Hilde de Laat

My name is Hilde de Laat. I’m 25 years old and work as an editor for a weekly science and technology newspaper in the Netherlands called Technisch Weekblad.  I studied biology at Wageningen University, and not surprisingly: I love nature! I’m responsible for the twitter account of the Future For Nature Foundation. In addition, as a team of volunteers, we support Ingrid Kerkvliet in organising the annual Future For Nature Award event.

Together with friends and fellow students, we created a student platform called Future For Nature Academy, aiming to unite young and enthused nature conservationists (students and PhD students in the Netherlands) to share their knowledge and expand their network to address current and future challenges in nature conservation. We organise discussions, documentary evenings, photo competitions and lectures with major players in nature conservation.

I’m Gaëlla van Walraven, 21 years old, and I’m a volunteer with this beautiful organisation. I’m responsible for the facebook account of Future For Nature. Ever since I was little, I have been crazy about animals and I have always wanted to care for them. I’m currently studying at Utrecht University to become a veterinarian.

My passion for wildlife was fuelled when I first visited the Future For Nature event and met Saba Douglas Hamilton, chairwoman of the organisation. To hear her speak ignited a fire in me that filled me with inspiration and made me realise that we can make the change. And that’s what I want to achieve, by becoming a wildlife veterinarian.

Future For Nature is important to me because it helps young conservationists in their struggle to protect what is most valuable: our planet. What is more beautiful than looking at the sun going down on the savannah and seeing the elephants slowly fading into the darkness? Is that not an image worth fighting for?

Ike Span

I’m Ike Span, and I’m a biologist with the drive to empower people by education and to inform them about nature, conservation and environmental issues so we can make our world a better place together, step by step. That is how I met Ingrid and the Future For Nature Foundation a few years ago.

I worked as a volunteer on the FFN Kidsweek publications. In 2015 and 2016, we wrote several articles and about the Future For Nature winners for this weekly newspaper for children. I’m sure that their stories have inspired many young readers – the next generation conservationists.

This year, I’m mainly involved in several writing jobs and assisting Ingrid with the organisation of this year’s activities for former and current winners and the Award Event itself. I’m looking forward to this 10th anniversary edition and the encounters, which are always inspiring.

Monique Beute

I’m Monique Beute, 55 years old, and have been a volunteer with Future For Nature since 2016. My professional life and work revolves around a project helping ex-criminals in job and house hunting to find their way back into society.

As the mother of a 16-year-old daughter, the following message from the film Down to Earth means a great deal to me: ‘We didn’t inherit the Earth from our parents; we borrow it from our children.’ That’s why I’m a volunteer for Future For Nature. The people of the globe need young inspiring conservationists, taking over the banner from great exemplars like David Attenborough and Jane Goodall. Future For Nature is creating a community of creative, young conservationists who care about wild and beautiful animals. An unspoiled, tranquil environment means the world to me. Through Future for Nature, I can do my bit. It is my job to keep the website up to date and lend a hand during the Award Event in Arnhem. Hope to meet you there!

Linda Bloch

I’m Linda Bloch. For over 20 years, I have watched documentaries about nature made by the BBC, and they increased my appreciation of nature, animals and plants tremendously. This made me realize I wanted one dream to become true: to visit Zimbabwe once in my life! I found a non-governmental game park, where I could contribute to protecting elephants and other animals. The Jane Goodall Institute  Netherlands (JGI NL), supported me in discovering this game park. That is why I wanted to be a volunteer for JGI NL at Burgers’ Zoo. In my second year at JGI NL, I attended the Future For Nature Awards event: that was the moment I was lost. It gives me huge fulfilment to be a small part of this great foundation! It’s my task to assist our coordinator, Ingrid Kerkvliet, whereever I can.