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Photos: Meet the 2018 ‘Green Oscars’ winners

first_imgThe six winners of 2018 Whitley Award are Munir Virani of Kenya; Shahriar Caesar Rahman of Bangladesh; Kerstin Forsberg of Peru; Dominique Bikaba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Anjali Chandraraj Watson of Sri Lanka; and Olivier Nsengimana of Rwanda.Each recipient was awarded £40,000 ($56,000) in project funding over one year at an awards ceremony held at the Royal Geographic Society in London, U.K., on April 25.A seventh conservationist, Pablo “Popi” Garcia Borboroglu from Argentina, who won the Whitley Award in 2010, received the Whitley Gold Award for his commitment to safeguarding the world’s penguin species. Six conservationists received the conservation world’s “Green Oscars” at an awards ceremony at the Royal Geographic Society in London, U.K., on April 25.The Whitley Award, granted by the U.K.-based charity Whitley Fund for Nature, honors local environmental heroes who work in grassroots nature conservation, often facing “humanitarian, environmental and political challenges in the projects they undertake.” This year marks 25 years of the prestigious award.The six winners were chosen from a pool of over 136 applicants from 48 countries. Each recipient was awarded £40,000, or about $56,000, in project funding over one year, according to a press release from the Whitley Fund for Nature.A seventh conservationist, Pablo “Popi” Garcia Borboroglu from Argentina, recipient of the 2010 Whitley Award, won the Whitley Gold Award for his commitment to safeguarding the world’s penguin species. The Whitley Gold Award is given to an “exceptional Whitley Award alumnus for outstanding contribution,” and includes a £60,000 ($84,000) project prize.Shahriar Caesar Rahman, who won the 2018 Whitley Award for his work in Bangladesh, said at the award ceremony: “Tonight, I would like to share this award with the local communities who have shared with me their homes, their wisdom, and their trust. And to them I say, I will not let them down.”2018 Whitley Award winners from left to right: Shahriar Caesar Rahman, Anjali Chandraraj Watson, Kerstin Forsberg, Pablo ‘Popi’ Garcia Borboroglu, Munir Virani, Dominique Bikaba, Olivier Nsengimana. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Meet the 2018 Whitley Award winners:Munir Virani, KenyaA former cricketer, Munir Virani is now vice president of The Peregrine Fund, a non-profit group that works to conserve birds of prey around the world. Virani focuses on saving endangered vultures in Africa’s Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.Virani’s team works to eradicate poisoning of vultures, a major cause of their decline across Africa. When big cats like lions kill livestock, pastoralists sometimes lace carcasses with poison in retaliation, hoping to reduce predator numbers. Vultures, which scavenge on carcasses, often become collateral damage. In just the Maasai Mara, vultures have declined by 50 percent over 30 years, in large part due to poisoned bait, according to BirdLife International. Virani’s work helps ensure that these birds remain an integral part of the African savanna.Munir Virani focuses on saving endangered vultures in Africa’s Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Vultures often become collateral damage when livestock herders poison carcasses to reduce conflict with predators. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Virani’s team is training conservation leaders among the communities to help monitor and protect vultures. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Shahriar Caesar Rahman, BangladeshShahriar Caesar Rahman, co-founder of the non-profit Creative Conservation Alliance, is working to preserve Asia’s largest tortoise in the remote Chittagong Hill tracts (CHT), on the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar.Rahman’s team not only rediscovered the Asian giant tortoise (Manouria emys), previously thought to be extinct, but also found a new species of forest turtle in the CHT. His team has also trained members of indigenous tribes living in the region, many of them former hunters, as biologists. These trained “parabiologists” now help in documenting and protecting the CHT’s wildlife. Rahman’s team has also created a market for the sale of indigenous crafts, reviving cultures that are on the verge of being lost.Read Mongabay’s 2016 interview with Rahman here.Shahriar Caesar Rahman works in the remote Chittagong Hill tracts on the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Former hunter-turned-parabiologists setting up camera traps in remote locations of Chittagong Hill Tracts. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Rahman’s team has created a market for the sale of indigenous crafts. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Kerstin Forsberg, PeruKerstin Forsberg, a marine biologist and founder of the NGO Planeta Océano, is working to conserve giant manta rays (Manta birostris) in Peru.Kerstin’s NGO has lobbied to get manta rays legal protection in Peru. She also works with local fishermen to reduce accidental bycatch of the species as well as take leadership roles in conserving giant manta rays, especially through ecotourism. Her team also engages with youths and other citizen scientists to monitor giant manta ray populations.Kerstin Forsberg is working to conserve giant manta rays in Peru. