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CI Vice-President, International Communications, Mr. Haroldo Castro said it is the fifth edition of the contest since it was instituted in 1999 and the sponsors are extremely happy with the results.
He said he has been visiting Guyana for the past 10 years and numerous stories could be derived from here, as the country is one of the most important in relation to biodiversity.
Apart from Guyana, the rivalry also takes place in Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Ghana.
The objective here is to increase knowledge of biodiversity in Guyana, recognise the outstanding work of Guyanese environmental journalists and stimulate their continued efforts at covering related issues.
CI Communications Manager in Georgetown, Mr. Lennox Cornette recalled that eight journalists participated last year, submitting a total of 21 stories.
He said, this time, they are anticipating an increase in the number of entries by the closing date, June 2.
All the submissions must have been previously published in newspapers as the competition is judged only in the print media.
Cornette said the award is very important for the promotion of local biodiversity and he encouraged all print media journalists to become involved.
Topics that can be written on include eco-tourism, protected areas, conservation of biodiversity, environmental education, sustainable development, scientific research and findings.
The awarding is done in a cost effective manner through the Internet, which allows organisers to coordinate the initiative with broad accessibility to the CI web site.
The grand 2003 winner will be announced by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) in New Orleans, United States, where leaders in environmental studies worldwide are to meet from September 10 to 14.
Second prize is G$50,000 and a journalism resource kit from ICFJ while the third is the kit and G$25,000.
Meanwhile, Cornette, reporting on a hinterland trip he took with Castro, said the situation in the Kunuku Mountains is a crisis into which the Government should look.
He said it could lead to a loss of habitat for several species of Guyana’s wildlife, including bats and birds, the otter and arapaima fish.