Ethiopian institute and Slovak ecologist share UN environmental prize

17 October 2007

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today jointly awarded an environmental preservation prize to an Ethiopian biodiversity institute and a Slovak ecologist.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today jointly awarded an environmental preservation prize to an Ethiopian biodiversity institute and a Slovak ecologist.

The 2007 Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation will be shared by the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (IBC) and Julius Oszlányi, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura announced at the agency’s headquarters in Paris.

The laureates were chosen following the recommendations of the Bureau of the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme, which met last month to make its decision.

UNESCO said in a press statement that the IBC was being recognized for its efforts to set up systems to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of Ethiopia’s biodiversity and to share equitably the costs and benefits derived from that biodiversity.

Founded in 1976, the Institute has set up community gene banks for hundreds of crop varieties, including wheat, sorghum and millet. It has distributed almost 80,000 seed samples from its reserves for research purposes and it has also conducted surveys and inventories of medicinal plants, forests and aquatic resources.

Dr. Oszlányi, the Director of the Institute of Landscape Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, was cited for his contributions to interdisciplinary ecological research programmes, especially in forest biodiversity conservation and biosphere reserves.

He has also promoted the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, including the 1998 creation of East Carpathians, the first reserve to be spread across three countries – Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.

The $30,000 prize, awarded every two years since 1991, is funded by a donation from Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said of Oman and can be awarded to an individual, group of people, institute or other type of organization.

 

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