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American biologist wins Norway's Sophie Prize

/ Source: The Associated Press

American biologist and writer Gretchen Daily won Norway's Sophie Prize on Tuesday for exploring the potential profits of protecting the environment.

A jury selected Daily, a professor at Stanford University, for the $100,000 environment prize, citing "her involvement, knowledge and merits as one of the world's forerunners in the debate on sustainable development and conservation of biological diversity."

The jury praised Daily for her ability to translate science into practical recommendations and action, citing her 2002 book "The New Economy of Nature" as an example of how she explains ways to use market forces and the economy in the fight against loss of biodiversity and ecological destruction.

The book — subtitled "The Quest to make Conservation Profitable" — recognizes the economic value of the world's natural resources and the potential profits of protecting them.

"I see it as quite elegant, and an incredible challenge, to find ways of harmonizing our day-to-day economic activities with supporting our life-support systems," a news release quoted Daily as saying.

The prize was created in 1997 by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder and his wife, Siri Dannevig, and named after Gaarder's surprise international best-seller "Sophie's World," a novel based on philosophy for young people.

Last year's prize went to Former Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson for his efforts to draw attention to the dangers of global warming.

The 2008 prize will be presented at a June 12 ceremony in Oslo.