Our Appreciation

ISME is deeply saddened over the demise of its former executive officers, colleagues and friends. ISME wishes to express sincere appreciation to their contribution and respects to their achievements. May their legacies continue to live within the hearts and minds of all who knew them.

Prof. Sanga Sabhasri
1933-1999
Prof. Sanga Sabhasri
Thailand
President of ISME (1993-1999)
H. E. Noboru Nakahira
1930-2019
H. E. Noboru Nakahira
Japan
Vice-President of ISME (1999-2019)
Dr. Martha Vannucci
1921-2021
Dr. Martha Vannucci
Italy
Vice-President of ISME (1990-1999)
Acting President of ISME (1999)
Dr. Marc Steyaert
1934-2021
Dr. Marc Steyaert
France
Treasure of ISME (1996-1999)
Vice-President of ISME (1999-2005)
Dr. Arvind G. Untawale
1940-2019
Dr. Arvind G. Untawale
France
CTA of ISME Mangrove Project
in Gujarat, India (2009-2019)
Mr. Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez
1944-2017
Mr. Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez
Colombia
Coordinator of ITTO Mangrove Project in Colombia (1995-2001)


Prof. Sanga Sabhasri

Prof. Sanga Sabhasri
Prof. Sanga Sabhasri

Prof. Sanga Sabhasri (who was the President of ISME 1993-1999) was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 1933. He started his career as a university professor of Forest Ecology, and later became the Minister of Science, Technology and Energy of Thailand. He had been an active member of many national and international scientific committees, including the Royal Academy of Science of Thailand, and the UN Advisory Committee on Science and Technology. He served as the Chairman of several universities in Thailand and the Executive Board Chairman of the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT). He received various royal decorations from Thailand, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Prof. Sanga was a world leading scientist and an active policy maker. Throughout his profession, he had implemented and strengthen environmental projects in Thailand, and made great efforts towards the conservation of natural forests including mangroves through wise utilization and rational management.

He died at age 66 due to illness. May his soul rest in peace.



H. E. Noboru Nakahira

H. E. Noboru Nakahira
H. E. Noboru Nakahira

Ambassador Noboru Nakahira was an Advisory Committee Officer for the Cabinet Secretariat and was the Chief of General Affairs Section for Administration of the Foreign Ministry of Japan. He then became Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Canada. He was diplomatic but was very much concerned about global warming, and of course, nature conservation including mangrove ecosystems.

Ambassador Nakahira had a very close relation with Forestry Agency of Japan. He was a member of the Forestry Council and was very interested in mangrove ecosystems.

Since 1999, he was Vice-President of ISME and was very supportive of the activities of ISME via the Executive Committee that he chaired.

He died at age 89 due to illness. May his soul rest in peace.



Dr. Martha Vannucci

Dr. Martha Vannucci
Dr. Martha Vannucci

Dr. M. Vannucci was born in Florence, Italy in 1921, became a citizen of Brazil from 1930, and lived in New Delhi in India from 1970 for over 40 years. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Sao Paulo. Specialized in Biological Oceanography with more than 100 scientific papers, her university career culminated with the post of Director-General of the Oceanographic Institute of the University of Sao Paulo (1963-1969).

In 1966 she was the first woman elected as a full member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. She joined UNESCO in 1970 as a Curator of the International Indian Ocean Expedition Plankton Collections at the Indian Ocean Biological Centre at Cochin, India. Subsequently, she was appointed UNESCO and UNDP Consultant on Ecological and Environmental projects in Asia, Latin America and Africa. From 1982 to 1990, she was the Chief Technical Adviser of UNDP/UNESCO Mangrove Projects for Asia and Pacific, which led to establishment of ISME in 1990.

Dr. M. Vannucci was a Vice-President of ISME from 1990 to 1999, and the Acting President in 1999, and Honorary Adviser since 2000. She devoted most of her life working on oceans, coastal and marine environments, and mangrove ecosystems. She was granted the Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit by the President of Brazil in 1997. She was strict and yet witty and charming. To many people across the world, she was a dear friend and a teacher with great influence. Many mangrove scientists and personnel call her “Mother of Mangroves.”



