ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait – Environmental Awareness

ROPME Secretariat initiated several environmental awareness programmes since 1984, such as:

ENVIRONMENT DAY OF THE REGION (24 April) 1999-2002

The Ministerial Council of ROPME at its Second Meeting in November 1982 adopted a resolution that 24 April be observed, annually, as the Environment Day of the Region with a view to commemorate the event of signing the Kuwait Regional Convention on 24 April 1978, as well as to increase the public awareness and to renew the importance of protecting the environment in general and the marine environment of the Region in particular.

Starting from 1984, the Environment Day of the Region is celebrated on 24 April every year through activities and programmes, such as drawing and photography competition; exhibition of drawings and photographs on environment; distribution of prizes; distribution of visual materials such as posters, environmental slogans, calendars, stickers, publishing of books, children’s illustrative magazines, special bulletins etc.

More details:
On the occasion of the Environment Day of the Region, every year a message from the Executive Secretary of ROPME is delivered and circulated to all NFPs to be broadcasted on 24 April.
A drawing contest has been organized for school children in each year and entries were received from Member States. Three winners from each Member State were awarded with prizes at the National level, and the best three drawings were selected at the Regional level. For instance, the number of entries were received as follows:

1999: 115 entries from five Member States
2000: 600 entries from six Member States
2001: 250 entries from seven Member States
2002: 106 entries from seven Member States

A drawing competition is organized each year in cooperation with Environmental Public Authority (EPA) Kuwait, to celebrate the occasion. Different activities on the theme of the year were carried out each year and the celebration was held under the patronage of H.E. the First Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the State of Kuwait.
An essay competition for secondary school children is organized annually and three winners from each Member State are awarded with prizes.
A story competition for children is held annually and stories are received from Member States. Three winners from each Member State are awarded with prizes annually.
The winning Drawings, Articles and Stories are displayed at the Exhibition during the celebration of the Environment Day of the Region.
Some promotional items such as ball pen, caps, T-shirts, with ROPME imprint were distributed on the occasion of Silver Jubilee of the Kuwait Regional Convention.
Activities related to the celebration of the Environment Day of the Region – 2003 were cancelled due to the special circumstances in the Region.

ENVIRONMENTAL EXHIBITIONS
Three Environmental Exhibitions were organized each in 1998, 2000 and 2002 under the patronage of H.E. the First Deputy Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of Higher Environment Council of the EPA, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on the occasion of the Environment Day of the Region to commemorate the Signing of the Kuwait Regional Convention 1978. The Kuwait International Fair arranged the last two Exhibitions for ROPME in cooperation with EPA-Kuwait. The theme of the April 2000 Exhibition was “Save Our Marine Environment” and that of April 2002 Exhibition was “Waste Recycling”.

ROPME ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE

In April 1984, the Council of ROPME at its Third Meeting decided that a prize be awarded annually, on the Environment Day of the Region, to selected national(s) of the Member State(s) (e.g. scientists, journalist, institutions, editors, etc.) who have contributed outstanding work or had achievements in the field of marine environment. The Prize was established in order to promote all forms of activities and to increase environmental awareness amongst the people of the Region, as well as to evolve interest amongst the people of the Region, towards protection and development of the marine environment in particular in conformity with the principles embodied in the Kuwait Regional Convention and its Protocols.

For the purpose of evaluating the credentials of the candidates for the Prize from the Member States, the Council approved the establishment of a five-member Jury who are specialists in environmental education and awareness, and that their findings should be submitted to the Executive Secretary of ROPME for approval. Since the establishment of the Annual Environmental Prize the following winners have been awarded with ROPME Prize:

1986 Capt. Ahmed Bin Said Bin Ahmed Al-Busaidi – Sultanate of Oman
Water Resources & Environmental DivisionResearch Institute of the University of Petroleum and Minerals – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

1987 Engineer Ahmed Mohammed Al Subaie – State of Qatar
Kuwait Environmental Protection Society – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

