CABI scientist awarded highest Chinese honour for foreign experts
Ulrich Kuhlmann, Regional Director of CABI’s Swiss centre, highlighted the importance of partnerships after being honoured with the Chinese government’s Friendship Award in Beijing on 28 September 2012.
Set up in 1991, the Friendship Award is the highest honour awarded to foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China's economic, scientific and social progress.
The award was presented to Ulrich for his many years of dedication and the cooperation between CABI and China in the area of sustainable agriculture, particularly the establishment and successful operation of a joint research laboratory between the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and CABI.
The joint laboratory has underpinned many projects already since its establishment in 2008. The partners in the joint laboratory work together on invasive species, integrated pest management (IPM) techniques and development of biopesticides. Successful projects vary from increasing of rice production in China’s Mekong region to facilitating a 500 strong congress on biological invasions.
Ulrich was delighted with receiving the award, “I feel extremely honoured to have received this prestigious award from the Chinese Government” he said. However, he was at pains to stress that his work was not done alone, “I see this award more as a recognition of an entire team. It demonstrates to me that CABI has a tremendous amount of support within the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS).”
He noted that the award “is a recognition of the entire partnership between CABI, MoA and CAAS”, emphasising that strong partnerships are key in development, whether it is scientific, social or economic. Going forward Ulrich believes that the award will ensure that current linkages are strengthened further. “The Joint MoA-CABI Laboratory will benefit from this award which in turn will help to further strengthen the CABI-China collaboration” he said.
Together with the other award winners, Ulrich also met Chinese Premier of the State Council, H.R. Wen Jiabao, in the Great Hall of the People. After this reception, Wen Jiabao invited the experts and their families to attend the State Banquet to mark the 63rd anniversary of the foundation of the People's Republic of China.