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Media Awards announce regional winners

For immediate release

Reuters-IUCN Environmental Media Awards announce regional winners

The six regional winners are invited to attend the Global Awards Ceremony on 14 November 2006 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Nairobi, Kenya

London and Gland, Switzerland, 23 October 2006 (Reuters Foundation/IUCN) – Reuters Foundation and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) today announced the regional winners of the 2006 Reuters-IUCN Media Awards for Excellence in Environmental Reporting, who will vie for the global prize of US$ 5,000.

At the ceremony co-hosted by Reuters and IUCN on 14 November 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya, the six regional winners will receive a trophy in recognition of their excellence in environmental journalism and the global winner will be announced.

The regional winners – representing Latin America, North America and Oceania, Europe, Asia, English-speaking Africa/the Middle East and French-speaking Africa – have been selected from some 350 print entries from all five continents.

A global winner will be chosen from the six regional winners by a Global Master Jury, comprised of Mr Paul Holmes, Reuters Global Specialist Editor, Ibrahim Thiaw, IUCN Acting Director General, Mr Dennis Dimick, Executive Editor, National Geographic Magazine, Steve Herrmann, Editor, BBC News Interactive, and Keith Wheeler, Chair of IUCN Commission on Education and Communication.

This year’s regional winners competing for the global prize are:

Asia: Richard Stone and Hawk Jia for Science Magazine dig into the intense scientific discussion on the options, benefits and costs of a US$ 62 billion plan to move water over 1,000 kilometers from the wet south to the dry north in China.

English-speaking Africa and the Middle East: Anjam Sundaram for Associated Press reports on how poverty and lack of education drives the Congo’s Pygmies to sell out their centuries-old sacred forest for soap and a bag of salt.

Europe: John Bohannon for Science Magazine analyses the extremely difficult freshwater situation in the Gaza strip, an area which threatens to run out of water because of overpopulation, agriculture, politics and war.

Francophone Africa: Dalia Abdel-Salam in Al Ahram Hebdo poignantly contrasts the indignation of tourists with the inaction of the Egyptian government after a hotel destroys 7,000 m2 of coral reef on the Red Sea coast.

Latin America: Marina Walker for Revista GatoPardo brings to life the story of Mischell Barzola, a six-year old girl from La Oroya, Peru, who has stopped growing because of lead contamination. "Los Niños del Plomo" shows the dilemma of the 4.000 families, whose livelihoods depend on the lead industry, even though it jeopardizes the health of their own children.

North America, Oceania & the Caribbean: Sara Philips in Cosmos Magazine describes how the environmental impacts of decades of water overuse are leading to new techniques for water management and changing the attitudes of Australians towards water reuse.
The Awards, established in 1998 by Reuters Foundation and IUCN, aim to help raise global awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues, by encouraging high standards in environmental reporting worldwide. The next Reuters-IUCN Environmental Media Awards will take place in 2008.

ENDS

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