1988 The Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Environment Protection Council – State of Kuwait

1989 Iranian Offshore Oil Company Islamic Republic of Iran
Marine Science Centre, Basrah University – Republic of Iraq

1993 Environment Protection Department – State of Kuwait

1994 Department of the Environment – Islamic Republic of Iran

1996 Dr. Ibrahim A.H. Alam Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR – State of Kuwait

1998 Qatar General Petroleum Corp. (QGPC – State of Qatar
Certificate of Appreciation given:Ras Laffan Industrial City – State of Qatar
Department of Environment – Islamic Republic of Iran

JURY FOR ROPME ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE
In order to implement the decision of the ROPME Council, taken at its Second Meeting in November 1982, to award an Annual Environmental Prize, the Council approved in 1984 the appointment of a five-member Jury to evaluate the credentials of the candidates nominated for the ROPME Annual Environmental Prize. The term of the Jury would be for three years. Four members shall be from ROPME Member States and one from outside the Region. All the five members will be selected by the Executive Secretary in individual capacity as environmentalists of good knowledge, experience and reputation.

GENERAL RULES GOVERNING THE ROPME ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE
1. AIM
The aim of the ROPME Environmental Prize is to promote all forms of activities designed to construct a desired atmosphere for Conservation, Protection, Enhancement and Understanding of the Marine Environment of the Region, as embodied in the “Kuwait Regional Convention for Cooperation on the Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution” and its Protocols.

2. PRIZE

a) The Prize shall not be divided, save in exceptional circumstances, and shall be awarded to an individual, a group of individuals or an institution for outstanding contribution and achievement in conservation, protection, enhancement or understanding of the Marine Environment of the Region.

b) The Prize shall be awarded every three years.

c) The Prize shall be worth US$.20,000/-.

d) The Prize shall be awarded for an indeterminate duration. The decision to cease awarding the Prize is vested with the ROPME Council.

3. FUND

The Environmental Prize and its related activities will be financed by ROPME and voluntary contributions made by Member States, Institutions and Individuals.

4. DESIGNATION OF LAUREATES

The laureates shall be designated by the Executive Secretary of ROPME on the basis of recommendations submitted by the Jury.

5. JURY

The Jury shall consist of five members of which four would be from the Member States, and the fifth Member would be one who has attained international repute and recognition in the field of environment.

The members of the Jury shall be appointed by the Executive Secretary of ROPME for each Prize. This may be renewed for additional term(s).

6. CRITERIA FOR AWARDING OF THE PRIZE

The laureate shall not be subject to any kind of discrimination on the grounds of nationality, race, sex or age. He/she should have distinguished himself/herself through outstanding and regionally recognized activities in the fields of:

i) implementation, at regional or national level, of programmes and activities designed to strengthen environmental education by enlisting the support of public opinion;
ii) promotion of public awareness of the problems of marine pollution, through the media and other effective channels;
iii) launching of important activities contributing to prevention and control of marine environmental pollution and degradation;
iv) identification of the quality of the marine environment by undertaking basic or applied environmental research programmes; and
v) other activities carried out in accordance with the spirit of the Kuwait Regional Convention and its Protocols.

7. NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES

a) Member States of ROPME, regional intergovernmental organizations, regional non-governmental organizations, national institutions and ROPME Secretariat may nominate an individual, a group of individuals, or an institution considered to merit the distinction of this Prize by virtue of their activities.
b) The closing date for the submission of nominations shall be fixed by the Executive Secretary.

8. SELECTION OF THE LAUREATE AND DATE FOR THE AWARDING OF THE PRIZE

The Jury shall meet during the three months following the closing date for the submission of nominations to make its recommendations to the Executive Secretary concerning the selection of the laureate (s). The awarding of the Prize shall take place on the Environment Day of the Region (24 April).
A prize-giving ceremony shall be organized by the ROPME Secretariat. The addresses delivered on that occasion shall be published by ROPME.

RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE JURY FOR THE ROPME ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE

1. MEMBERSHIP

The Jury shall consist of five personalities appointed by the Executive Secretary of ROPME on personal capacity, in accordance with Article 5 of the General Rules Governing the Prize.

