The Winners of the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2016 Announced
The winners of the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2016 have been announced on 31 October 2016 in Tokyo, Japan and Montreal, Canada. The MIDORI Prize is a biennial international prize 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 2016 Prize Winners
Dr. Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz
Executive Director, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (Mexico)
Dr. Aguirre-Muñoz has worked tirelessly in the Mexican islands—unique ecosystems and home to abundant endemic species—to remove invasive species and actively restore seabird populations and vegetation communities. Thanks to his interdisciplinary collaboration involving fishermen cooperatives, private donors, the Mexican Navy and federal government agencies, protected areas in excess of 40,000 ha stretching over vast island regions have been created. He has also made a significant contribution to Revillagigedo Archipelago’s (“Mexican Galapagos”) recent recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Dr. Yury Darman
Director, Amur Branch, WWF Russia (Russia)
Concerned about the impact on freshwater ecosystems of proposals for dams within the Russian Far Eastern Region, Dr. Darman organized five campaigns against their construction. He has extolled tremendous efforts to increase populations under the umbrella of iconic rare species, including the Amur tiger. Vast nature reserves extending beyond Russia’s border to China and Mongolia were established as areas of international cooperation based on an approach that integrates scientific and traditional knowledge. He addresses contemporary challenges through a focus on the nexus between biodiversity and climate change.
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Founder and Director, Navdanya (India)
Centered on the principle of ‘Earth Democracy,’ Dr. Shiva formed a grassroots movement “Navdanya” to save seeds, protect farmers’ rights and biodiversity, and promote traditional organic farming methods that raise levels of nutrition and income, thus reducing both hunger and poverty. In the context of the global discourse on biodiversity and biosafety, she has demonstrated unshakable resolve in speaking out for marginalized populations and women, and also achieved notable success in establishing sustainable societies based on models contributing to access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources.
Each prize winner is awarded a wooden plaque, a commemorative gift and a monetary prize of 100,000 US dollars to support their work in safeguarding biodiversity. They will be honored at a ceremony on 2 December 2016 in Cancún, Mexico, held in conjunction with the high-level segment of the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The prize winners will also deliver public lectures at a Winners’ Forum that will be held on 7 December 2016 at the U Thant Hall of the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan.
Nominations were accepted between 15 February and 30 June 2016 from members of the public worldwide and from invited MIDORI Prize Nominators. 309 candidates from 77 countries were nominated during this period. The Prize Winners were selected on the basis of their contributions to the objectives of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020, and to the mainstreaming, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.