Former President Jimmy Carter
From his beginnings in politics as Governor of Georgia, President Carter fought to protect rivers and wildlife. As governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975, he focused on humanitarian efforts towards civil liberties and education. Carter was also selected as chairman of the Coastal Plains Regional Action Planning Commission, which specializes in economic development planning services creating agricultural, industrial development, and marine resources protection programs.
As president in 1977, President Carter tied his humanitarian efforts in with an environmentally friendly decision when he signed the Panama Canal Treaty, mandating that the canal be open and accessible to all. Among his achievements he led major environmental protection legislation, establishing a new Department of Energy that enhanced conservation efforts and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. He also expanded the national park system, adding more than 100 million acres of lands in Alaska.
President Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work to “find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development”. According to the President himself, “I am confident that, together, we can continue to make decisions to protect our planet for future generations, but I also know how much time and hard work it takes. We need champions… to remain alert to new threats that would damage or diminish land and waters …”.