Friday, May 24, 2013

There are Green Oscars?

Did you know that something called the "Green Oscars" exists?

I didn't.

Well, it turns out that the Green Oscars have been around since 1994.  That's almost 20 years.

I felt pretty bad about not knowing it existed.  I mean... I write about this stuff!  I should know this, right?

But I didn't.

And if I didn't realize there was something called the Green Oscars, then maybe you didn't, either.  At least, that's what I'm telling myself.  It makes me feel better, so let's go with it.

What are the Green Oscars, you ask?

Well, it turns out that "Green Oscars" is actually more of a nickname for the Whitley Awards.  I'm not off the hook yet, though, because I have never heard of them, either. 


The Whitley Fund is an organization registered in the UK that offers awards and grants to conservationists.  Not just any conservationists, though.  They have to be pretty awesome.

It's pretty huge, too, considering that
"The Whitley Awards Ceremony, hosted by our patron, HRH The Princess Royal, is held annually at the Royal Geographical Society, in the Spring."
 Well, it's spring, so that means...

Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne was there to award 8 wonderful conservationists with funding that will help them continue doing what they love.

 The Gold went to Cagan Sekerciolgu of Turkey for his work in wetlands conservation.  It's not the first time he's won the award, either.  He received a joint gold award in 2008,  and then in 2010 and 2012 he was presented with continuation awards.  This, however, was the first time he was fully in the spotlight.

So what did Sekerciolgu do to finally gain his own Gold?

Oh, not a whole lot... except convincing the government of Turkey to create a wildlife corridor that extends around 82 km.

Seriously.  He did that.  That earns him major cool points, I think.

Aside from the fact that this corridor is a huge win for the environment as a whole, it's also a huge success in terms of wildlife conservation.  You see, this corridor will help protect different large mammals that are currently threatened by giving them more "safe" land to roam. 

Turkey hasn't exactly been a model country in terms of the environment, ranking 109 out of 132 countries in the World Environmental Performance Index,so this is a great step in the right direction.

The top Green Oscar went to a spectacular guy, I think.  I can't wait to see what he does next!
photo via U of Utah, Where Sekercioglu is currently  an assistant professor of biology

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