Call to harness potential of science, knowledge

JORDAN: Delegated by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education and Chairperson of the Oman National Commission for Education, Culture and Science delivered Unesco Sultan Qaboos Environmental Preservation Award, 2017 at the World Science Forum ‘Science for Peace’ held in Jordan.
During the ceremony, Dr Madeeha delivered a speech in which she said “This year the World Science Forum, ‘Science for Peace’ addresses major global issues related to energy, water, food security, climate change and other environmental and scientific aspects of sustainability. Thereby highlighting the necessity of harnessing the potential of science and knowledge to enhance the role of young people in scientific innovation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, it enhances cooperation between our countries to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in order to build stronger societies, capable of providing a decent life for all.” She also stated, “Oman is fully committed to promoting awareness on environmental and natural resource preservation of our planet’s rich biodiversity. Oman launched a national strategy for the protection of the environment in 1986. It also established, in collaboration with Unesco, the National Multi Hazard Early Warning Center, inaugurated in 2015. The Center provides advanced warning and information on potential environmental risks.”
“Education and training play a fundamental role in raising the level of environmental awareness in our society. In recognition of this fact, the Sultanate has adopted measures ensuring that concepts of environmental conservation are integrated in the school curriculum as well as other educational programmes. The Unesco Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation has been instrumental in promoting environmental sustainability over the past 28 years. This Prize has been awarded to world renowned environmental institutions and esteemed scientists from different countries across the world, in recognition of their outstanding dedication and efforts made to preserve the environment,” she added. Dr Madeeha congratulated the National Parks Board of Singapore, winner of the Award, and said, “The National Parks Board of Singapore was named by the Director-General of Unesco, Irina Bokova, as the laureate of the 2017 Unesco Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation, in recognition of its significant contribution to environmental preservation. In addition to that is promoting biodiversity in highly urbanised environments through the restoration of habitats and species, and for supporting the incorporation of biodiversity into all levels of the education system, as well as managing the World Heritage site of the Singapore Botanical Gardens alongside 350 other parks and four natural reserves.
At the end of her speech, Dr Madeeha expressed her sincere gratitude to His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein of Jordan, for his generous patronage of this exceptional scientific event and to the Government of the Kingdom for the warm hospitality. She also thanked the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Unesco, the International Council for Science (ICSU) and all the dedicated colleagues involved in organising this most successful event. She also extended her gratitude to the Bureau of the International Co-ordinating Council (ICC) of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of all procedures involved in the selection of this year’s prize winner.”