More than 200 world leaders from 130 countries will be attending the award ceremony for the third Zayed International Prize for the Environment, the most prestigious environmental award in the world, which will be held today (February 6, 2006) at the Dubai international Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).
The evening will also mark the ceremonial opening of the 9th UNEP Global Conference Special Session/Global Ministerial Environment Forum 2006 (GCSS/GMEF) in Dubai.
Dr. Mohammed Bin Fahad, Chairman, and General Coordinator of Zayed Prize, said: “The ceremony will mark the formal opening of the GCSS/GMEF meetings and a special reception will be hosted by the Government of the UAE. Following this, there will be a dinner meeting of the Bureau of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum.”
Representatives including heads of states, leaders and representatives from UN member countries will attend the GCSS/GMEF meetings.
The UNEP’s associate meetings including the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) 2006 which started on February 4, 2006 and the 7th Global Civil Society Forum (GCSF) which started on February 5, 2006 will end today.
Dr. Bin Fahad said: “This will be a momentous occasion to be cherished by the people of the UAE. This is the first time such a forum of world significance is being held in the Arab world. We are proud to point out that country representatives from all over the world have come to Dubai today to acknowledge the efforts and initiatives of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for his contribution to environment protection.”
The Zayed International Prize for the Environment was established by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to acknowledge the environmental commitment of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. HH Sheikh Mohammed will be handing over the prizes to the winners at a special ceremony at the DICEC later this evening.
The US$1-million Zayed Prize, awarded every two years, is considered one of the most prestigious environment-related awards in the world today. It was first awarded in the year 2001.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will receive the 2005 Zayed Prize for Global Leadership for the Environment at the ceremony this evening.
The Zayed Prize in the 2nd Category Award - Scientific and or Technological Achievement in Environment - has been conferred upon a team of 1,360 experts of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment who have catalogued the condition of the globe’s ecosystems and their life-giving services.
The Zayed Prize in the 3rd Category Award - Environmental Action Leading to Positive Change in Society - is shared between Angela Cropper, Co-President of the Cropper Foundation of Trinidad & Tobago, and Emil Salem, the former Indonesian State Minister for Population and Environment and the chair of the board of trustees for numerous Indonesian environmental organisations.
The plenary sessions of the session/forum will begin tomorrow (February 7, 2006). Deliberations will continue throughout the day. In the evening the President of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum and the Executive Director of UNEP Mr. Klaus Toepfer will host a reception for the delegates.
The consultations will continue till Thursday February 9, 2006 when there will be a plenary session and a closing banquet on the theme of sustainable tourism.