7 June 2006

Ethiopia: Forum Awards 'Environmental Heroes'

Addis Ababa — As The Environment Week from 5-11 June is being commemorated under the theme "An Age of Hope in a Protected Environment", world wide, Forum for Environment (FfE) a local NGO handed out on Tuesday a national green awards to associations ,the private sectors, civil society organizations and, individuals it called Environment Heroes.

State Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Ato Ahmed Nassir and renowned environment scientist Dr Tewolde GebreEgizabher gave out the prizes to the winners at a colorful ceremony held at the National Palace.

The winners of the award who stood first, second and third from the Association category were, respectively, Beza Cleaning Service Micro Enterprise Cooperation Association,The Tena-Kebena&Ginfile Association(TKGCA) and Fire Environment and Development Association (Assosa).

W/ro Kelly Seifu, Executive Director of Hope for Women, Ato Daniel Worku of Benishangul Gumuz and Hakim Gara Afforestation projects of Harar Beer Factory received their prizes.

Hope for Horn from Somali region, Farachu Raya Forest Protection and Carrying Cooperative Union from Arsi and Jerusalem Children and Community Development Organization from Dire Dawa got first, second and third ranks from their category and got their prizes accordingly.

From Individuals category, Ato Mulugeta Babena Beti from Harar and Professor Legesse Negash from AAU( Biology Department) got the first and second prizes, whereas Wubalem Mengistu and her husband Mulualem Birhane from the Amhara Regional State shared the third prize with Ato Hussien Leto from the Oromia.

Nigusu Aklilu, coordinator of FfE said the day was meant to draw the attention of all Ethiopian people to the significance of the environment to achieve the country's poverty reduction and sustainable development strategy and attain its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The event also sought to stimulate political interest in the environmental protection and above all to praise thanks and give honor for those environmental heroes who are believed to be exemplary role models for others.

"Praising such heroes also means to empower people to become agents for sustainable and equitable development because conservation of natural resource and keeping the environment clean is the basis for nation building," Ato Fanta Wolde Michael, Board Chairman of FfE, said According to FfE, Green Award program was co -financed by Sustainable Land Usage Forum of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

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