Bangladesh suffered widespread damage as a result of Cyclone Amphan. Yet the Sundarbans mangrove forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the country from further destruction, as it has done countless times before.
7 conservationists win Whitley Awards 2015
7 conservationists have been awarded the “Green Oscars” for their commitment in wildlife conservation
Animals once roamed the entire planet, facing no boundaries, except those imposed by unbiased Mother Nature. Nowadays, animals have to face enormous challenges to survive, including direct and indirect threats posed by humans. However, there are extraordinary people who decided to dedicate their own life to protecting the most endangered species.
The Whitley Awards, a sort of international Oscars for environment protection, have been established in order to honour extraordinary people’s actions aimed to safeguard nature’s precious heritage. The Whitley Awards are organised by the Whitley Fund, a UK non-profit organisation dedicated to support conservation projects all over the world.
“The Whitley Fund for Nature is unique. It puts its money where it really counts, where every penny counts,” said Sir David Attenborough, trustee of the Whitley Fund for Nature. The award ceremony was held on 29 April at the Royal Geographical Society of London, and was presented by HRH Princess Anne.
7 conservationists have been honoured for their effort in safeguarding endangered wildlife. The winners received 35,000 pounds for funding their own project.
Panut Hadisiswoyo, for the Ape (Pongo abelii) conservation project in the tropical rainforests of the Leuser Ecosystem of Sumatra, Indonesia, which is the only place in the world inhabited by elephants, orang-utans, tigers, rhinos, and other stunning animal species.
Pramod Patil, for the defence of the great Indian bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), one of the world’s largest and most endangered bird species. Today, there are less than 200 individuals of this extraordinary volatile living in the wild.
Arnaud Desbiez, for the protection of the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), the mysterious and little known large mammal of Cerrado, the Brazilian equatorial Savannah.
Inaoyom Imong, for protecting the Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) in the Nigerian mountains. This primate is the world’s rarest gorilla species: there are only 300 individuals surviving in the wild. It is on the brink of extinction.
Jayson Ibañez, for the protection of the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) on Mindanao Island. This bird of prey is the world’s largest eagle, and it is able to grasp huge preys whilst flying. The harpy eagle is threatened by deforestation, causing a dramatic drop in the range of the species.
Ananda Kumar, for developing communication systems to reduce human-elephant conflict in southern India. 400 people and 100 elephants die every year because of accidents. The initiative envisages the use of scouts monitoring elephants’ movements, and when an elephant is spotted, alerts are sent via text message to all those who reside within a few kilometres, allowing safe transfers.
A historic win for the Ashaninka of Brazil as they receive compensation for deforestation on their land
On top of a 2.4 million dollar compensation, the indigenous Ashaninka people will receive an official apology from the companies who deforested their lands in the 1980s.
The tapir was reintroduced into Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, the country’s most at-risk ecosystem. The species can play a key role in the forest’s recovery.
Forests are home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. This year’s International Day of Forests highlights the urgent changes needed to save them.
After a legal battle that lasted two years, Indonesia’s Supreme Court has revoked the permit to mine for coal in the forests of South Kalimantan in Borneo.
The list of human and animal victims of the Australia wildfires keeps growing – one species might already have gone extinct – as the smoke even reaches South America.
Areas where the FARC guerrilla used to hold power in Colombia have faced record deforestation. Farmers cut down trees, burn land and plant grass for cows. Because, “what else can we do for a living here in the Colombian Amazon”? An intimate report from the heart of the felled forest in Caquetá.
Refusing the anthropocentric vision and respecting the laws of ecology is the only way to safeguard the future of our and all other species, Sea Shepherd President Paul Watson argues in this op-ed.
The 2019 edition of International Mountain Day is “Mountains matter for youth”, highlighting the need to bring young people back to highland areas to take care of their cultural and natural resources.