o the people of Kachemak Bay and friends and supporters of The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies:
Working for the United Nations and its Environment Programme (UNEP) is not a straightforward matter as we often do not see the results of our efforts until later, and sometimes much later, than the day we finish the project or report that consumes us in the short term.
Imagine my satisfaction when I met with Michael McBride in April who introduced Kachemak Bay and the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies to me. We learned how a message of environmental awareness and community participation from UNEP 30 years ago was picked up in the Alaskan wilderness by Diane and Michael, who were able to prove that protecting and living harmoniously in their environment is possible.
The fact that the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and the Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge has been able to share this message with those who have come to Kachemak Bay over the years has created awareness of the value of the Alaskan Wilderness to a growing community. I congratulate them and the community for your determination and success.
I encourage those of you hearing this message to follow on Diane and Michael's lead and look for opportunities to make our economies greener so that future generations can also enjoy the wonders of this planet, whether in the Alaskan wilderness or the plains of the Serengeti in East Africa.
My very best wishes to The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies on your 30th anniversary.
Peter Gilruth, director
Division of Early Warning and Assessment
United Nations Environment Programme