Bolivian President Evo Morales has been declared "World Hero of Mother Earth" by the United Nationals general assembly, EFE said on August 29.
The left-wing leader is the first ever president of Bolivia to come from the impoverished indigenous majority and has repeatedly spoken out against the destruction of the environment caused by the dominant economic system.
Morales has called for a break with capitalism to create a new social system in harmony with the environment along, pointing to the experience of indigenous peoples before colonisation.
The UN general assembly said Morales was "the maximum exponent and paradigm of love for Mother Earth". The decision was taken, EFE said, after extensive consultation among representatives of the general assembly member countries.
UN general assembly president Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann said Morales "was the one who most helped" the UN declare last April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.
Morales said the honour was not his, "but for our ancestors and the native peoples" that "have always defended Mother Earth".
EFE said Morales added that he would continue trying to get the international community to acknowledge the rights of Mother Earth.