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Vincentian plant pathologist named for Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards

Vincentian plant pathologist named for Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards

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A Vincentian plant pathologist is among three persons who have been named Laureates for 2012 by the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence.{{more}}

Professor Leonard O’Garro, whose work has been principally concerned with the use of science to treat or eradicate diseases that attack food crops in the region, and the development and adoption of biotechnology and biosafety protocols in CARICOM, will receive a cheque for TT$ half-million, a medal, and a citation at a ceremony in Port of Spain in early May.

The announcement of the Laureates was made at the TATIL Building in Port of Spain, Trinidad, by Michael Mansoor, the chairman of the ANSA Caribbean Awards’s regional Eminent Persons Panel selection committee.

Professor O’Garro, who was born in St. Vincent, has had careers as a distinguished academic and a scientist who has ensured that his work is of direct value to the long-term sustainable development of the region, in the crucial area of food security.

He was awarded his PhD in Biology from the University of the West Indies in 1986, whereupon he joined the faculty of pure and applied sciences at Cave Hill. He was appointed Professor of Plant Pathology in 1999.

He left UWI in 2005 to become the United Nations Biosafety Co-ordinator, managing the United Nations Environmental Programme project for the Development of National Biosafety Frameworks. He was responsible for the Caribbean region’s implementation in compliance with the Cartegena Protocol for Biosafety.

His work has directly affected all the countries of the OECS, by providing specialized training to create crop protection means and methodologies in those countries (and Barbados) for specialized or with the Cartegena Protoco important crops, including pepper, tomato, onion, yams, and papaya. He has also been key in designing the University of the West Indies’s bio-technology thrust for and on behalf of Caricom countries.

The next major area of research Prof O’Garro is contemplating is the solutions to problems anticipated from climate change. He is presently the Senior International Consultant/Adviser to the UWI on Biotechnology/Biosafety.

The other 2012 Laureates are Paula Lucie-Smith, an educator from Trinidad and Tobago, and George Simon, an archaeologist and painter from Guyana.

In his statement at the announcement of the Laureates on February 13, Mansoor said the regional programme is one of the philanthropic activities of the ANSA McAl Foundation.

“Our awards programme recognizes and pays tribute to the excellence of the careers and contri-

butions of our Laureates and also facilitates their future work from a monetary stand point. With the 2012 Awards we would have contributed $7.5 million to advance the work of our laureates.

Each year we review the biographies of several distinguished Caribbean achievers, and it hasbeen our experience that there is an abundance of talent and a surprisingly large number of individuals who pursue careers of excellence without great fanfare, and who have contributed and in our view will continue to contribute bountifully to the advancement of Caribbean life in the Arts, Sciences, and Civic sphere,” Masoor said.

This is the fifth set of Laureates named since the awards were launched in 2005. The first set of Laureates was named in 2006. The Awards were initially biennial, but have been, since 2010, annually.

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