26.11.2013 - UNESCOPRESS

Polish and South African bodies to receive 2013 UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environment Preservation

© UNESCO(From left to right) Adam Wasiak, Director-General, State Forests National Forest Holding, Poland, Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO, H.E. the Honorable Minister of Education Dr. Madiha Al Shaibani, Oman, and Harriet Davies-Mostert , Head of Conservation Science Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa

The State Forests National Forest Holding of Poland and South Africa’s Endangered Wildlife Trust have been awarded the Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environment Preservation. The prize was presented to the laureates during the opening of the World Science Forum taking place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) until 27 November.

The State Forests National Forest Holding of Poland, established in 1924, manages more than 75 per cent of the country’s forests, i.e. 7.6 million out of 9.3 million hectares. With a staff of some 25,000, the holding plays a major role in ensuring the sustainable management of forests while raising public awareness of environmental concerns and the need for ecological conservation. Its school trips and volunteer programme attract thousands of visitors to the forests annually. Most of the forests situated in Poland’s ten biosphere reserves are managed by the holding.

The Endangered Wildlife Trust of South Africa, founded in 1973, develops and implements innovative environmental protection projects. It promotes harmonious coexistence between humans and animals through extensive networks and partnerships. In close cooperation with local communities, the trust works for the preservation of ecosystems and endangered species through research, environmental education, training and awareness-raising, notably in World Heritage sites such as Mapungubwe and biosphere reserves such as Waterberg and Kruger to Canyons.

The laureates were chosen by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, on the recommendation of an independent jury. Awarded every two years, the Prize consists of a certificate and $70,000. It is funded by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman.

The UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environment Preservation recognizes outstanding contributions by individuals, groups of individuals, institutes or organizations to the management or preservation of the environment, consistent with the policies, aims and objectives of UNESCO, and in relation to the Organization’s programmes in this field, such as Biosphere Reserves and natural World Heritage sites.

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