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CIFAL leader wins international recognition

By Tanya McLaren

AN environmental campaigner based in the local area has received international recognition.

The UN training centre in Forres has won international recognition
The UN training centre in Forres has won international recognition

May East who is executive director, of the UN affiliated agency CIFAL Findhorn has joined a global top 100 list for world leaders on sustainability.

Ms East, who works from The Forres Enterprise Park, joins the ranks of scientists, academics, artists, company CEOs and Nobel Prize winners.

She was named as one of the world’s 100 Global Sustainability leaders by ABC Carbon, a renowned climate change company.

CIFAL Findhorn is one of nine UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) agencies across the globe, and the only centre based in Northern Europe.

Established in 2006, the agency has firmly taken the sustainability agenda to heart, putting together cutting-edge seminars, conferences and training sessions on the green growth agenda in Northern Europe, aimed at local authorities, national governments, and public and private sector organizations.

CIFAL Findhorn recently partnered with Moray Chamber of Commerce to launch a new sustainability award for the business community, the Counting Carbon Awards, designed to encourage a low carbon approach within the private sector.

The award recognises businesses that have made an outstanding effort to reduce their carbon footprint, and was presented to Forres based Tio Ltd, an organic vegetable producer, at the Chamber’s recent annual awards ceremony.

CIFAL’s operations in Scotland are set to expand with the opening of an office in Edinburgh office in 2012.

Ms East, esaid: "I am very proud that our work in Moray and beyond has been recognised by one of the world’s leading sustainability companies. I am immensely grateful to the team at CIFAL Findhorn, and our many partner agencies across Scotland, who have worked tirelessly to promote the sustainability agenda. This nomination is a just reward for their hard work."

She said that CIFAL’s expansion into Edinburgh will extend it’s reach and deepen its engagement with key decision makers in Scotland.

"It will give greater focus to our campaign for improved accessibility and transport links," she said, "and allow us to strengthen CIFAL Scotland’s contribution to shaping the future, together with other distinguished academic, financial and political institutions."

MSP Richard Lochhead, who is cabinet secretary for the environment and rural affairs congratulated Ms East on the achievement.

"CIFAL Findhorn has been involved in world-leading sustainability training, which has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of May East," he said. "This recognition of May’s contribution to the sustainability agenda is fantastic news and another feather in the cap for CIFAL Findhorn as an organisation."

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