Update on Seacology Prize Winners
Each year, Seacology honors an indigenous island conservationist who has dedicated his or her life to safeguarding their island home. For many of our recipients, the journey to our California ceremony honoring their work is the experience of a lifetime. Returning to their native country with $10,000 in prize money, our Seacology Prize recipients continue to achieve major progress in conservation. Below are updates on recent Seacology Prize recipients:
Filip Damen, Papua New Guinea
The 2009 Seacology Prize Recipient was Filip Damen of Papua New Guinea. Filip was honored for his commitment to preserving the rainforests of his native Madang Province in Papua New Guinea, even in the face of strong logging interests. Strongly committed to saving his home forests for future generations of his children and grandchildren, Filip's dedication is inspiring. Read Filip's full story here.
Since 2009, Filip has continued to develop his local reserve, where several scientists work and study the native PNG habitats. One of these is Dr. George Weiblen, whose recent collaboration with Filip was chronicled in this article. Filip's heroic efforts are continuing to receive widespread recognition, and his story was recently documented in this film.
Rabary Desiré, Madagascar
Our 2010 Seacology Prize Winner, Rabary Desiré, joined us just a few months ago in Berkeley and presented a truly inspiring speech on his work to create a private nature reserve in northern Madagascar. After teaching himself to read and write, Desiré is now an expert in Malagasy flora and fauna and works as a tour guide in the region. With his earnings, he created the Antanetiambo Nature Reserve, and is continuing to add more protected land to this reserve. Read more about Desiré's story here.
Since receiving the Seacology Prize, Desiré has drawn even more recognition for his important work. He has been profiled on OneWorld.net and YourOliveBranch.org. With the prize money he received from Seacology, Desiré is currently under negotiations about expanding his reserve. He is also planning to employ a guardian, who will be tasked with protecting the reserve.
Seacology is always impressed with our prize winners, and the amazing conservation work they achieve. We'll continue to keep you updated on news from our favorite environmental heroes!