AWARD CEREMONY: Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki congratulates Luo Hong when awarding him the Moran of the Burning Spear in Nairobi, Kenya on November 29 (FILE)
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki honored Chinese citizen Luo Hong for his efforts to promote conservation in Kenya.
The prize-giving ceremony was held on November 29, 2011 at the president's Harambee House Office in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. President Mwai Kibaki congratulated Luo Hong after awarding him the Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) for his contribution of promoting Kenya and ecological conservation around the world.
President Kibaki spoke highly of Luo's volunteer work at the ceremony. He said Luo presented the most beautiful scenes of Kenya to the world through his photographs, building a bridge between Kenya and the world. Moreover, Luo often donated funds to support environmental protection projects in Kenya, making an outstanding contribution to conserving the habitat of wild animals.
When receiving the award, Luo said he hoped people could know much more about Kenya through his work. "I believe that more people will be touched by the magnificent and beautiful scenes of Kenya. Let us protect our planet together," Luo said.
The MBS has been awarded annually by the Kenyan Government to those who make great contributions to the development of Kenya since the independence of Kenya in 1963. So far, the MBS has been awarded to only two foreign citizens. One is former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, and the other is Luo Hong.
Born in 1967 in Sichuan Province, Luo, President of China's biggest cake bakery chain Holiland, is also widely known for his achievements in photography and environmental conservation. He has devoted himself to environmental protection work at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a photographer since 1985. He traveled to Africa for the first time to photograph wildlife in 2001. During that trip his interest in wildlife and the natural environment was heightened. He has returned several times to further his work. Then he published books, magazines and brochures in Chinese to promote Kenya and held many photographic exhibitions at the UN headquarters in New York, Cambridge University in Britain and many other places. In 2006, he hosted a photographic exhibition entitled The Earth, Our Homeland in Nairobi. In 2009, Luo was given the title of Climate Hero by the UNEP.
Kenya has the largest wild life reserves in the world. In 1972, the United Nations located the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi. For a long time, this African country has not only been an example of environment protection, but also the holy land for environmentalists.