As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the World Heritage Convention, former IUCN Director General Dr Lee Talbot has been awarded by the US Secretary of State for his leadership in helping to make the Convention a reality.
Dr Talbot was recently presented with a certificate on behalf of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for his outstanding contributions in establishing the World Heritage Convention.
“Dr Talbot has been recognized as an acknowledged leader in the shaping of national and international environmental policies and principals,” said Assistant Secretary of Interior Rachel Jacobson presenting the award.
“Dr Talbot's work to help promote and shape the Convention, first at IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and later as Chief Scientist and Director of International Affairs at the Council on Environmental Quality was instrumental in turning the concept of a “World Heritage Trust” into the reality of the World Heritage Convention. This is but one of his many enduring legacies,” she added.
It was Dr Talbot who led the day-to-day negotiations on the development of the Convention, advancing it not only within the US government and at UNESCO, but also with the wider international preservation and conservation communities. Thanks to his efforts, the Convention brought together the organizations and interests focused on natural conservation and historical preservation, mirroring the US National Park System.
“Today the World Heritage Convention is the most widely ascribed to international agreement for nature and cultural preservation with 190 State Parties and nearly 1,000 sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. All of these sites and the very idea that the international community has a stake in their preservation will forever be linked to your important contributions to global conservation,” says a letter to Dr Talbot from Secretaries Clinton and Salazar.