Muscat: An Indian institute has been awarded the Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation for the year 2019.
The award went to the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and will see a grant of $100,000 granted to them by the United Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), at an award ceremony to be held in Budapest, Hungary, on 20 November.
Oman’s National Commission for Education, Culture and Science (NatCom) said in this context, “UNESCO has awarded the 2019 Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation to the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment of the Republic of India, om the recommendation of the jury of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere programme.”
“Established in 1996, the Ashoka Trust’s activities in the field of ecology and the environment are based on rigorous multidisciplinary research involving academics, policymakers, practitioners, researchers and students,” added Oman’s NatCom. “Its extraordinary work towards creating awareness about biodiversity in India, and committing its efforts to preparing interdisciplinary knowledge, education and preparing policies for environmental sustainability and socially equitable development.”
Based in the Indian city of Bengaluru, the prize is awarded to ATREE for its contribution in including the locals of the areas of Sikkim and Darjeeling in the environmental conservation programmes they had begun in those areas, through programmes that involved conservation planning and the creation and promotion of sustainable livelihoods.
It also recognises the Ashoka Trust’s efforts towards identifying and discovering new species in the Western Ghats, as well as promoting awareness of India’s biodiversity and their efforts toward training environmental leaders.
A statement from UNESCO added, “Ranked among the top 20 environmental think-tanks globally, ATREE is dedicated to the generation of interdisciplinary knowledge, education, and policy for the environment and for socially just development. Allocated every other year, the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation was established through a generous donation by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman. Laureates are awarded US$100,000, a diploma and a medal during an award ceremony.”
“ATREE also contributes to the conservation of diverse environments throughout India, including the Eastern Himalayas, the UNESCO Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and the Western Ghats World Heritage Site, Vembanad lake, Kaziranga and Manas National Parks, the grasslands of Kutch, the wetlands of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and urban landscapes of Karnataka,” added the organisation.