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Watt-Cloutier applauds Gore's Nobel win

The Canadian Press

IQALUIT — Sheila Watt-Cloutier says the planet Earth is a winner in the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

She tells CBC Newsworld that it means the issue of the global environment has won.

Ms. Watt-Cloutier says she's more surprised at being nominated than disappointed by not winning.

She admits that if she had won the prestigious prize, it would have helped maintain international focus on the impact of climate change on the indigenous people of the Arctic.

In that sense, she says she's a little bit disappointed.

Ms. Watt-Cloutier, 53, won Norway's Sophie Prize for the environment in 2005 for calling attention to the impact of climate change on life in the Arctic. In 2002, she became head of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the group that represents Inuit around the world.

“Knowing the hard work that both the organization of IPCC and what Al Gore has done to advance this issue, which is so important, I was very pleased that they had won,” she said in the CBC interview.

“For me, the issue has won, and in fact our own planet Earth is a winner in all of this.”

Asked about her own reaction, she said: “I was a little bit surprised, to be honest, because we have jointly been nominated by two Norwegian parliamentarians.”

“It was more of a surprise than a great disappointment, because I don't try to put too much expectation on things that are external to my own life.”

“But it certainly would have helped ... I think, to continue to put the issue on the map in terms of the Arctic issues and the human dimensions to it. In that respect I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed.”

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