June 5, 2009
We congratulate ELAW partner Dr. Raquel Gutierrez Najera who will receive a 2009 Environmental Merit Award today for her inspired work protecting Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest fresh water lake.
This award recognizes Raquel's tremendous work helping citizens speak out for the wise use of Mexico's natural resources. ELAW has worked closely with Raquel since 1995.
Raquel helped secure international protection for Lake Chapala, which was declared a Ramsar site earlier this year. Under the Ramsar treaty, it will be protected as a wetland of "international importance." More than 10 million people live in the Lake Chapala watershed and the area is threatened by polluting factories, agricultural run-off, and overuse.
News of Raquel's award prompted messages of congratulations from ELAW partners in Papua New Guinea, Bolivia, Chile, Jamaica, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Sri Lanka.
Mexico's National Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources will present Raquel's award as part of a UN World Environment Day celebration.
World Environment Day is hosted every year on June 5th in a different city around the globe, to draw the world's attention to environmental issues and connect the sense of their urgency with the entire global community, especially lawmakers. This year's host is Mexico.
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide
P.S. Read about other environmental heroes on our blog: ELAW Spotlight.