Australian park administration, Mexican conservationist win UN-backed awards

5 July 2005

An Australian marine park administration that seeks to preserve the world's largest collection of coral reefs and a Mexican champion of nature and wildlife conservation have won a United Nations-administered environmental prize.

This year's Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Protection, a biennial award made possible through a donation to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said of Oman, went to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and Ernesto C. Enkerlin-Hoeflich.

They were chosen by the Bureau of the International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme.

The GBRMPA, principal adviser to the Australian Government on managing the park, received the prize for its crucial contributions to the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef, a critical global resource. Guided by the principle of balancing conservation and sustainable use, the GBRMPA has created an innovative framework that, whilst allowing for reasonable human use, will still ensure the healthy survival of the coastal and marine ecosystems.

Enkerlin-Hoeflich (Mexico), President of the National Commission on Natural Protected Areas of Mexico (CONANP) was honoured for his outstanding contributions to nature and wildlife conservation, ecological research and environmental education. During his four-year tenure at CONANP, which is charged with the conservation of all protected areas in Mexico, five new sites have been incorporated in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.


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