CEC member Vedharajan Balaji received the 2014 State Environmental Award in Tamil Nadu, India in recognition for his work organizing marine environmental education events among youths. The award was given by Tamil Nadu State environmental minister Thoppu Venkatachalam during World Environmental Day celebrations on June 5 in Chennai, South India.
This most recent award follows a number of achievements of Dr. Vedharajan Balaji, who has been a member of IUCN CEC since 2012. He received a CEC young professional award during the World Conservation Congress in 2012, and has been active with his organization OMCAR Foundation, which motivates youth to conserve Palk Bay coastal ecosystems and sustainable fisheries. In the last two years alone, his team organized field trips and school presentations, as well as a live demonstration of mangrove nurseries and participatory mangrove plantation for about 8,480 students who hail from rural areas.
The Tamil Nadu State government honoured Dr. Balaji with the prestigious “Aringar Anna Environmental Award 2014” for his recent environmental education and communication activities.
On receiving the award, Dr. Balaji said: “IUCN CEC has given me first international recognition in 2012, which motivated me to lead my team to reach more youths for conveying environmental conservation message in 2013. I thank Tamil Nadu Government for selecting me for this award for 2014, and this is another inspiration to strengthen our education and communication for marine conservation”.
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