Launching of the First 'National Green Awards”
Under the patronage of the minister of Environment H.E. Mr. Nazem Khoury, the first National Green Award ceremony was held at Phoenicia Hotel on the 23rd of January during a gala dinner organized by the Ministry of Environment, UNDP and Beyond Magazine.
Before the ceremony, Mr. Watkins gave a speech on the environmental challenges facing Lebanon by quoting “The latest Ministry of Environment report on the State and Trends of the Environment Report describes increasingly heavy pressure placed on Lebanon’s limited natural resources by economic growth and expanding population.” He expressed his appreciation to all the involved parties saying “We are proud of the contributions that you are all making to a better environment and better life for all of us, today and tomorrow”
Furthermore, Minister Khoury’s word expressed his gratitude over the achievements of the mentioned parties, “The honored organizations are pioneers in adopting and promoting environmentally friendly initiatives. Their interventions had a significant positive impact on the environmental arena in Lebanon and made of them examples to follow. Not only are we appreciative of their efforts but we also find it in hope for the future. They have given the green light for a new start as they paved the way to a healthier and safer future."
Mrs. Pascale Choueiri Saad, General Director of Beyond Magazine, also delivered a speech in which she stressed on the "continuous cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to transform ideas into real projects and initiatives".
During the ceremony, awards were presented to different donors and organizations who adopted environmentally-friendly initiatives. These parties include: Lebanese Armed Forces represented by Commander General Jean Kahwaji, Head of the European Union Delegation in Lebanon the ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, UNDP Resident Representative in Lebanon Mr. Robert Watkins, Chairman of Libano-Française Bank, former Minister Farid Raphael, BankMed represented by Mr. Muhyi El Din Fathallah, Chairman of BLC Bank Mr. Maurice Sehnaoui, Middle East Airlines represented by Maitre Michel Tueni, Vice President of Haykal hospital Dr. Nisrine Bazerbagi , owner of Zetra Industries Mr. Salim Zeenni, Dr.Tony Issa of IPT Energy Center represented by Mrs. Myrna Issa, and MTV media station which won the shield of appreciation.
In turn, Mr. Watkins presented Minister Khoury with the UNDP Green Award, which was also presented to Mr. Riad Salameh, governor of Lebanon's central bank, the ambassadors of Italy and Spain, General Director of “Beyond” magazine Mrs. Pascale Choueiri Saad, the Association of Green Cedar Lebanon, and to NewTV station.