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UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation

About the Prize

Initiated in 1989 as the 'the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation', it is awarded since 1991 every second year for outstanding contributions by individuals, groups of individuals, institutes or organizations in the field of the environment. It consists of a diploma and a financial reward of US$100,000 and it is awarded during the World Science Forum. In-line with a decision of the UNESCO Executive Board, the title of the Prize is since 2019 slightly modified to read 'The UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation' to better reflect its interdisciplinary nature.


"The conservation of the environment is the responsability of all of us, a responsibility that knows no political boundaries"

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992





Statement by the Minister of Education of Oman

"The Sultanate of Oman has for a long time been concerned about the threat to the ecosystems of the Earth resulting from economic development.

The Sultanate of Oman has established institutions and enacted legislation to preserve the country’s rich natural environmental resources. In addition, the educational system works towards increasing awareness and guidance in the fields of citizenship and environmental education with the aim of encouraging students to recognize and appreciate the importance of the sustainable use of the environment.

To support international efforts in the field of environment conservation, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said declared, during his visit to the UNESCO headquarters in 1989, the establishment of the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation."

Dr. Madiha Ahmed Al-Shaibani

Minister of Education
Chairperson of the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science



Statement by the Director-General of UNESCO

"In the light of the recent Global Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), launched at UNESCO, and its appeal for urgent action to counter the rapid deterioration of biodiversity, initiatives such as the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation have acquired new relevance and significance. The ambition of the Prize to bring attention to individuals and support them in their endeavor has never seemed so crucial in a time when the living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers.

This Prize is a recognition of the time and energy spent in forging a more sustainable world. It also represents an invitation for every citizens of the world to act in favor of the preservation of our planet for the generation to come. It has a crucial role to play in highlighting role models forthe mobilization of all, particularly the youth, for climate and biodiversity conservation. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman, understanding the pressing need for environmental action as early as 1989, initiated and funded this Prize to reward outstanding contributions to the preservation of our common natural heritage.

In the past, several of the Prize laureates have been recognized for their work in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves – UNESCO’s two main instruments for environmental conservation and sustainable development. UNESCO World Heritage sites, biosphere reserves and Global Geoparks – spanning a total surface equivalent to that of China – contain some of the richest combinations of terrestrial and marine biodiversity, and possess geological heritage of international value. They often serve as living laboratories for food practices in the conservation of wild species, water management and ecological restauration, as well as social adaption and local community engagement. Their protection and sustainable management are critical for the safeguard of the planet."

Audrey Azoulay

UNESCO Director-General