The Spirit of the Land Award
2002 International Environmental Award Presented to the ABCP
In ceremonies held in conjunction with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 19, 2002, Sebastian Chuwa accepted the Spirit of the Land Award on behalf of the ABCP for his Environmental Education and Tree-Planting for Northern Tanzania. This award was presented to 10 US award winners and 5 international winners by Bill Nye, "The Science Guy". (See details about this year's awards ceremony and other winners below.)
In 1994, the International Olympic Committee adopted environment as the third principle of Olympism along with sport and culture. One of the primary goals of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee has been to ensure the protection of Utah's environment while staging the 2002 Winter Games. The Spirit of the Land program embodies a commitment to raise the general consciousness of its guests from around the world about green practices, to leave a legacy of environmental improvement and to honor individuals from around the world who have made substantial educational efforts on behalf of the environment.
The award presented to Sebastian was in honor of the programs for environmental education and tree-planting that were carried out as part of the 2000-2001 Lindbergh Grant which was presented to Sebastian by the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He was flown from Kilimanjaro to Salt Lake City courtesy of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee to personally accept his award plaque on stage with the other award winners.
Sebastian (third from the left) and other Spirit of the Land Award winners onstage during awards ceremony.
During the past ten years Sebastian has been active in organizing communities on Mt. Kilimanjaro to institute programs which protect the ecology of the mountain. The rich volcanic soil of Kilimanjaro makes it one of Tanzania's most important agricultural areas. Runoff from its slopes supply a large surrounding region with vital water for drinking, irrigation and hydrological power.
Working through the local school system, Sebastian has established 47 Malihai Clubs (youth conservation groups) which are teaching students the importance of sound ecological practices and organizing them in practical activities to help the environment. Each school group establishes a tree nursery and raises seedlings which they replant in deforested areas which need reclamation or distribute into the community to help raise the standard of living for those who live on the mountain.
Each year these Clubs host a 5-day Environmental Day celebration to raise environmental awareness on the mountain and to encourage replanting of local species. Malihai Clubs on Mt. Kilimanjaro have replanted over 500,000 trees, many of them along the overused routes that backpackers use in climbing the mountain. Sebastian is chairman of the Kilimanjaro Environmental Conservation Management Trust Fund (http://www.kilimanjarotrust.org/). AllAfrica.com, the leading provider of African news and information worldwide, as well as several other African news services have published articles about the Spirit of the Land Award. (Note: the ABCP website includes a page with environmental headlines from African newspapers updated daily provided by allafrica.com.)
This trip was Sebastian's first to the United States and was a great joy and pleasure for him. He was also able to visit friends whom he has made in his work guiding safaris in Tanzania as well as his colleagues James Harris and Bette Stockbauer, who administer the ABCP from their home in Red Rock, Texas. While there, he was able to engage in several days of intensive computer study on a new computer system purchased with a grant from the Cottonwood Foundation. The computer has digital video editing hardware and software and GPS and GIS mapping programs and capabilities (see photo below). Back home in Tanzania, he is going to use the new computer to facilitate his editing of videos made from footage he has taken with the camcorder provided by the Lindbergh Grant.
The new capabilities offered by this new computer system will greatly enhance his work in creating environmental educational materials and enable his documentation of the work of the project through the GIS/GPS mapping facilities. Bette and James gratefully acknowledge the SLOC for making possible their first in-person meeting with Sebastian and the recognition of their mutual work with the ABCP, as well as making possible the transport of the new computer system back from Texas to Sebastian's home in Tanzania.
In the Swahili language of Tanzania, we all say, "Asante Sana!" to the SLOC and its many dedicated volunteers and sponsors who made this all possible. Thank you very much!
James, Bette and Sebastian at Red Rock, TexasMarch 2, 2002
|Winter Olympics Environmental Awards Ceremony
Who: Third Annual "Spirit of the Land" awards ceremony
What: Beginning in 2000, Salt Lake 2002 honored organizations with the
"Spirit of the Land" award recognizing excellence in environmental
education in all areas of society, business, education, community,
youth, and government both nationally and internationally. Previous
awards were presented on Earth Day 2000 and 2001.
When: Monday, February 19, 2002 7:15 -8:00 p.m.
Where: Park City Live Site (on the top of the hill on Main Street in
downtown Park City). Park in the Park City "Park & Ride" lot, located off
of HWY 40. Take the convenient shuttle to town.
Bill Nye, the Science Guy will host the event recognizing 15 outstanding
environmental education programs from around the world. Several
celebrities may also be on-hand to help present the awards, including:
Jean-Michel Cousteau - international environmentalist, France; Sharon
Lawrence - actress, representative of the Earth Communications Office
(ECO), Los Angeles, CA; Mimi Rogers - actress, ECO representative;
Michael T. Weiss - actor, ECO representative.
A fireworks display will follow awards ceremony.
Please join us to honor our winners:
USA Award Winners
Going Places, Making Choices: Transportation and the Environment - Sarah
Cahill, National 4-H Council, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Campus Forestry: Schoolyard Explorers - Christine Imoff, TreePeople,
Inc., Beverly Hills, California
2001: A Water Odyssey - Stephanie Darst, Kentucky State Fair Board,
The Classroom: Environment for Learning - Ronald Warken, Chattahoochee
Nature Center, Inc., Roswell, Georgia
Windows on the Wild - Charles J. Ruffing, Eastman Kodak Company with the
World Wildlife Fund
Environmental Conservation of the Earth - Dr. Edward Dalton, National
Energy Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah
Business-Environment Learning and Leadership (Bell) Project - Liz Cook,
World Resources Institute
GreenWorks! - Kathy McGlauflin, American Forest Foundation
Bioregional Outdoor Education Project - Amy O'Conner, Four Corners
School of Outdoor Education, Monticello, Utah
"Let's Do the Bright Thing" - Bill Edmonds, Utah Power
International Award Winners
Sports for Life Programme - Dr. Elizabeth Odera, Sadili Oval Sports
Environmental Education and Tree-Planting Program for Northern Tanzania
- Sebastian Chuwa, African Blackwood Conservation Project
Cameron Highlands Nature Education Centre - Mathan Lal, WWF-Malaysia
Ecological Education of Children in Russia - Yelena Sedletskaya, Moscow
Children's Ecological Centre
Blue Thumb Project - a way of using drinking water wisely - Regional
Environmental Education Center in Krakow, Poland
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Last revised 21 Apr 2008.