Eöffnungsrede von Herrn Alvaro Umaña (Principal
Advisor of UNDP Energy and Environment Group)
Minister, Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, CSD delegates,
distinguished guests, and friends
Thank you for joining us on this celebration of of Earth Day
during what I know is a very busy CSD period for the opening
of a remarkable photo exhibit which highlights several issues of great
importance to the Water focus of CSD-12 namely, biodiversity
and ecosystem services and local communities.
On behalf of UNDPs Energy and Environment Group and the Equator
Initiative on behalf of UNDPs Bureau for Development Policy
which I am pleased to say is represented here by Mr. Walter Franco
I welcome you to the exhibit. For those of you who are not associated
with the UN or are not delegates to the CSD, I welcome you to UN Headquarters.
The Focus on Nature exhibit captures the courageous efforts
of local communities throughout the developing world in charting new and
innovative paths to global sustainability.
I recently had the opportunity to see just how powerful the message of
community action can be during my participation in the Biodiversity Convention
meeting in Malaysia. The images here in the exhibit remind me strongly
of the moving encounters I had there with the finalists and winners of
UNDPs Equator Prize 2004 a prestigious international award
for local work to reduce poverty and conserve biodiversity.
Among the finalists and winners of the Equator Prize 2004, I was introduced
to a remarkable array of community projects from Africa, Asia and the
Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The range of local successes
was truly impressive:
To list just a few, they include: the establishment of eco-lodges and
game reserves in East Africa, the manufacture and marketing of sustainably
harvested soaps and beauty products in Brazil, the restoration of traditional
marine management practices in Fiji, and the creation of sustainable lending
and credit schemes in Thailand.
I am pleased to say that a representative of one of these remarkable
communities is here with us tonight -- Mr. Francis Chachu Ganya
Executive Director of Equator Prize finalist Pastoralist Integrated
Support Programme from Kenya. Mr. Chachu Ganya is in New York to
share with the CSD his experience working on dryland and biodiversity
issues in some of the most challenging circumstances on Earth.
Mr. Ganya and countless community leaders around the world such as those
depicted in these photographs richly deserve the UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annans recent acknowledgement, The passion, dedication
and courage with which these communities have adopted the cause of local
sustainable development are a source of inspiration to the entire global
I wish to reiterate the invitation from the Minister of State by saying
I do hope you will join us next month, Wednesday, May 19th, at the German
Mission for a symposium on biodiversity and the awarding of the Equator
Prizes on the occasion of the International Day on Biodiversity.
And now I would like to welcome back to the podium the Honorable Kerstin
Muller, Minister of State at the German Foreign Office, who will officially
open the exhibit.