Rome, 2 - 13 November 2001
PRESENTATION OF THE B.R. SEN AWARDS
1. The B.R. Sen Award was established in pursuance of Resolution 33/67 of the Fourteenth Session of the Conference, as a permanent feature. The Award, which is conferred annually, is named after a former Director-General of FAO, Mr. B.R. Sen, and is directed towards the goals he served. Any officer who has served in a field post in any of the activities of FAO in the year for which the Award is made is eligible for nomination. The recipient of the Award must have a minimum of two years' continuous service in the field and must have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the country or countries to which he/she was assigned. This contribution must be clearly identifiable; it may take the form of technical innovations in agriculture, fisheries or forestry; institutional or development support improvements; discoveries of new resources as a result of surveys or other investigations; establishment of training and research institutions.
2. The elements of the Award are:
Selection of Award Recipients
3. The B.R. Sen Award Review Committee, comprising the Deputy Director-General, as Chairman, the departmental Assistant Directors-General at Headquarters, the Director of the Field Operations Division, and the Director of the Personnel Division, reviews nominations received from Regional Representatives, FAO Representatives and Department Heads, and establishes a short-list. The final selection of the award recipients is made by the Director-General, jointly with the Independent Chairman of the Council and the Chairmen of the Programme and the Finance Committees, from the short-list drawn up by the Review Committee supplemented by the views of the Governments where the nominees are serving or have served.
Conferment of Awards
4. The Awards are conferred by the Chairman of the Conference at a special ceremony during the first week of each regular session of the FAO Conference. At the Thirtieth Session of the Conference, the presentation ceremony will be held for the 2000 and 2001 Award winners.
5. For 2000, the recipient of the Award is Mr. Jean Prosper Koyo from the Republic of Congo. For 2001, the recipient of the Award is Mr. Menachem Lourie from Israel. Brief notes on the two recipients and on their achievements are given below.
Mr. Jean Prosper Koyo
1. Mr. Jean Prosper Koyo was born on 14 June 1948 in Congo-Brazzaville. He holds a degree in sub-tropical and tropical agriculture from Institut Supérieur d'Etat de Huy in Belgium, in agricultural and forestry sciences (Ingénieur agronome et des Eaux et Forêts) from the "Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques de Louvain" in Belgium, and a doctorate degree in Plant Genetic and Improvement from the "Université de Paris-Sud Orsay" in France.
2. Mr. Koyo has in-depth experience in agricultural and forestry development, and plant genetic improvement during 25 year of professional career, of which 20 years of research and education, including lecturing at University level (Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques de Louvain in Belgium, and at the Institut de Développement Rural in Brazzaville). He has had positions at technical, advisory and institutional management levels in several government ministries of Congo (Agriculture, Forestry, etc.). The activities he has carried out included research on plant genetic improvement, plant breeding, agroforestry systems, soil fertility improvement, improved nursery and tree planting techniques in tropical zones, forest resource assessment and management. He has also formulated and implemented many research and development programmes and projects in agriculture and forestry, and had participated at Senior Officer level, in the design of national agricultural and environmental policies. Mr. Koyo was also member of many professional and scientific associations and has chaired several "Conseil d'Administration" of government's agricultural para-statals.
3. Following 15 years of professional experience as a researcher in Brazzaville and lecturer at Brazzaville University and Faculty of Agronomy of Louvain in Belgium, Mr. Koyo joined FAO in 1989 as Chief Technical Adviser in Burundi of the UNDP-funded project BDI/87/007 "Formation forestière et agroforestière à l'Institut Technique Agricole du Burundi". During his 38-month assignment, he worked with national authorities and technical officers to develop sound agroforestry techniques in carrying out on-farm trials, and taught and trained students and farmers on integrated agroforestry systems to improve agricultural production and protect the environment.
4. In September 1992, while he was about to leave Burundi to Thiès in Senegal as Chief Technical Adviser of PREVINOBA FAO project, he has been appointed as Minister in his country. During five years, he has successively been Minister for Waters and Forests, Minister for Public Function and Administrative Reforms; and Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Waters and Forests. In this position, Mr. Koyo was instrumental in the recent developments and initiatives regarding the conservation, sustainable management and development of the Congo basin forests. He was especially at the forefront in initiating and supporting the so-called Brazzaville Conference on the Tropical Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa which became a permanent ministerial mechanism for consultation and cooperation: the CEFDHAC (Conférence sur les Ecosystèmes Forestiers Denses Humides de l'Afrique Centrale).
5. While he was contributing strongly to the development of his country and strongly promoting sustainable forest management, conservation and management, the political developments in Congo on 1997 forced him out of touch of the national developments.
6. In May 1999 he joined again FAO as Chief Technical Adviser in Burundi of the UNDP- funded project BDI/96/001 "Appui à la restauration et à la gestion de l'environnement au Burundi". During his 27-month assignment he worked with national authorities, technical officers, peasants and NGOs in enhancing national capacity in environmental planning and management, promoting integrated watershed management and lowland agricultural management, and participatory forest resource management. In this he favoured efficient and people-friendly designed plantation techniques, selection and use of appropriate multipurpose species. The project under his guidance also developed the use of GIS technology, which started delivering information and representations on many practical aspects ranging from resources conservation, refugee camp monitoring and health centre planning.
7. In developing the activities of the project, Mr. Koyo acted in intimate understanding and cooperation with national authorities, peasants, NGOs and professional colleagues. He has endeavoured to build a team and especially promoted training with a vision to effectively develop national capacity on a sustainable way after the end of the project.
