Winners of the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2014 Awarded at CBD COP 12
Pyeongchang, 15 October, 2014 - The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2014 was awarded at a ceremony held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, at a ministerial luncheon hosted by the Government of Korea during the high-level segment of the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 12).
The MIDORI Prize is a biennial international prize co-organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity at global, regional or local levels.
The winners of the 2014 Prize are: Dr. Kamal Bawa, President, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), India, and Distinguished Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA; Dr. Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Chair, Ghana National Biodiversity Committee, Ghana; and Dr. Bibiana Vilá, Principal Researcher, National Research Council (CONICET) and Director, Vicuñas, Camelids and Environment (VICAM), Argentina. Each Prize Winner was awarded a wooden plaque, a commemorative gift and a monetary prize of 100,000 US dollars to support their work in safeguarding biodiversity by Mr. Takuya Okada, Chairman of the AEON Environmental Foundation.
At the Award Ceremony, honorary guests and the co-organizers delivered the following messages.
Prof. Jae-Cheon Choe, Host of the COP 12 Ministerial Luncheon and President of the National Institute of Ecology of Korea, said: "You all know that the season of the Nobel Prize is just over. And you also know that there is no Nobel Prize in ecology, although there is a Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. There is no Nobel Prize waiting for any biodiversity. So with that, I am so glad that AEON has created this kind of award for the people who have made contributions in the field of biodiversity. This is wonderful."
Mr. Shigeo Kitamura, Japan's Vice Minister of the Environment, said: "We think that the MIDORI Prize is a highly significant award contributing to the mainstreaming of biodiversity. The Japanese Government will continue to support the MIDORI Prize, promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and conduct various activities to achieve the Aichi Targets."
Mr. Takuya Okada, Chairman of the AEON Environmental Foundation, said: "Today, the co-existence of humans and nature is a key issue in the world. AEON Environmental Foundation has conducted the MIDORI Prize since 2010 based on the idea that the 21st century is the century of the environment. It would be most satisfying if the MIDORI Prize could make further contributions in developing future activities and raising awareness about biodiversity at the global level."
Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: "The MIDORI Prize is a unique and powerful initiative to help raise awareness and encourage action for mainstreaming conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity. I want to congratulate this year's winners and also thank them for their important contributions to the biodiversity and sustainable development agenda."