The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards 2012: Luc Hoffmann and Thymio Papayannis among the winners

The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award was established in order to recognise and honour the contributions of individuals, organisations, and governments around the world towards promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands. On the occasion of the Conference of Contracting Parties (COP) meetings the awards have been given four times already. In the COP11 in Bucharest, Romania in July 2012 the fifth edition of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards will be presented.

The Ramsar Awards are given to individuals or institutions with a proven record of achievements in the fields of “Management”, “Wetland Science”, and “Education”, a Recognition of Achievement Award and a special 40th Anniversary Honorary Award. For 2012, the Education award went to The Wisconsin Wetlands Association in the USA, the Management awards to Ms Augusta Henriques, Secretary General, TINIGUENA, Guinea-Bissau and the Science award to Professor Tatsuichi Tsujii, Japan.

A Recognition of Achievement award was granted to Mr Thymio Papayannis who has been working on wetland conservation, wise use and the cultural values of wetlands, and with the Ramsar Convention for 26 years, in the framework of Greece, the Mediterranean and globally. Particularly for MedWet he was instrumental in establishing it in 1991 and was the Coordinator for its first 10 years, and now remains an honorary member and Senior Advisor. Overall, Thymio Papayannis’s work and his several publications have contributed significantly to a better understanding and awareness of Mediterranean wetland issues and challenges and have inspired a number of research and development programmes and institutions.

To recognize and celebrate one of the founders of the Ramsar Convention, in this 40th anniversary year, the Standing Committee granted a 40th Anniversary Honorary Ramsar Award to Dr Luc Hoffmann. He is celebrated for his lifetime engagement in the cause of wetland conservation and environmental conservation in a broader sense. He is one of the founding fathers of the Ramsar Convention, and has supported it in all aspects from its conception to its maturity.

For more information on the winners and their achievements please look at the Ramsar Press Release, which is also the source of this article.