The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a fundraising and grant-giving nature conservation charity that aims to recognise dynamic conservation leaders from biodiversity-rich, resource-poor countries running community-based conservation projects to benefit wildlife, habitats and people. Following a successful 2019 awards ceremony, the call for 2020’s nominees is now open.
Also referred to as the ‘Green Oscars’, these internationally recognised awards will be presented by WFN’s patron, HRH The Princess Royal, at an annual ceremony at the RGS-IBG in London during April/May 2020, the winners being awarded £40,000 in project funding over one year.
As well as receiving financial support, the Whitley Award provides an international spotlight on vital conservation work and draws attention to the issues faced by communities around the world. During the Awards week, winners receive professional media and speech training to teach them how to effectively communicate the importance of their work and to hopefully inspire further charitable support.
A tailor-made film will also be created for the winners about their project and narrated by WFN Trustee, Sir David Attenborough. They will also receive PR assistance and publicity materials are distributed to the UK and overseas media to raise awareness and boost their success.
Established by Edward Whitley OBE in 1993, the first Whitley Award, worth £15,000, was awarded to marine conservationist, Amanda Vincent. It was one of the first awards to be given in recognition of effective conservation leadership in the Global South. 2019’s winners included Jon Paul Rodríguez for his work in Venezuela creating a range-wide conservation plan for the yellow-shouldered parrot, and Vatosoa Rakotondrazafy whose civil society movement to safeguard marine resources in Madagascar is profiled in the current issue’s I’m A Geographer interview.
Whitley Award winners join an ever-expanding network of more than 190 conservationists in 80 countries who share knowledge and ideas in order to work together to protect the planet. They are also eligible to apply for WFN Continuation Funding which provides further funding to the most successful Whitley Award winners. It gives them the opportunity to take their project to the next level and to have a long-term positive impact on their community. Many winners go on to become some of the most influential conservationists in their field, with their projects making a difference at both the grassroots and political level.
If you know any inspiring grassroots conservationists who are making a lasting impact in their home country, the Whitley Fund for Nature wants to hear from them now. Click here for full details on how to apply.
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