8. All this experience and related achievements are documented in several scientific and working papers authored or co-authored by Mr. Koyo, and widely disseminated.
8. From July 2000 to July 2001, Mr. Jean Prosper KOYO has delivered the functions of FAO Representative ad interim in Burundi.
Mr. Menachem Lourie
1. Mr. Menachem Lourie's academic background focuses on geography and planning. His first degree was in Human Geography and Political Sciences from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, followed by a master's degree in regional planning. He went on to undertake further postgraduate studies in comprehensive rural development planning, social planning and management.
2. Mr. Lourie's distinguished career of over 35 years of professional experience has focussed on rural development projects, initially based mainly in Israel, but intermittently and subsequently with FAO in Thailand, the Philippines, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, and at the regional office in Bangkok. He has accumulated a wealth of in-depth experience in rural development assignments of increasing seniority, covering settlement planning, institutional development and broad-based rural development.
3. Mr Lourie first worked with FAO in 1975 as a settlement planner and integrated rural development officer at the regional office in Bangkok. He assisted a team in planning field action projects and workshops for small farmer development in Laos, Thailand, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Nepal. In succeeding years, through the remainder of the 1970s and the 1980s, he fulfilled increasingly responsible and senior assignments in FAO projects.
4. In 1976-77 he was involved as a project development adviser in the preparation of integrated rural development projects in Leyte with the Department of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines. This work with the Department turned out to be the start of a long lasting relationship that has developed and continued to this day.
5. By 1978 Mr Lourie had been appointed team leader and rural agricultural settlement expert on an FAO/TCP development project when he led the preparation of a settlement plan with the National Economic and Social Development Board in Thailand. He followed this with inputs over two years as project manager for the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Rural Development, administered by ESCAP, with FAO participation, and the National Council on Integrated Area Development in the Philippines. In the succeeding two years he undertook a similar task in Thailand with the Ministry of the Interior. In the latter part of the 1980 Mr Lourie's work took him back to Thailand and then to Sri Lanka as Senior Project Adviser and Settlement Planner with the FAO/UNDP project on "Technical support to Agrarian Reform and Rural Development".
6. Since 1995, Mr Lourie has worked as Chief Technical Adviser to successive FAO projects providing support to the agrarian reforms in the Philippines. Under the technical guidance of Mr. Lourie, FAO's Sustainable Agrarian Reform Communities -Technical Support to Agrarian Reform and Rural Development trust fund project has been and continues to be a most relevant, effective and high impact project that supports the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in the Philippines.
7. Mr Lourie's deep understanding and wide experience in executing rural development projects, and his ability to find flexible and pragmatic solutions to problems, guide the project in addressing the major constraints of agrarian reform beneficiaries who continue to live below the rural poverty line in the Philippines. Through innovative and highly participatory approaches, he has helped transform the project into a vital element that continues to facilitate the effective delivery of critical support services to a large number of agrarian reform beneficiaries, leading them to increase their farm productivity and household incomes on a sustainable basis.
8. The Farming Systems Development approach, based on FAO experience in several countries and modified by the project to suit local conditions at the agrarian reform community level, is officially endorsed by the Department of Agrarian Reform as an important tool for the development of these communities.
9. The agrarian reform community development plans, which are the major outputs of the 6-phase Farming Systems Development training, have provided a solid basis for agrarian communities and local government units when sourcing funds from local and foreign grants, major loans from international banks, and investments from the private sector. To date, the project has trained and guided 436 Farming Systems Development teams consisting of more than 6,000 team members. Their agrarian reform community development plans are now in various stages of implementation.
10. Another innovative approach which forms part of the Farming Systems Development approach is the conduct of a process of consultation with barangay (village) residents. The barangay workshop-consultations provide an effective forum for residents to participate openly and widely in identifying and prioritizing their major constraints. To date, these consultations were held in 801 villages attended by over 66,000 residents. The findings from these consultations are important entry points for truly responsive agrarian reform community development plans and interventions. The wealth of information generated has also provided valuable data on agrarian communities that are essential for effective planning and resource allocation.
11. The project has also developed another innovative approach to link small farmers to markets offering competitive prices. Market matching, where farmer leaders and co-operative managers hold direct discussions with food processors, exporters, supply managers of hotels and restaurants and feed millers, among others, enables small farmers to forge viable and mutually beneficial marketing arrangements. The approach is also encouraging the private sector to deal directly with farmers and to provide the necessary technical and financial assistance to agrarian reform beneficiaries and to invest in post-harvest facilities. Because of its effectiveness, this approach is now institutionalized within the Department for Agrarian Reform's development framework as one of its key strategies to improve farm productivity and increase incomes by making agrarian reform beneficiaries more competitive.
12. On the strength of these very successful and innovative approaches, the FAO project has moved forward, and is now effectively the focal point for a more efficient allocation and utilization of resources of other foreign-assisted projects of the Department for Agrarian Reform. These include projects funded by the World Bank, OECF of Japan, UNDP and ADB. A unilateral trust fund project has also become operational, and provides the FAO project with substantial funds from the proceeds of a World Bank-supported project. A UNDP-supported project also provides a similar amount for the application of the project's approaches.
13. This project, under Mr Lourie's gifted leadership, represents FAO's contribution to the efforts of the Government of the Philippines not only in implementing the agrarian reform program but also in addressing poverty, food security and the development of the rural sector as a whole.