Crane Bank awards for wetland study in Uganda

22/08/2006

Ramsar Crane Bank Award

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is pleased to announce that Mr. Herizo Tiana Andrianandrasana and Mr. Osiman Mabhachi are the two winners of the first Ramsar Crane Bank Awards to promote the wise use concept of wetlands in the Africa region.

Mr. Herizo Andrianandrasana, 32, is a Water and Forest Engineer from Madagascar and has been working as the Ecological Monitoring Coordinator of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust Madagascar Programme since 2001. He established a track record of achievement during his tenure with Durrell Wildlife and has a good working knowledge of the Ramsar sites in Madagascar. He was involved in the restoration and rehabilitation of several wetlands and the elaboration of management plans for natural resources in collaboration with key stakeholders. He has the potential to make outstanding contributions to the wise use of the wetlands of Madagascar when he returns home after the tour in Uganda.

Mr. Osiman Mabhachi, 32, is an Agricultural Engineer from Zimbabwe. He works for BirdLife Zimbabwe as a Conservation Officer and his main responsibility is to facilitate integrated Wattled Crane and wetland conservation activities in the Driefontein Grasslands Important Bird Area. Osiman has over six years' successful working experience involving wetland conservation, soil and water conservation, watershed management, and bird conservation as well as water and sanitation. As recommended in Ramsar Resolution IX.14. Osiman has a particular interest in linkages between wetlands conservation and rural livelihood options. His other medium-term goal is to spearhead the establishment of the Zimbabwe Wetlands Action Group as a forum to facilitate information exchange among wetland management practitioners when he returns to Zimbabwe after his training in Uganda.

With the support of the Crane Bank, the prize was awarded to these two African young professionals and will support their costs to travel to, and have a tour of duty for two weeks, in Uganda. The Wetlands Inspection Division of Uganda is the technical partner of this project.

The tour should allow the recipients to inspire themselves from the successful experience of Uganda in establishing the proper institutional and technical support for wetlands management.

The Secretariat and the Crane Bank would like to congratulate the two winners and urge more African females to apply next year.

-- Abou Bamba, Senior Advisor for Africa

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