Award for Education (shared) 2005

Ms Reiko Nakamura, Japan

Ms Nakamura is being recognized for promoting wetland conservation and the Ramsar Convention in Asia for more than 15 years, through Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) activities, research and projects. An environmental journalist by trade, Ms Nakamura created the Ramsar Centre Japan (RCJ) in 1990, a membership-based NGO which has grown to cover 12 countries in Asia.

Ms Nakamura's efforts brought together institutions and countries at various stages of development, focussing always on participation of all stakeholders and on conservation for the benefit of local communities. She says that "the RCJ's main objectives are to raise awareness of the relationship between wetlands and people and to act as a catalyst and disseminator for wetland conservation". She has also been successful in raising funds to carry out long-term activities, such as the Asian Wetland Week, the Asian Wetland Initiative, and the Asian Wetland Symposium, popular projects which have played an important role in creating a bridge between Asian countries for the conservation of wetlands.

Speaking of the future, Ms Nakamura stresses that "promotion of the conservation of all wetlands, whether they are on the [Ramsar] List or not will be of paramount importance".

She says that one of the keys to her success has been "never giving up". Indeed, Ms Nakamura receives the Ramsar Award for her outstanding contribution to wetland conservation through long-term vision, foresight, intellectual leadership, tireless efforts and charismatic personality.