2. CONVOCATION

The Executive Secretary shall convene meetings of the Jury nornmally the first week of January. The Jury meeting shall be convened when at least two qualified nominations are received.

3. VENUE OF MEETINGS
The meetings of the Jury shall normally be held at ROPME Headquarters in Kuwait.

4. MANDATE

The Jury is mandated to evaluate nominations for the ROPME Environmental Prize and to make recommendations to the Executive Secretary concerning the designation of the laureate or laureates. Exceptionally the Prize can be awarded posthumously.

5. ORGANISATION OF WORK

i) ELECTION OF OFFICERS
At the beginning of every meeting, the members of the Jury shall elect from among themselves a Chairman and a Rapporteur.

ii) QUORUM
Three members shall constitute a quorum.

iii) RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations addressed to the Executive Secretary shall be adopted by consensus. However, at the request of one member, recommendations may be put to the vote. In this case the decision shall be taken by the majority of the members of Jury present and voting. In case of an even tally, the side which includes the Chairman would merit consideration.

iv) REPORT TO THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
After each meeting, the Chairman of the Jury submits to the Executive Secretary a report on the work of the meeting prepared by the Rapporteur, within one week.

6. NOMINEE’S FILES

Prior to the meeting, the Executive Secretary shall make available to the members of the Jury a summary of the files of nominees to the ROPME Environmental Prize.

7. SECRETARIAT

The Jury shall be assisted by a member of the ROPME Secretariat who shall be assigned to that effect by the Executive Secretary.

8. CONFIDENTIALITY

All discussions and recommendations of the Jury shall be kept strictly confidential.

GUIDELINES FOR THE JURY, ROPME ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE

Selection Criteria:

The Laureate should be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Scope of the activity : The significance of the activity at the Community, National and Regional levels.
2. Specification : Specific to Environmental Public Awareness, Environmental Education, Control of Pollution, Understanding the Quality of the Environment.
3. Publications : Important publications or documents produced on the Marine Environment of the Region.
4. Experience : Length of experience/establishment (in the Region) and previous recognition.
5. Benefits : Practical utility of the task performed and future potential.Benefits of the task accomplished, (whether it was significant and/or original contribution) in the protection of Marine Environment.

Rating: Each item on the selection criteria could be given a maximum score of 10. The nominees’ accomplishments/achievements could then be rated against this score and given due weightage.

National Workshop on Environmental Awareness

The National Focal Points organized national meetings and activities to promote environmental awareness in their respective countries during 2001.

Workshop on Promoting the Environmental Awareness for Journalists (In Farsi)

The workshop on promoting the environmental awareness for journalists was hosted by NFP-I.R. Iran and held in Tehran during 16-17 October 2001. The main objectives of the workshop were to highlight the important role of journalists and mass media specialists of I.R. Iran in dissemination of environmental news and in promoting of public awareness on environmental issues of the ROPME Sea Area. Another objective of the workshop was to promote communication networking among journalists, other mass media specialists, environmental education institutes and environmental information centres to facilitate communication and prompt dissemination of information on environmental issues. Fifty participants representing mass media from Tehran and coastal provinces, as well as a number of environmental and educational experts and NGOs attended the workshop.

A brochure in Farsi on the role of ROPME and its programme activities on conservation and protection of the marine environment was prepared in 1800 copies and was widely circulated on the occasion of the EA Workshop. Each participant was awarded with a “Certificate of Participation” on the closing ceremony.

Workshop on Promoting the Environmental Awareness for Journalists (in Arabic)

NFP-Oman has confirmed to provide logistic support and host this regional workshop in Muscat.

EA Cooperation with the Arab League

ROPME has been in contact with the Arab League for cooperation on environmental awareness. To this effect, ROPME attended a meeting on Educational, Informational and Environmental Awareness Programme in the Arab World held in Cairo in late October 2000. A symposium was also held in Damascus, Syria and two experts from Member States attended the event.

This piece is taken from the website of ROPME: Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment – Kuwait.

See on-line at: http://www.ropme.net/pages/env_aware.htm

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