Sir David Attenborough has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

David Attenborough
David Attenborough   -   Copyright  Kirsty Wigglesworth/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
By Reuters

Nature broadcaster and British icon Sir David Attenborough has been announced as one of the nominees for the this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Belarusian dissident Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya are also among the nominees, after being backed by Norwegian lawmakers who have a track record of picking the winner.

Other candidates for the accolade include Pope Francis, the Myanmar National Unity Government formed by opponents of last year's coup and Tuvalu's foreign minister Simon Kofe, according to last-minute announcements.

Thousands of people, from members of parliaments worldwide to former winners, are eligible to propose candidates.

Reuters / AP
Three nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, The World Health Organisation (WHO) and David Attenborough.Reuters / AP

Will David Attenborough win?

Attenborough, 95, is best known for his landmark television series illustrating the natural world, including "Life on Earth" and "The Blue Planet".

He was nominated jointly with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which assesses the state of biodiversity worldwide for policymakers.

They were nominated for "their efforts to inform about, and protect, Earth's natural diversity, a prerequisite for sustainable and peaceful societies," said nominator Une Bastholm, the leader of the Norwegian Green Party.

Pope Francis was also nominated for his efforts to help solve the climate crisis - as well as his work towards peace and reconciliation, by Dag Inge Ulstein, a former minister of international development.

Tuvalu's foreign minister Simon Kofe was nominated by the leader of Norway's Liberal Party, Guri Melby, for his work in highlighting climate change issues.

Environmentalists have won the Nobel Peace Prize in the past, including Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former US Vice-President Al Gore.

Environmentalists have won the Nobel Peace Prize in the past, including former US Vice-President Al Gore.

Still, "there is no scientific consensus on climate change as an important driver of violent combat", says Henrik Urdal, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, cautioning against a "too simplistic connection between the two".

The coronavirus pandemic has been front and centre of people's concerns over the past two years and this year the international body tasked with fighting it, the WHO, has again been nominated.

"I think the WHO is likely to be discussed in the Committee for this year's prize," adds Urdal.

Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was nominated for the second year running for her "brave, tireless and peaceful work" for democracy and freedom in her home country, explains parliamentarian Haarek Elvenes.

The 2021 laureate will be announced in October.