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UNEP's Iraqi Marshlands Project Receives

2007 UN 21 Award Commendation

UNEP Project "Support for Environmental Management of the Iraqi Marshlands" has received the 2007 UN 21 Award Commendation in the category of "field project." This project is one of the 15 United Nations projects selected this year for the UN 21 Awards.

The UN 21 Awards were established in 1996 by the Secretary-General to provide recognition to staff members for innovation, efficiency, and excellence in the delivery of the organization’s programmes and services. For the 2007 awards, more than 70 UN projects were nominated from across the globe, involving over 600 staff members. Five evaluation teams, comprised of five staff members each from different duty stations, reviewed, evaluated and recommended 21 projects (14 projects for Awards and seven projects for Commendations). The High-Level Approving Panel reviewed the recommendations made by the evaluation teams and selected 15 winners comprising of nine projects for Awards and six projects for Commendations.

Since 2004, the Iraqi Marshlands Project has been implemented from the UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) in Osaka and Shiga, Japan. IETC is part of the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE). Sylvie Lemmet, the DTIE Director, has congratulated the associated staff members, indicating that “this honour makes us feel very proud.” Surya Chandak, the Officer in Charge of IETC, stated that “we are very honored that our project has been selected for this prestigious award among the UN common system, and hope that this award will help to raise public awareness of the excellent work being done at IETC and its staff.”

The award ceremony with the Secretary-General is scheduled on 11 July 2008 at 9:30 a.m. at the UN Headquarters in New York to honor the winners. The ceremony will be webcast, and can be accessed at:


20 UNEP staff members associated with the project team will receive individual certificates of merit.

This is the second honour bestowed upon the project recently. Chizuru Aoki, the Iraq Project Coordinator, received the inaugural UNEP Baobab Staff Award in the professional service category. The awards scheme was established in 2007 to recognize and reward exceptional performance and dedication to achieving the goals of UNEP, and takes its name after the baobab tree native to African savannas, which is a symbol of strength, power and resilience. Thanking the dedication and hard work of the project team, Aoki commented that she hopes that such recognition would help to catalyze additional support to promote sustainable management in Iraq. For further information: