The 2020 Alexander von Humboldt Medal is awarded to Bojie Fu for outstanding research in China and Africa on the ecological effects of land use change balancing agricultural and environmental interests in such a way that realisation in practice was feasible.
In the unanimous opinion of the judging committee, the qualifications and record of Bojie Fu make him an exceptional, highly qualified candidate to receive the Alexander von Humboldt Medal. Fu has a very high international standing. His publication record, which includes several publications in leading journals, is impressive, and he has received many awards, including several originating from outside China. His recent honorary membership in the US Academy of Arts and Sciences is also exceptional.
Fu’s work has, among other themes, successfully focussed on the ecological impacts of China’s large-scale “Grain for Green” programme. Although the main focus of this research is in China, the ecological principles deduced from this experience have been exported and applied elsewhere in the Global South (e.g., Ethiopia, Rwanda). Educated as a physical geographer, Fu has paid considerable attention in his ecological work to soil and water, key attibutes of the geosciences.
Fu has been very active in several international organisations and scientific programmes worldwide. His recent and convincing focus on the broad UN Sustainable Development Goals indicates his concern about the wellbeing of society, a key element in the life of Alexander von Humboldt.