Happy World Environment Day!

Raquel Gutierrez Najera is set to receive an award today, to recognise her work on the campaign to protect Mexico’s Lake Chapala, the country’s largest natural lake.

The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide sent out this email today:

We congratulate ELAW partner Dr. Raquel Gutierrez Najera who will receive a 2009 Environmental Merit Award today for her inspired work protecting Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest fresh water lake.

This award recognizes Raquel’s tremendous work helping citizens speak out for the wise use of Mexico’s natural resources. ELAW has worked closely with Raquel since 1995.

Raquel helped secure international protection for Lake Chapala, which was declared a Ramsar site earlier this year. Under the Ramsar treaty, it will be protected as a wetland of “international importance.” More than 10 million people live in the Lake Chapala watershed and the area is threatened by polluting factories, agricultural run-off, and overuse.

News of Raquel’s award prompted messages of congratulations from ELAW partners in Papua New Guinea, Bolivia, Chile, Jamaica, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Sri Lanka.

You can check out their blog specifically set up to put the spotlight on environmental champions.

The Mexican government is hosting this year’s World Environment Day.