Friendship Award winner applaud Chinese scientists' impressive production, openness for intl collaboration
Published: Feb 06, 2024 08:04 PM

Yvon Le Maho, a renowned French expert Photo: Deng Xiaoci/ GT

Yvon Le Maho, a renowned French expert Photo: Deng Xiaoci/ GT

Yvon Le Maho, a renowned French expert on biodiversity who just won the 2023 Chinese Government Friendship Award, commended Chinese scientists for making most impressive achievements in the field of wildlife preservation and biodiversity conservation over the past 10 years with significant increase in scientific production and their quality publication in the world's best journals. 

Maho, who is also a member of the French Academy of Sciences, made the remarks during a recent interview with the Global Times on the sidelines of an event held by the China Association of Science and Technology (CAST) in Beijing on Monday to celebrate his winning of the highest award available for foreign experts. 

A total of 50 foreign experts from 26 countries were commended for their outstanding contribution to China's reform and development at an award ceremony on Sunday held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing . The event which first began in 1991 has honored nearly 1,900 foreigners from over 80 countries and regions, according to the Xinhua News Agency. 

Maho told the Global Times that it still felt surreal to have received the award. Maho also said he felt really proud of receiving the award because his expertise is on biodiversity and the preservation of biodiversity is a major international concern.  

"China is making a huge effort to introduce foreign talents. It will continue to be attractive to the world's best talent in the future," said Maho.

"I plan to strengthen the collaboration with my Chinese colleagues. They have, in my view, already achieved an excellent scientific level," Maho said.

"I have been very impressed by the increase in the scientific production of Chinese scientist over the last 10 years, a fantastic effort. Their number of publications is growing, the quality is increasing, and it's getting published in the best journal," Maho said. 

I think I have been almost everywhere in China and my greatest pleasure is when I meet Chinese student, because they are eager to have international contact, he said. 

"I think international collaboration is very important for Chinese scientists because you are improving your excellence through international collaboration. And the condition for international collaboration is mutual benefit."
French expert Yvon Le Maho (center) displays the Chinese Government Friendship Award medal on February 5, 2024. Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT

French expert Yvon Le Maho (center) displays the Chinese Government Friendship Award medal on February 5, 2024. Photo: Deng Xiaoci/GT


Moho revealed that although he is renowned for his study of penguins, his work is not restricted to that subject alone. "I am working on a collaboration project between French and Chinese scientists on tropical animals. We have plans for that."

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, Maho, as a dual academician of the European Academy of Sciences and the French Academy of Sciences, naturally carries special significance in receiving this honor, according to Chinese scientists who attended the Monday CAST event.

China and France have deep cooperation in the field of biodiversity conservation. In recent years, China's efforts in wildlife conservation and research have also been highly recognized internationally. The close exchange and mutual support between Chinese and French scholars in this field will serve as a good example for building a community with a shared future for mankind, they said. 

Zhang Zhibin, the Executive Director of the International Zoological Society and professor at Hainan University, told the Global Times that "Maho is not only highly accomplished academically but also a renowned scholar who has long been committed to promoting scientific cooperation and exchanges between China and France. His award is well-deserved."