The ceremony of the 11th edition of the the BBVA Foundation’s Biodiversity Conservation Awards has revealed the need to find global policies against climate change. These awards recognize the efforts of the winners to avoid the destruction of the natural heritage and promote knowledge, action and awareness of ecology and conservation biology.
“The current situation is so serious that society needs to be warned and it is urgent for public and private decision makers to address it in a sustained and effective way”, said BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman Francisco González, who attended the ceremony, to reveal the concern about the future of our planet.
This message was very present, but also was the the recognition and the admiration for the initiatives carried out by the award winners, “an example of how an unprejudiced analysis of reality can lead to action, and action to solutions”, said González before an audience that included the Minister of Agriculture and Fishing, Food and the Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, and the main players in environmental protection in Spain. They all listened to the main message of a ceremony that focused on the need to find solutions with a realistic view and with global policies consistent with science, something society is already demanding.
Models to imitate
These Biodiversity Conservation Awards of the BBVA Foundation seek to stimulate knowledge, action and awareness about ecology and conservation biology. The awards recognize the work of people and institutions that turn scientific knowledge into action in the field, through dissemination and awareness of public opinion. The award money is 580,000 euros, divided into three categories: two that recognize conservation activities in Spain and Latin America, and one devoted to communication.
The winning activities in this edition, in Spain and Latin America, are: Grupo para la Rehabilitación de la Fauna Autóctona y su Hábitat (Group for the Rehabilitation of Indigenous Fauna and its Habitat, GREFA), which is contributing to the recovery in Spain and Europe of the black vulture and other endangered species; and the Conservation Land Trust (CLT), the NGO founded by the philanthropists Douglas and Kristine Tompkins, who have turned into protected areas eight regions totaling over one million hectares of high biodiversity in Argentina and Chile. The winner in the Dissemination and Awareness category is Carlos de Hita for his “soundscapes of nature”, who is bringing the sounds of nature to the public through the media, exhibitions and documentaries. According to Francisco González, they all “offer us an encouraging model to be emulated”.