WFN Winner Symposium

Royal invite prompts a

debate on the key issues

for 21st century conservation


Diary date:                                                          Wednesday 30 June (please see Notes for times)

First-ever symposium for winners of the Whitley Gold Award: Conservation in the 21st century – the view from the frontline

Royal Geographical Society, London, SW7 2AR


Frontline conservation leaders from nine countries and four continents will meet in London next week to share news and views about what they are witnessing as International Year of Biodiversity enters its second half, and to debate the challenges and opportunities ahead.


The meeting  – at the Royal Geographical Society, London, on Wednesday 30 June – results from an invitation to the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) for a group of past Whitley Gold Award winners to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party marking the 60th birthday of the charity’s patron, Her Royal Highness Anne, The Princess Royal.


The Whitley Gold Award is the highestaccolade given under WFN’s annual international grants scheme for people who are combining conservation science and community outreach to improve habitat protection, biodiversityand people’s lives in global wildlife hotspots.


WFN Director, GeorginaDomberger, says: “The Princess Royal’s invitation means that for the first time in the 17 year history of The Whitley Awards we have the chance to collect the latest insights from the very people who are working closest to nature conservation’s frontline and enable them to pool their expertise and experiences and, perhaps, start looking at how they can work together to highlight or address issues of shared concern.”


Countries represented at the discussion will be Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Liberia, Peru, the Philippines, Turkey and Uganda, where the winners are working with habitats and species which include Asian elephants, rainforests, river dolphins, great apes, marine areas, birds, seahorses, coasts, pygmy hippopotamus and wetlands.  [For more details, please see Notes to Editors, overleaf].


Georgina Domberger added: “Despite the diversity of the winners and their projects, it’s already emerging that there is a consensus among them that traditional conservation alone will not rescue biodiversity,  and that future efforts will require innovation and much more action to change human attitudes and behaviour, both in places shared with endangered species and elsewhere.”


The event will close with a joint session involving winners and organisers of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy who are meeting at the RGS on the same day.


On Thursday 1 July, the Whitley Gold Award winners will attend a garden party being held at Buckingham Palace for delegates from charities supported by The Princess Royal, as part of a series of events marking Her Royal Highness’s 60th birthday.


Formore details about the Whitley Fund forNature, its grant scheme, and past award winners, please see:


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Media enquiries

For more information, photos or interviews, please contact:

Pam Beddard, on 0117 987 0442 or 07767 621207 or via [email protected]


Media invitation

A limited number of places will be available for journalists during the second half of the WFN event (lunch, 12.30pm – 1.30pm + any or all of the three afternoon discussions, at 2pm, 3.15 and 4pm) &/  or at the drinks reception afterwards (5.15pm – 6.15pm). Advance booking is essential. To request an agenda or reserve a place, please contact Pam Beddard (contact details above) by noon, 29.06.10.




The Whitley Awards are the flagship awards of the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN),a UK registered charity (no. 1081455) which seeks to:


  • identifyand fund some of the world’s most dynamic conservation leaders
  • support work rooted in good scienceand based on the support of local communities
  • fund pragmatic projects thataim to havealong-lasting impact
  • help winners to raise their profile, networkand influence others


Whitley Gold Award winners attending the event at the RGS and royal garden party are:




1994 Philippines Co-Founder/Director, Project Seahorse.


Claudio Padua 1999 Brazil Co-Founder/ Vice-President, IPE (Institute for

Ecological Research).

Black lion tamarin


2001 Liberia Member, Board of Directors, Society for the

Conservation of Nature.

Pygmy hippo
Raman Sukumar 2003 India Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian

Institute of Science; Trustee, Asian Nature

Conservation Foundation.



Randall Arauz 2004 CostaRica President/Founder of Pretoma (Programa

Restauracion de Tortugas Marinas).



2006 Peru Director, Conservation Biology Unit, Cayetano

Heredia University.



2007 Colombia Scientific Director, Foundation Omacha River dolphin


2008 Turkey Founder/President of Kuzeydoğa; senior research scientist, Stanford University Wetland
Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka 2009 Uganda Co-Founder/CEO, Conservation Through

Public Health.