Environmental Heroes from Around the World Honored at 51st Annual Chevron Conservation Awards
Independent Panel of Conservationists Selects Programs from Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Indonesia, Canada and United States
SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 28, 2005 -- Six pioneering environmental initiatives and individuals, including a program to protect endangered parrots in Mexico, the first biologist to study seahorses under water and an organization that brings solar energy to rural areas of Africa, are the newest recipients of the annual Chevron Conservation Awards.
"It is our hope that by recognizing award-winning conservation efforts we educate and inspire others to preserve natural resources in all parts of the globe," said Rhonda Zygocki, vice president of Health, Environment and Safety for Chevron. "This starts with adhering to strong environmental values and putting them into practice through the power of partnerships."
The winners were selected by an independent panel of six conservationists. Each honoree received a US$15,000 cash prize at ceremonies at Chevron's global headquarters in San Ramon, California. Since its founding in 1954 by acclaimed outdoors writer Ed Zern, the Chevron Conservation Awards have honored more than 1,000 volunteers, professionals and organizations for their practical and creative solutions to environmental challenges.
The 2005 Chevron Conservation Award honorees are:
Liza Gadsby and Peter Jenkins. The duo founded the Pandrillus organization in 1988 to protect the endangered drill monkey and other primates from extinction. As few as 3,000 drills remain worldwide. Pandrillus focuses on habitat protection, captive care and breeding, research, and wildlife advocacy in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria; southwestern Cameroon; and Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. In 1991, Gadsby and Jenkins created the Drill Rehabilitation & Breeding Center in Cross River State, the region's first primate rehabilitation facility and one of the world's most successful breeding programs for an endangered primate.
Programa de Manejo Sostenible de Ecosistemas (PMSE). Since 1994, PMSE has worked to protect both the endangered thick-billed parrot and the maroon-fronted parrot. Based in Monterrey, Mexico, PMSE's focus is on ornithology and ecology research, natural resource management and conservation, sustainable development, and ecological planning. Its innovative conservation strategies resulted in the creation and protection of Mexico's 10,700-acre Tutuaca-Conoachi Sanctuary for thick-billed parrots and the 860-acre El Taray Sanctuary for the maroon-fronted parrot.
Dr. Amanda Vincent. Dr. Vincent co-founded and directs Project Seahorse based in Vancouver, Canada, at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Vincent was the first biologist to study seahorses under water, document their extensive commercial trade and initiate a seahorse conservation project. Seahorses are threatened by habit degradation, harmful fishing practices and are overexploited for use in traditional medicines, tonic foods, aquarium displays and curiosities. By securing official listings of many seahorses as endangered species, generating regulations for international trade in seahorses and increasing the number of protected seahorse habitats around the world, her work has helped to ensure the survival of wild seahorse populations.
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). Based in Washington, D.C. SELF partners with communities in developing countries to install solar electric systems. Since 1990, dozens of communities on four continents have used renewable solar power to protect habitat, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and improve their standard of living. One example is in Jigawa State, northern Nigeria. In this village, 7,500 people have benefited from solar-generated electricity, which supplies fresh water from deep wells and gives health clinics the ability to store vital medicines. Solar power also is used to illuminate classrooms and power computers for children and adults, including bringing wireless Internet access to these remote communities.
Roxanne Kremer. In 1986, Kremer founded the International Society for the Preservation of the Tropical Rainforest/Preservation of the Amazonian River Dolphin (ISPTR/PARD). ISPTR/PARD protects the indigenous people, flora and fauna of the Amazon in Peru – the world's largest remaining tropical rainforest. The organizations work to halt illegal commercial fishing, logging and poaching and illegal shipments of animals. Kremer also established a private sanctuary of 3,500 acres located in pristine forest on the first tributary of the Amazon River in Peru to protect the pink river dolphin and other species.
Orangutan Foundation International (OFI). In 1986, Dr. Biruté Galdikas co-founded OFI to protect orangutans and their rainforest habitat in Southeast Asia. About 25,000 of the animals remain in the wild. Because of OFI, Tanjung Puting National Park (TPNP) in Borneo, Indonesia, has grown from 753,000 acres to 1 million acres and boasts the largest wild orangutan population in the world with 6,000 animals. Dr. Galdikas continues to manage and support the longest continuous study of any animal population in the wild: the orangutan population at Camp Leakey in Tanjung Putting Reserve. The research helps document orangutan life history, behavior and ecology.
"Building coalitions is vital element to achieving conservation goals," said Jack Lorenz, former executive director of the Izaak Walton League of America and a judge for the awards. "This is one of the few awards programs that brings conservationists and business together to recognize contributions of unsung heroes of the environment."
In addition to Lorenz, the judges panel included: Helen Engle, Director, National Audubon Society Board of Directors; B.J. Griffin, Executive Director, Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif. and a former Superintendent of Yosemite National Park; Patrick Noonan, Chairman, The Conservation Fund; Nancy Pearlman, Founder, The Ecology Center of Southern California and Project Ecotourism; and, Andrea J. Yank, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of America.
Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading energy companies. With more than 53,000 employees, Chevron conducts business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information on Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.
Updated: October 2005