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Winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards (09/06/08)
Last week our Standing Committee met here in Switzerland to decide on a number of issues leading up to COP 10 later this year. One of the many important decisions was on the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards. Here’s a message posted on the Forum and on our web site from Dwight Peck on the winners of the Award for this triennium. I'm sure some of you will be familiar with at least some of these winners since they are well-known regionally and globally.
Best regards, Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat
Greetings. The Ramsar Standing Committee has announced the winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards for 2008. In the science category, the Award goes to Dave Pritchard; in the management category, to Denis Landenbergue, WWF International; and in the education category, to Dr Sansanee Choowaew of Mahidol University, Thailand. In addition, the Recognition of Excellence was awarded to Dr Jan Květ of the Czech Republic. Full descriptions of the reasons for these choices can be found below. The three Ramsar Awards, with the Evian Special Prize of USD 10,000 for each, will be conferred at the opening of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in the Republic of Korea in October 2008.
Winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award and Evian Special Prize for 2008
Laureate in the category “Science”: David Pritchard (Multi-Regional)
Mr Pritchard is being given the Award for the unique way in which he has supported the development and implementation of the Ramsar Convention for two decades, with exceptional dedication, consistency, and effectiveness, as a representative of BirdLife International at Ramsar meetings, but also contributing very extensively of his own time. He has provided outstanding advice and support to many Convention meetings (COPs, Standing Committee and STRP meetings) since 1990. He has also made major contributions to the work of the STRP, notably on maintenance of ecological character, Ramsar site selection criteria, impact assessment, and wetland cultural values, and has led the development of ecological indicators of the effectiveness of the Convention – an approach now also used by other MEAs. Mr Pritchard has participated in several advisory missions on behalf of the Convention and has worked with several small island states in the Caribbean, supporting development of the Ramsar Convention’s implementation. He is also actively promoting implementation in the UK, notably through participation in the National Ramsar Committee.
Laureate in the category “Management”: Denis Landenbergue (Multi-Regional)
Denis Landenbergue is being recognized for his lifelong interest in wetlands and bird conservation, first as a volunteer and professionally since 1989, and for his outstanding achievements with regard to designation of Ramsar sites/protected areas together with improved management for many of these wetlands, especially in Africa, South and Central America, and Asia. Since he started working with WWF International in 1999, Denis Landenbergue’s work has led to the designation of 84 million hectares in freshwater protected areas between July 1999 and June 2007, mostly as Ramsar sites. Mr Landenbergue has also assisted many countries to become Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention. To reach these aims, Mr Landenbergue has collaborated closely with the Ramsar Secretariat and offered respect and constant support to officials in charge of wetland conservation in developing countries. He has administered many small grants, which in turn have attracted manifold additional funds from international aid agencies and corporate donors. Denis Landenbergue has supported and/or been instrumental in launching several regional wetland conservation initiatives. His success is due to his strong sense of collaboration and partnership, his talent for publicizing, praising and encouraging the achievements of governments, and his dedication.
Laureate in the category “Education”: Dr Sansanee Choowaew, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University,Thailand
Dr Choowaew is being recognized for her exceptional contribution to wetland management, education, capacity building, and training in Thailand and in Asia. She has been involved in the cause of wetland conservation for more than 15 years. Her contribution to wetland conservation and management in Thailand, in the Mekong region, and in Asia is considerable. She has initiated, led and participated in many wetland management training programmes and research programmes and has also formed a network of alumni and resource persons in Asia to continue and build on the training. Dr Choowaew has served on several official policy-making committees in Thailand and in the Mekong region. Dr Choowaew is also being nominated with a highlight on her achievements in the fields of wetland education, awareness, capacity building, and training. She has published a large number of educational and public awareness material, been interviewed many times in the media, and participated in learning projects inter alia in the framework of UNESCO. In addition to her achievements as an academician and a teacher, Dr Choowaew is an excellent networker and has been largely involved with communities and their representatives, valuing traditional knowledge and culture related to wetlands. She has been associated with the Ramsar Center Japan since 1992 and has taken a leadership role for wetland education activities of the RJC since then, as well as serving on the steering committee for several Asian Wetland Symposium meetings.
Recognition of Excellence given to: Dr Jan Květ, Czech Republic
Dr Kvet is being recognized for his lifetime work and support to wetland conservation and science, and to the Convention. He started his career as a plant physiologist and ecologist. He turned early to working with freshwater plants and wetlands, including studies at the level of whole habitats or regions. His interests are not limited to the study of wetland plant communities, but include human impacts on wetlands in a broad sense. He has carried out research nationally as well as internationally, and in Europe as well as in the Americas and in Australia. He is a member of several wetland-oriented international programmes such as SCOPE, INTECOL, UNESCO MAB, EUREED. In particular, Dr Kvet has taken many initiatives to link UNESCO MAB activities with Ramsar activities at international level (for instance during a joint Ramsar/MAB mission in the Danube Delta) and in the Czech Republic, notably at the Trebŏn Ramsar Site and Biosphere Reserve. Dr Kvet has also advanced the cause of Ramsar through, since 1992, lectures on wetland ecology organized by the Czech National Commission for Implementation of the Ramsar Convention and participation in the Czech Ramsar Advisory Panel of Experts since 2001. In addition to many scientific publications, Dr Kvet is very much appreciated as a university teacher (now at the Universities of South Bohemia and of Prague) and has also participated in public awareness and education programmes.
Dwight Peck, Ramsar Secretariat
Sandra Hails, CEPA Programme Officer
Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 999 0176; Fax: +41 22 999 0169
Web Site: http://ramsar.org
CEPA mini-Web site: http://ramsar.org/outreach_index.htm