UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme announces winners of its Young Scientist awards and of the Michel Batisse award
The laureates for the 2010 Young Scientist awards and the Michel Batisse award were announced by the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere programme (MAB), at a meeting held in Paris from 31 May to 4 June.
Every year since 1989, the MAB programme has awarded grants up to US$5,000 to ten young scientists, with the aim of encouraging researchers starting their careers to work on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity. This year, two young scientists also received special awards funded by the Austrian MAB Committee as part of the International Year of Biodiversity.
The 2010 laureates and their projects are:
Maria Jose Lopez (Argentina): Attitudes of the population towards environmental conservation in the Parque Atlantico Mar Chiquito Biosphere Reserve;
G. Fifanou Vodouhe (Benin): relations between tourism and biodiversity conservation in the Pendjari biosphere reserve;
HaiQian Li (China): A model of sustainable economic development involving different stakeholders: a comparative study of the Lake Heilongjiang Xingkai biosphere reserve and the Miyun water resource reserve in Beijing;
Fiby Adib (Egypt): a comparative economic assessment of two Ramsar (international Convention on wetlands) sites and the Omayed biosphere reserve;
Amélie Le Ster (France/Argentina): participatory management of a biosphere reserve, pilot study in the Yungas biosphere reserve (Argentina);
Alex Asase (Ghana): Impact of land use change on plant diversity and carbon storage in the Bia Biosphere Reserve;
Ari Kurnia (Indonesia/Malaysia): contribution of the Tasik Chini biosphere reserve to the development of the local economy;
Joachim Makori (Kenya): impact of climate change on the Malindi-Watamu biosphere reserve;
Salama El Fatehi (Morocco): evaluation of the genetic resources of a threatened legume species (Vesce vicia ervilia) in the Mediterranean Intercontinental biosphere reserve (Morocco-Andalusia/Spain);
Llewellyn Foxcroft (South Africa): Non-native species as a driver of global change: unravelling the dynamics and risks of plant invasions using molecular techniques.
The laureates for the MAB Austria awards are:
Philista Malaki (Kenya): Socio-economic analysis of utilization and conservation trade-offs for mangrove dominated wetlands in the Malindi-Watamu biosphere reserve;
Sri Astutik (Indonesia): Carbon stock linkage to plant diversity in Mount Gede Pangrango National Park as the core zone of Cibodas biosphere reserve.
The Michel Batisse award goes to Fabio Kalesnik (Argentina) for “Training on environmental education, conservation and sustainable development and its innovatory initiatives with islanders in the Delta del Paraná Biosphere reserve.” The US$6,000 award rewards achievement in managing a biosphere reserve.
Biosphere reserves are zones designated as part of the UNESCO MAB Programme. They are areas of terrestrial, coastal or marine ecosystems promoting innovative solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. There are currently 564 biosphere reserves in 109 countries.