Dr. Marc Steyaert

Dr. Marc Steyaert
Dr. Marc Steyaert

Dr. M. Steyaert was born in 1934. He spent his young days in an agronomic research station in Africa, where he was trained as an agronomist. He obtained his doctorate degree in Oceanography from the University of Paris and became a marine scientist. He began his scientific career in Antarctica, participating in several oceanographic expeditions during the 1960s, alternating with research on the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1967, he joined UNESCO’s office of Oceanography, which later became the Division of Marine Sciences. In 1973, he was the Director of Division of Marine Sciences and initiated formation of Coastal Marine Project (COMAR). Recognizing the importance of mangrove ecosystems, he initiated the implementation of two UNESCO/UNDP regional mangrove projects from 1982 to 1990. He worked with mangrove scientists and government authorities which led to the inauguration of ISME and its existence today. After retiring from UNESCO in 1995. Dr. M. Steyaert was the Treasurer (1996–1999), and the Vice President (1999–2005) of ISME. He was a great man, a competent scientist, and an outstanding oceanographer who devoted his life on coastal and marine environments, and mangrove ecosystems. He was modest, gentle, generous, and always ready to assist and help others.



Dr. Arvind G. Untawale

Dr. Arvind G. Untawale
Dr. Arvind G. Untawale

Dr. Arvind Gajanan Untawale was a Council Member of ISME since 1990, and a Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) to the ISME/Tokio Marine & Nichido mangrove project in Gujarat, India since 2009. Dr. Untawale was a botanist, joined the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in 1973, and later became Deputy Director and Advisor of the NIO. He worked on various areas of coastal and marine biodiversity, including beach dunes, marine algae and mangrove ecosystem. He joined ISME in 1990, and served as one of ISME’s Council Members ever since, and was a CTA to ISME’s project in India since 2009.

Dr. Untawale was Executive Secretary of Mangrove Society of India (MSI), which was formed in 1990 in Mumbai with a vision to conserve Indian mangroves by adapting environment friendly, scientifically sound technique/methodologies. For his dedicated tireless work, he was known as the mangrove man of India. Dr. Untawale passed away on 7th September 2019 after a brief illness at the age of 79. ISME extends the deepest condolence of the society to Dr. Untawale’s family and friends. May his soul rest in peace. The great mangrove man of India will always be remembered for his lifetime dedication to mangroves.



Mr. Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez

Mr. Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez
Mr. Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez

Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez started his career as a Forest Engineer at the Faculty of Forest Engineering in Francisco José de Caldas District University in 1968. There he served as a prominent teacher and researcher. He taught students the basics of biodiversity conservation for almost three decades. He was the founder and one of editors of the magazine called Revista Colombia Forestal. Later, he was associated with the new National Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (Inderena) that gave rise to the Colombian Ministry of the Environment.

From 1995-2001, he coordinated the ITTO project Phases I and II on Conservation and Management for Multiple Use and Development of Colombian Mangrove Swamps (PD 171/91). Together with Víctor Vásquez and Jorge Hernández, they set up the Biocolombia Foundation, which conducted studies on the Formation of a National System of Protected Areas that identified priority conservation sites of the country. Among his many awards was the First Kenton Miller Award for innovation for the sustainability of protected areas awarded by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2007.

Heliodoro stood out for his warm personality and dedication to the conservation and sustainable managements of mangrove ecosystems in Colombia. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing him, he is a good friend, colleague and family man. We all missed him greatly when he departed on 12 February 2017, and left Gladys his wife and Paola and Heliodoro, their children.

In 2019, a paper entitled ‘Mangroves of Colombia revisited in an era of open data, global changes, and socio-political transition: Homage to Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez’ was published in honour of his contribution to mangroves in Colombia.

By: Ricardo Álvarez-León, Expert in Biology and Chemistry-UBJTL, Marine Biologist-UBJTL,
M.Sc. Biological and Fisheries Oceanography-UNAM, M.Sc. in Bioethics-ULIA.
ricardoalvarezleon@gmail.com