MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region
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GEF Announces Special Global Environment Leadership Award to Dr. Mostafa Tolba of Egypt
Wednesday 23 April 2003

Washington, D.C., April 22, 2003: Mohamed T. El- Ashry, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), today announced a special Global Environment Leadership Award to Dr. Mostafa Tolba of Egypt. The Global Environment Leadership Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization in government, the private sector, or the non-government arena, for leadership of significant national or international actions over a sustained period to protect the global environment.

In announcing the award, Dr. El- Ashry said: "I can think of few personalities more deserving of a global environment leadership award than Dr. Tolba. He has been known internationally as a champion of the global environment since 1972 when as the head of Egypt’s delegation to the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, he was among the first to promote the view that there are no irreconcilable conflicts between the environment and development."

At the time of the Stockholm Conference, Dr. Tolba had already served as a university professor and Undersecretary of State for Higher Education and Minister of Youth in Egypt, and an alternative member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Executive Board. After Stockholm, he became Deputy Executive Director of the newly established United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), moving on to become its

Executive Director less than two years later. Under his leadership, UNEP became the core organization within the United Nations family acting as a catalyst, spurring governments, business, academia, intergovernmental organizations and non- government organizations to meaningful action to protect the environment. Consistent with his position at Stockholm, he diligently promoted his philosophy of development without destruction.

Dr. Tolba is known for his formidable negotiating skills and his mastery of the science of environment. He also has an uncanny vision of emerging environmental problems. These attributes led him, as early as the 1970s, to concentrate on the issue of stratospheric ozone layer depletion as meriting careful scientific monitoring. Because of his success in ne gotiating the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, he is credited with formulating the prototype model for dealing with global environmental issues and the effective transfer of technology and funds to developing countries. Having retired from UNEP in 1992, Dr. Tolba returned to Egypt and set up the International Center for Environment and Development, a non-profit funding organization financing environment projects in developing countries.ഊ"Dr. Tolba’s promotion of the science of the environment and his commitment to helping developing countries play their part in the battle to protect our global commons in the context of national sustainable development have done much to support the work of the GEF," Dr. El-Ashry said.

See online : Global Environment Facility News

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