NParks awarded 2017 UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation
24 Oct 2017
The National Parks Board (NParks) was today named the laureate of the 2017 UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.
An international jury selected to honour NParks for its significant contributions to environmental conservation. NParks was recognised for its efforts in promoting biodiversity conservation in a highly urbanised and land scarce city-state. Through its Nature Conservation Masterplan (NCMP), NParks has conducted significant conservation biology research that has also resulted in the discovery of new endemic plant and terrestrial invertebrate species, and the results have been used to design better management plans and to facilitate science-based decision-making.
The jury noted that NParks manages Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Singapore Botanic Gardens, together with 350 parks and four nature reserves. NParks’ work in support of environmental conservation also include developing the ‘Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity’, an important self-assessment tool for the evaluation of biodiversity conservation efforts by cities, along with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The prize-giving ceremony will be held in Jordan on 7 November as a side event of the World Science Forum that will take place there from 7 to 11 November.
NParks’ efforts in nature conservation
The Singapore National Commission for UNESCO supported the nomination of NParks’ NCMP for the 2017 UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation. Through the implementation of the NCMP, NParks aims to conserve natural ecosystems as well as harmoniously support biodiversity in a highly urbanised island city-state.
Introduced in 2015 and guided by science-based principles, the NCMP consolidates, coordinates, strengthens and intensifies Singapore’s biodiversity conservation efforts. These efforts will build ecological resilience through the strengthening of ecological linkages that will help us conserve our native biodiversity and also adapt to the effects of climate change.
The NCMP sets out the course of Singapore’s biodiversity conservation plans and consists of four thrusts: firstly, the conservation of key habitats; secondly, habitat enhancement, restoration, and species recovery; thirdly, applied research in conservation biology and planning; and fourthly, community stewardship and outreach in nature.
UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation
Created 25 years ago thanks to a donation by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman, the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation consists of a financial reward of USD70,000, a diploma and a medal. It is awarded every two years.
Previous laureates include the Wetlands Ecology Research Group, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; State Forests National Forest Holding of Poland; and Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa.
For more information about the Prize, please visit http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/man-and-biosphere-programme/awards-and-prizes/sultan-qaboos/.