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Giant manta ray. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Her team engages with children to raise awareness about giant manta rays. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Dominique Bikaba, Democratic Republic of the CongoDominique Bikaba, founder of the NGO Strong Roots, is working to protect and conserve the extremely rare Grauer’s gorilla, also known as the eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), found only in the mountain forests of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.Mining, poaching and civil unrest pose severe threats to the species. Bikaba’s team hopes to reduce the rapid decline of the gorillas by working with local people to secure a forest corridor that will connect gorilla populations in the Kahuzi-Biega and Itombwe nature reserves. Through his efforts, Bikaba has succeeded in getting communities to agree to commit 3,000 square kilometers (1,160 square miles) of forest for gorilla conservation. At the same time, the team is working to improve local food security to reduce the communities’ dependence on forest resources.Dominique Bikaba is working to protect the Grauer’s gorilla. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.The rare Grauer’s gorilla is found only in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Bikaba’s team is working to improve local food security to reduce the communities’ dependence on forest resources. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Anjali Chandraraj Watson, Sri LankaAnjali Watson, co-founder of the Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust in Sri Lanka, is an ecologist working to foster coexistence between humans and leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya) in the country’s Central Highlands, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site.Watson’s team trains local communities as “leopard watchers” to help respond to leopards entering villages, and to reduce snaring of the big cats. Her team also engages with tea estate workers and owners in the landscape to participate in conservation via environmental certification schemes. Watson hopes to establish a protected corridor that will connect two reserves in the region and help reduce human-leopard conflict incidents.Anjali Watson is working to protect leopards in Sri Lanka. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Leopard habitats are severely fragmented in Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands because of large tea estates. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Watson’s team engages with tea estate owners to help reduce human-leopard interaction. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Olivier Nsengimana, RwandaVeterinarian Olivier Nsengimana is working to save the endangered grey crowned crane (Balearica regulorum) in Rwanda. The birds are threatened not just by the destruction of their wetland habitats, but also by a booming illegal pet trade, with fewer than 500 grey crowned cranes now surviving in the country.To protect the species, Nsengimana, set up the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA). With his team, he has registered all captive cranes in Rwanda to ensure that more individuals are not brought into captivity. He also employs his veterinary skills to help rehabilitate these birds to the wild. Nsengimana’s team hopes to train a network of volunteers who will help combat poaching and monitor crane populations. His team will also continue to raise awareness about the bird’s status, and help conserve four wetlands and restore roost sites across the country.Olivier Nsengimana is working to save the endangered grey crowned crane. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.The birds are threatened not just by the destruction of their wetland habitats, but also by a booming illegal pet trade. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Nsengimana’s team is raising awareness about the bird’s status. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Pablo ‘Popi’ Garcia Borboroglu, Argentina (Whitley Gold Award winner)Pablo “Popi” Garcia Borboroglu, winner of the 2010 Whitley Award, founded the Global Penguin Society to conserve penguins across their range in the Southern Hemisphere.Borboroglu has a number of achievements to his credit, including the designation of the Blue Patagonia Biosphere Reserve, Argentina’s largest; the protection of more than 31,000 square kilometers (12,000 square miles) of marine and coastal habitat, benefiting 20 penguin colonies; and the creation of a wildlife reserve and an ecotourism plan that helped increase the population of a Magellanic penguin colony in El Pedral, Patagonia, from six pairs in 2008 to more than 2,000 pairs in less than a decade.Pablo “Popi” Garcia Borboroglu won the 2010 Whitley award, and is the 2018 Whitley Gold Award winner. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature.Borboroglu is working to conserve the world’s penguins. Image courtesy of Whitley Fund for Nature. Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Heroes, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Peoples, Mammals, Marine, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Poaching, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img

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