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Nurturing the democratic debate.  
Venezuelan Research Centre and Norwegian Scientist share UNESCO Prize while Young Scientists get awards
Editorial Contact: Peter Coles, Bureau of Public Information, Editorial Section, Tel: +33-1 4568 1710 - Email

09-07-2003 4:00 pm This year’s Sultan Qaboos Prize has been jointly awarded to a pioneering Venezuelan centre for tropical ecology and a leading Norwegian biodiversity specialist. At yesterday’s meeting of the Bureau of the International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, which acts as the jury of these prizes, the winners of MAB Young Scientists Awards, representing nine countries, were also decided. The 2003 Sultan Qaboos Prize was awarded to the Centre for Ecology (Centro de Ecología) in Venezuela and to the Norwegian biodiversity specialist Peter Johan Schei, who was nominated by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). The Centre for Ecology is a unit of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC). For decades it has not only generated a wealth of scientific knowledge in the field of tropical ecology but it has systematically and successfully disseminated this knowledge to professionals and the general public through education, training and awareness raising. The selection of Mr. Schei is an appreciation of his extraordinary contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources. Furthermore, the Prize acknowledges Mr Schei’s role as facilitator in the dialogue between developed and developing countries in the international environmental arena, especially in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The US $20,000 Sultan Qaboos Prize, made possible through a generous donation from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said of Oman, aims to acknowledge outstanding contributions to the management or preservation of the environment. The prize is awarded every two years.

The MAB Young Scientists Awards encourage young scientists to conduct interdisciplinary research on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity, in line with the MAB Programme's focus on sustainable interactions between people and their environment. Launched in 1989, the MAB Young Scientists Award Scheme is today an important element of the MAB Programme. This year’s winners are Brián Germán Ferrero, Fabio Alberto Kalesnik, Natalía Politi (all from Argentina); Paulo Pagliosa Alves (Brazil), Paulette Taita (Burkina Faso), Alice C. Bett (Kenya), Kassim N’Tji Doumbia (Mali), Guillermo Crespo-Pichardo (Mexico), Nay Win Oo (Myanmar), Adrian Ionascu (Romania) and Minh Phuong Tran (Vietnam).

MAB Programme Website

Source Press release N°2003-43

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