From Milan, the Balzan International Foundation (BIF) highlighted "the exceptional quality of his contributions to the foundation of the ecological economy, his pioneering analysis of the relationships between environment and economic systems, his interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the unequal distribution of environmental resources, and his active role in promoting environmental justice."
Born in Barcelona in 1939, Martinez-Alier is an Emeritus Professor of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
His main line of research revolves around the relationship between ecology and economics, which has allowed him to investigate into agrarian history, environmental policies, and resource-based social conflicts.
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Among his best-known publications are "Ecology and Economics" (1984) and "Ecological Economics and Environmental Politics" (2001).
Since 1961, the Balzan Prize has been awarded to scientists whose contributions are evaluated by an international committee made up of 19 leading figures from different fields.
The BIF also gave its awards to Susan Trumbore for her work on the dynamics of the Earth system; Jean-Marie Tarascon for his contributions to the study of materials for renewable energy; and Antonio Augusto Cançado Trindade for his work on human rights.
The prizes will be awarded to the four winners by Italy's President Sergio Mattarella on November 19, local outlet Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.