Individuals and organisations throughout the Isle of Man are doing their bit to contribute to a sustainable future.
That was the message from Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK today as he spoke at the second UNESCO Biosphere Awards.
The awards attracted 45 entries, all contributing to our Biosphere’s central aims: sustainable development, conservation and education.
The Chief Minister said:
‘Our Biosphere status encourages us to identify, preserve and promote what we have in the Isle of Man and safeguard it for the future by finding innovative solutions and making good decisions.
‘The challenges faced by our planet are well documented. As an outward-looking, responsible nation, the Isle of Man must form part of the solution.
‘It is important that, as Government, we lead by example and make decisions that protect and promote all we hold dear. Our status as the world’s only ‘entire nation’ Biosphere is certainly an added catalyst for this.
‘But decision-making isn’t the sole preserve of politicians. We are all decision-makers – in our homes, our business, our community groups and our schools; in our everyday choices and our long-term planning.
'We all have a part to play in ensuring the long-term sustainability of our cherished Island.
‘Today is a day to celebrate the great strides we are taking, across our Biosphere.
‘The Awards epitomise the approach outlined: everyone, coming together as a community to live more sustainably.’
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, summarised the entries and presented the prizes – beautiful, hand-carved trophies made from Manx wood by local craftsman Dave Newsham.
- Economic sustainability – Stewart Clague Services.
- Education and Public Awareness – Manx Hedgehog Conservation Society.
- Energy – James Vickers Building Consultancy Ltd.
- Environment – AFD Group.
The Minister said:
‘The quality and volume of entries, from individuals, schools, community groups, charities and companies, demonstrate that people care about, and are taking strides to protect and promote our Biosphere.
‘Congratulations to all who took part, whether they won an award or not, as their actions are making a positive difference.’
The awards were judged by an expert panel chaired by Dr Ken Milne, Director of Energy Policy at the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.