New York City - The Bay and Paul Foundations have named the winners of their current round of Biodiversity Leadership Awards. The five no-strings-attached achievement awards, which total US$900,000, recognize excellent work which promotes the understanding and conservation of biological diversity, as well as the communication of diversity's value to the public and policy makers.
The winners' efforts include tracking the evolutionary history of animals in China such as pandas and monkeys; lobbying successfully for a new national park in Peru; studying lemur populations in Madagascar; organizing a cooperative among indigenous people in a biodiversity hotspot in Ecuador, and operating a respected clearinghouse for biodiversity advocacy and information.
The five awards go to six people whose projects are in China, Ecuador, Madagascar, Peru, and the United States. The awards are for US$180,000 each over a three-year period. Altogether, the Foundations have honored 13 recipients with awards totaling $2,340,000 since the program started in 1996.
The Leadership Award winners do not apply for the awards; they are nominated and chosen by a panel of eminent scientists. The awards carry no obligation on the part of the winners, but all have said they will use the award money to continue their work to save biodiversity.
The Bay and Paul Biodiversity Leadership Awards are among the world's largest efforts to reward and promote understanding and protection of biodiversity. The term, "biodiversity," is a contraction of "biological diversity" that has been defined as all the hereditarily-based variation among all life and at all levels, from genes to species to entire ecosystems.
The current group of winners:
Jane Elder is the executive director of the Biodiversity Project, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A. She and her small but energetic non-governmental organization have been pioneers in communicating biodiversity issues and concept
Contact: Fred Powledge
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