On the sidelines of the Oceans Summit currently taking place in New York at the United Nations, Gabonese Head of State Ali Bongo Ondimba received the Theodore Roosevelt Award on Monday, June 05, 2017 by the American NGO Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
According to the WCS, the awarding of this prize is a recognition of the efforts made in recent years by the Head of State and his country, Gabon, in the field of nature conservation. In other words, this award marks a crowning achievement in the strategy put in place by the Gabonese authorities for sustainable development.
In his address to the United Nations on Monday (05 June), the Gabonese head of state announced the creation of 20 protected areas, namely, 9 marine parks for conservation and protection and 11 aquatic reserves. This represents nearly 26% of Gabon’s marine territory, and therefore the largest marine protected area in Africa. After its land space, Gabon is launching itself in the preservation of its maritime space.
At the award ceremony, Cristian Samper, President of WCS, paid tribute to this policy. « You surprised the world by creating the largest network of protected areas in Africa. A significant effort to protect a legacy left by the ocean for the benefit of present and future generations. …, « he told the Gabonese president.
Theodore Roosevelt, named after the former President of the United States, rewards heads of state who demonstrate strong decisions for the conservation of natural species and natural areas.