MedWet organizes a celebration in honour of the Mediterranean winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards 2015

The Ramsar Convention has announced the winners of the 2015 Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards, which honour the outstanding work of governments, organizations and individuals in promoting the wise use, protection, conservation and regeneration of the world’s wetlands. The Awards were established in 1996 at the 6th Meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and this year’s winners will be invited to the 12th Meeting of the COP in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on 3 June to receive theirs in a special presentation ceremony.

All awardees have received the Evian Special Prize of US$10,000, generously donated by the Danone Group.

This year there are three categories of award:

  1. a) The Ramsar Convention Award for Wetland Wise Use
  2. b) The Ramsar Convention Award for Wetland Innovation
  3. c) The Ramsar Convention Award for Young Wetland Champions.

There is also a Ramsar Merit Award presented to individuals or institutions for their long-term contribution and commitment to the conservation and wise use of wetlands and to the Ramsar principles.

The final nominees came from Bangladesh, Denmark, Israel, Peru, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. All presented outstanding applications, with individuals demonstrating a diverse commitment to better management of wetlands including the re-engagement of local populations through environmental education, pollution prevention, regeneration and restoration of previously drained or polluted sites, the use of innovative technology to improve wetland sites, and most of all personal endeavour.

The Mediterranean region honours its winners

MedWet will be honouring the Ramsar Award winners from the Mediterranean region by organizing lectures and a reception on Thursday, 4 June 2015, at 6.30 PM at the Mediterranean Agora.

Ms Giselle Hazzan, Manager of the Ein Afek Nature Reserve (EANR), Israel, winner of the Ramsar Award for Wetland Wise Use, will deliver a lecture on “Managing water for wetland conservation in a dry country”.

The Research Centre for the Conservation of Mediterranean Wetlands, La Tour du Valat, France, is one of the winners of the Ramsar Award for Merit, and Mr. Jan Jalbert, Director General of the Centre, will speak about “Priorities for wetland research in the Mediterranean”.


The Ramsar Convention Award for Wetland Wise Use

Ms Giselle Hazzan, Manager, En Afek Nature Reserve (EANR), Israel

20150603_202541The Acre Valley acquifer was drained in the 1920s and pumping from the aquifer began in 1960 for agricultural use and drinking water. In 2002 Giselle Hazzan became the new Manager of the EANR, the first Arab woman to be appointed a manager of a nature reserve in Israel. She has changed EANR’s entire water management system by initiating actions at different levels with participation from local stakeholders, weir operations and new national legislation. By elevating the EANR from stopgap temporary water management measures to carefully planned long-term projects, Ms Hazzan has saved the EANR ecosystem and made it a vital wetland in a dry country.

Watch the video made by Ramsar here

The Ramsar Convention Award for Merit

Research Centre for the Conservation of Mediterranean Wetlands , La Tour du Valat, France

20150603_204428The Tour du Valat research centre was created in 1954 by the visionary philanthropist Dr. Luc Hoffman, with a mission to halt and reverse the loss and degradation of Mediterranean wetlands and their natural resources and to promote their wise use. The centre develops integrated research and management programmes which promote exchanges between scientists and wetland users. Transfer of knowledge is a central tool to achieving its mission. A large part of the Tour du Valat estate, located in the Camargue Ramsar Site, is classified as a Regional Nature Reserve. The Tour du Valat library is a unique documentation centre in the Mediterranean region, specialised in wetland ecology and visited by many scientists, students and teachers. It was one of the institutions that participated in the creation of the MedWet initiative in 1991, and it has contributed for many years to the implementation of Ramsar principles in the whole Mediterranean basin. This award coincides with the celebration of its 60th anniversary.

For more information, check their website here

Watch the video made by Ramsar here