations thanks to the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. The Awards were set up in 1976 to mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster. Through the programme, Rolex supports exceptional individuals with innovative projects that improve our knowledge of the world, protect the environment, help preserve habitats and species and improve human well-being. Intended to be a one-off celebration, the Awards drew such international attention that Rolex transformed them into a biennial programme that has, in 48 years since its creation, supported 160 Laureates, whose projects have had a profound impact across 65 countries.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise are part of Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Initiative and embody the initiative’s intricate values. For nearly a century, Rolex has been an active  supporter of pioneering explorers and individuals who have pushed back the boundaries of human endeavour to shed light on the natural world. The brand reinforced its longstanding commitment to the planet by launching the Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative in 2019. The initiative supports individuals and organizations that use science and technology to understand the world’s environmental challenges and devise solutions that will restore balance to our ecosystems.

THE LAUREATES
The Awards are given to projects focusing on either the environment; science and health; applied technology; cultural heritage; and exploration. The projects are judged on their originality and the impact they could have on the world at large, as well as on the candidates’ spirit of enterprise. Five Laureates are chosen every two years. They each receive funding to implement their project and become a member of the Rolex Laureates network, many of whom still collaborate today. The five 2023 Laureates have been selected by a panel of ten world-renowned experts and leaders in their field. From providing clean water in Kenya to protecting the mountainous forests of the Andes, the 2023 Laureates and their respective projects, highlight the brand’s commitment to a Perpetual Planet.

 

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Constantino Aucca Chutas
The biologist will be scaling up his community-centred forest ecosystem restoration and protection programme in the high Andes. He founded Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) in 2000 and co-founded Acción Andina in 2018, and has planted 4.5 million trees, engaged more than 60 local communities, and created 16 protected areas in the mountains across Peru and other high Andean countries.

 

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Beth Koigi
The young Kenyan social entrepreneur will be providing solar-powered generators harvesting water from air to 3 000 people in 10 communities who are in need of clean water resources. Since co-founding her start-up in 2017, Koigi’s atmospheric water generators are producing over 200 000 litres of clean water per month to over 1 900 people. The potential impact of this innovative technology is enormous; in Koigi’s native Kenya half the population lack access to clean drinking water while, according to the UN, half the world’s population could be living in areas of high water stress by 2030.

 

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Inza Koné
The primatologist will be protecting a richly biodiverse forest in Côte d’Ivoire while safeguarding its endangered fauna and reducing poverty in the area. After years of work with people in the area, Koné’s efforts resulted in the Tanoé-Ehy Forest becoming a community-managed natural reserve in 2021. The Rolex Award will enable Koné to continue preserving its outstanding biodiversity, supporting community management and encouraging sustainable livelihoods for people in the region.

 

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Denica Riadini-Flesch
The social entrepreneur will be expanding her regenerative farm-to-closet clothing supply chain, strengthening women’s empowerment and preserving local Indonesian cultures. After a successful academic career as an economist, Riadini-Flesch founded SukkhaCitta, working with rural craftswomen in Indonesia to provide them with business skills, environmental stewardship education, and customers in 32 countries.

 

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Liu Shaochuang
The remote sensing specialist will be studying wild camels’ habitats in view of creating two new conservation reserves to save the last remaining wild herds. Drawing on his scientific expertise, having played a key role in developing China’s Lunar and Mars rovers, Liu Shaochuang will satellite track wild camels in the Gobi Desert regions of China and Mongolia to support their future conservation.

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