29 November 2003, Rome -- The 2003
A. H. Boerma Award for journalism was presented to Brazilian
documentary film maker Marcelo Canellas and Reuters
correspondent David Brough in recognition of their achievements
in raising public awareness of global hunger, the UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today.
Since 1979, in recognition of the media's
important role in the fight against hunger, FAO has presented
the A.H. Boerma Award to journalists or groups of journalists
from around the world who have helped focus public attention on
food security and rural development in developing countries.
Marcelo Canellas, one of Brazil's most
well-respected documentary film makers and journalists, is
famous for having brought tough and often sensitive issues to
His reports and
films have had a powerful impact - both in politics and among
In 2001 he made a series
of five documentaries on the causes and effects of hunger in
The series was viewed by some 35
million people and subsequently has helped to influence future
David Brough, a British
journalist with international news agency Reuters for 18 years,
is the Rome bureau commodities correspondent.
Brough reports on commodity markets in Italy and on
the work of the three Rome-based food agencies - FAO, the World
Food Programme (WFP), and the International Fund for
Agricultural Development (IFAD).
articles have increased understanding of complex food and
agriculture issues, highlighting how the U.N. agencies battle
Through his reporting he has
not only brought major developmental issues to the fore but has
also increased the understanding of the general public of the
work of FAO.
The biennial Edouard Saouma
Award, given to local or national institutions which have
implemented projects funded by FAO's Technical Cooperation
Programme with particular efficiency, has been jointly presented
to the Sichuan Provincial Plant Protection Station of China and
the Nicaraguan Institute of Women.
Operating in China's Sichuan Province, the
Provincial Plant Protection Station has managed to resolve a
problem that the local rural community had been struggling with
for some time.
Each year, some 1.5 million
tonnes of wheat, rice and corn were lost in the fields, eaten by
A further million tonnes were
lost in storage. Farmers, trained as part of the FAO project,
adopted new techniques which cut the number of rodents by 93
percent as well as significantly reducing the number of
rat-transmitted human diseases.
Nicaraguan Institute of Women is a co-winner of the prize in
recognition of its work to help rural women and its success in
achieving gender awareness in government projects.
Thanks to their work, the number of projects with a
specific women's component has increased from eight percent
to 27 percent and participation in project-related training
among women has risen from 31 percent to 40 percent.
2002 B.R. Sen Award for a field officer who has made an
outstanding contribution to rural development, sustainable
agriculture or food security, was given to Narendra Singh Tunwar
Working in challenging
conditions in Afghanistan, Tunwar set up the Improved Seed
Enterprise, created to produce outstanding local varieties of
In over a decade, aided by
locally-trained national staff, Tunwar produced 27 improved seed
varieties, including 15 for wheat.
2003 Sen Award has gone to James William Everts, of the
Netherlands. Everts broke new ground in Senegal by establishing
a research and training centre for the environmental toxicology
The centre has trained a
group of Senegalese experts in environmental ecotoxicology and
evaluated the side-effects of all pesticides recommended by FAO
for use against the Desert Locust. All three awards were
presented during FAO's biennial Conference today.
They were established in recognition of
former Director-Generals: Addeke Hendrik Boerma of the
Netherlands, Binay Ranjan Sen of India and Edouard Saouma of
The Margarita Lizárraga Medal,
given to a person or organization that has served with
distinction in the application of the Code of Conduct for
Responsible Fisheries, was awarded to a non-governmental
organization, the International Collective in Support of
Fishworkers (ICSF) of Chennai (India) for its initiatives in
promoting and disseminating the Code.
(+39) 06 570