Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister for Finance and Chairman of Dubai Municipality, on Tuesday presented awards to twelve winners of the eighth cycle of Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment.
A colourful award ceremony was held at the Cultural and Scientific Association auditorium and was attended by officials of United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT), diplomats from the winning countries, top government officials and other dignitaries.
An independent jury of international experts had met in Dubai in November 2010, and selected the winners from a short-list of forty eight, taken from 384 submissions from all the world regions.
The winners of the eighth cycle come from Angola, Kenya, Lebanon, Mongolia, Bulgaria, Spain (two winners), Brazil, El Salvador, and Mexico- in the Best Practices category and two winners from Austria and Argentina in the Best Practice Transfers category. Each one of the twelve winning practices received a cash prize of $30,000, in addition to the Wind Tower trophy and a commemorative certificate.
Mr. Hussein Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said that the award continues to benefit humanity by publicizing innovative solutions to development problems, especially on reducing poverty.
Mr. Daniel Biau, Director of Regional and Technical Cooperation Division, UNHABITAT, who delivered the speech on behalf of Dr Joan Clos, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, thanked Dubai Municipality for the continued commitment in promoting best practices and lessons learned.
In the same ceremony, Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, Minister for Human Settlements, Housing and Urban Affairs in Tanzania was honoured for her contribution to the awards programme. Dr. Tibaijuka is former Executive Director of UN-HABITAT and presided over four award cycles: 2002 – 2010.
In a joint statement, the award winners said that winning the award is a validation of their on-going work and great encouragement. They promised to redouble their efforts, and to transfer their experiences to others.