Celebrating the world’s most inspiring, innovative and influential policies on the protection of oceans and coasts, the Future Policy Award for 2012 will officially be announced at the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11), in India next month. There are 31 nominations from 22 countries competing for the award, of which 3 represent the African continent.
The Future Policy Award is designed to alert policymakers and the public to the importance of best practice in lawmaking and to highlight outstanding examples of regulatory vision. The Award draws attention to existing sustainable policies and demonstrates that when political will is asserted, positive change can happen.
Each year, under different themes, the World Future Council calls for the nomination of policies that are inspiring, innovative and influential. The Future Policy Award celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations. The aim of the award is to raise global awareness for these exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies. The Future Policy Award is the first award that celebrates policies rather than people on an international level.
African nominations for this year include Kenya’s Fisheries (Beach Management Unit) Regulations (2007) in terms of the Fisheries Act (1989); Namibia’s Marine Resources Act of 2000; and South Africa’s Integrated Coastal Management Act (No.24 of 2008).
Integrated and effective ocean and coastal legislation and policies are critical for sustainable futures. According to the World Future Council, one third of our population lives in coastal areas in 123 countries around the world and over a billion people rely on oceans as a source of protein and over half a billion people are dependent on oceans and coasts for their livelihoods. Despite the critical ecosystem services provided by oceans and coasts, they are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world due to a combination of overfishing, pollution, climate change and other factors.
The World Future Council notes that “decision-makers have a critical role to play, as poor management of marine environment is the root cause of biodiversity loss and degradation of these vital ecosystems”.
The winning policies will be announced in New York on 26 September at the United Nations headquarters and the official award ceremony will take place in October at the CBD COP11 meeting. The award will be adjudicated by a select group of sustainability experts from all 5 continents including:
- Mr. Robert Calcagno, Director General of the Oceanographic Institute Albert 1st, Prince of Monaco Foundation, Monaco;
- Mr. Gustavo A. B. da Fonseca, Ph.D, Head, Natural Resources, Global Environment Facility;
- Prof. Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, Director, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL);
- Dr. Tewolde Erban Gebre Egziabher, Director General, Environmental Protection Authority, Ethiopia; and
- Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva, Founder, Navdanya, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, India.
Source: World Future Council