Press Release 97/60
KENYA’S ASSOCIATION OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL JOURNALIST AND DEVELOPING WORLD
NEWS AGENCY INTER PRESS SERVICE SHARE FAO’S BOERMA AWARD; MALAYSIAN AND NEW ZEALANDER
WIN SEN AWARDS; SAOUMA AWARD GOES TO INSTITUTIONAL WINNERS IN BANGLADESH AND IRAN
ROME, November 6 -- The Association of Food and Agriculture Journalists (AFAJ)
in Kenya and Inter Press Service (IPS) have been chosen as joint winners of the FAO
Boerma Award for journalism, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced
FAO also honors two field experts, Hon Tat Tan for 1996 and Les Clark for 1997,
with the B. R. Sen Award for their outstanding field work. Hon received the Sen
award in recognition of his work with the South Pacific Forestry Development Programme
in Fiji. Clark was selected for his achievements in the field of fisheries policy
and planning in Namibia.
The Saouma award for institutional excellence went to Department of Fisheries in
the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock in Bangladesh and to the Infrastructure and
Technical Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture in Iran.
The winners will receive their prizes from FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf on
Friday, 7 November at a special awards ceremony at FAO Headquarters in Rome.
All three awards are named for former FAO Director-Generals -- Addeke Hendrik Boerma
from the Netherlands, Binay Ranjan Sen from India and Edouard Saouma from Lebanon.
The awards are presented during the FAO Conference, the Organization’s governing
body, which meets every two years. This year’s session is from 7-18 November.
The Boerma Award was established in 1975 to honor journalists who focus public attention
on world food problems, mainly on issues related to agricultural and rural development
in the developing world. The award is $10,000 and a scroll.
IPS is an independent association of journalists based in Rome. Since it was founded
in 1964, it has become the leading news agency covering development issues. IPS
correspondents report from more than 100 countries on topics not always covered by
the main-stream media. It focuses such issues as rural living, migration, refugees
and the plight of women and children in the third world.
IPS won the award for “its significant contribution over the past thirty years
to covering sustainable agriculture and rural development in more than a hundred
countries, filling the information gap between the North and South.”
AFAJ is a professional journalists association with 35 members devoted to the coverage
of food, agriculture and environmental issues. It launched a campaign in September
1996 to publicize the dangers of water Hyacinth in Lake Victoria. The Association
won the award for “strong commitment to the coverage of food, agricultural and environment
issues,” particularly its coverage of “the Water Hyacinth Weed multi-media campaign.”
The Sen award, created in 1967, is conferred annually to a field officer who has
made an outstanding contribution in the country to which he or she is assigned.
It consists of a cash award of $5,000, a scroll and medal.
Hon Tat Tang, a Malaysian national is the 1996 Sen award winner. With almost 30
years of experience in forestry planning and research, Hon Tat Tang won the Sen Award
for his efficient and dynamic leadership on the South Pacific Forestry Development
Programme, based in Vanuatu.
The 1997 Sen Award winner is Les Clark of New Zealand for his contribution in successfully
transforming the Namibian fisheries sector from a largely foreign activity to one
of the country’s key sectors fully integrated in the Namibian society and economy.
The Edouard Saouma Award was established in 1993 to recognize institutions that
have excelled in the implementation of Technical Cooperation projects. The award
consists of a cash prize of $25,000, a medal and a scroll.
Bangladesh’s Department of Fisheries shared this year’s award with the Iranian Agriculture
Ministry’s Infrastructure and Technical Directorate. Bangladesh received the award
for its implementation of a project that improved rural pond-fish culture extension
services throughout the country. The Bangladesh project trained more than 1,500 fisheries
officers and extensionists and more than 8,300 farmers. Liaquat Ali, Director-General
of the Department of Fisheries will collect the prize.
Iran won the prize for its success in implementing a soil and water preservation
project. The prize will be received by the Iranian National Project Director, Darab