Award winners overview

Future For Nature is proud of its Award winners.
They have been listed here.



Award winners 2017


Shahriar Caesar Rahman

Shahriar Caesar Rahman works in the remote Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, which is part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot. In this hostile environment, entrenched in complex insurgent issues, he has conducted biodiversity surveys in the area which resulted in the most comprehensive wildlife survey done in the region. He discovered the critically endangered Arakan forest turtle and keeled box turtle for the first time in Bangladesh, as well as rediscovered populations of the largest tortoise in Asia: the Asian giant tortoise, which was thought to be extirpated from Bangladesh.

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Hana Ridha

Hana Ridha (Hana Raza) has spent the past seven years of her career as a woman conservationist working in the midst of the turmoil that has enveloped Iraq. She is fighting to keep the spirit of conservation alive and working to protect the natural beauties of Iraq when the cruelties of war have swept so many ideals away. Hana means to lay the groundwork for the conservation of the Persian leopard, which is the only remaining top predator roaming these mountains today.

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Farwiza Farhan

Farwiza Farhan (Far Wiza) works to promote the conservation of the Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh, Indonesia. The Leuser Ecosystem is the last place in the world where several of the key Sundaland mega-fauna species can still be found together: the tiger, orangutan, elephant, and rhino. Motivated by her passion to protect critically endangered species under extreme threat in this area, Farwiza helped launch a legal case against a plantation concessionaire inside the Leuser Ecosystem.

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Award winners 2016


Wietse van der Werf

Wietse van der Werf (Netherlands) has worked to protect threatened fish species, in particular bluefin tuna, in European seas. Driftnets have been banned by the United Nations since 1992, and various new rules and regulations at EU level have since restricted their use further. However, fishing vessels, primarily from Southern Italy, continue to use driftnets to illegally catch tuna, while posing a major hazard to cetaceans, turtles and shark species, which are often found entangled and suffocating in the nets.

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Thai Van Nguyen

Thai Van Nguyen (Vietnam) has been at the forefront of pangolin conservation in Vietnam. Both the Chinese pangolin and the Sunda pangolin are widely acknowledged to be the most trafficked mammal on earth, and are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN red list. Without a conservation action plan, these animals may go extinct. Thai has been instrumental in setting up the first South-East Asian regional pangolin rehabilitation centre in Vietnam, which became the first centre to successfully release rehabilitated pangolins.

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Matthew Shirley

Matthew Shirley (USA) believes that, by putting a ‘face’ on the environment, species can strengthen the bond between people and the natural resources on which they depend, providing conservationists with a platform for environmental management and conservation gains. Crocodilians are among the most worshipped species throughout history and, despite being nearly universally feared, they inspire awe with their dinosaur-like appearance and unique natural histories.

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Award winners 2015


Karen Allen

“The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park (BANP) in Mozambique is home to east Africa’s last remaining viable dugong population (approximately only 250 individuals). The most significant threats to Bazaruto’s dugongs are illegal gill netting industry, as dugongs get entangled as by-catch and drown, and habitat loss from artisanal seine-netting, which damages and uproots the fragile sea grass beds the dugongs feed on. The Park’s five islands support 5,500 local residents of the Tsonga tribe who rely heavily on marine resources as their primary livelihood. I recognize that while poverty and single income-generating activities remain commonplace in the Bazaruto region, and while the National Park remains under-resourced, long–term dugong conservation will not be achieved.

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Manoj Gautam

Manoj Gautam is working on river dolphin conservation in Nepal. “For me, nothing is more important than species conservation because it represents the interconnectedness of all living beings and our habitats. My ultimate vision is to see that conservation as a practice has disappeared because it has become an integral part of human life. While working for animals or the environment, people sometimes forget to have respect and compassion for human beings. Coming from a rural farming background helps me keep a perspective on what’s important in communities.

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José González-Maya

José González-Maya won the Future For Nature Award in 2015. He works to ensure connectivity and habitat conservation for two of the most threatened and unique eco-regions in Latin America: the Talamanca Mountains in Costa Rica and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia. José: “My vision about species conservation focuses on making all the appropriate, pertinent, adequate and science-based decisions to maintain as many species as possible. As species are the basis for ecosystems and their functionality, species conservation has deeper implications from an ecological perspective, such as ecosystem functioning and resilience, and a human perspective, such as the provision of goods and services.

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Award winners 2014


Leela Hazzah

Dr. Leela Hazzah: My wish is that Maasai culture and lions can prosper together. It has been heartening to see Lion Guardians become an effective, sustainable and replicable model for achieving this goal. This model is widely acknowledged as one of the most effective programs saving lions and actively improving lives by embracing local culture and empowering local people to participate in conserving lions.

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Bronwyn Maree

Bronwyn Maree was one of the nominees for the Future For Nature Award 2013 and an actual winner of 2014! How nice.

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Caleb Ofori Boateng

Caleb Ofori Boateng, Future For Nature Award winner 2014. His conservation efforts have focused on protecting the last remaining population of the critically endangered Togo slippery frog in Ghana. This frog was recently rediscovered after nearly four decades in which it was believed to be extinct.

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Award winners 2013


Samia Saif

Samia Saif (1985) receives the Future For Nature Award 2013 for her contribution to tiger conservation in the Sundarbans mangrove forest in Bangladesh.

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Lucy King

Lucy King (1977) receives the Future For Nature Award 2013 for the development of beehive fences to reduce human–elephant conflict.

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Rudi Putra

Rudi Hadiansyah Putra (1977) receives the Future For Nature Award 2013 for his work on the protection of large mammals, with an emphasis on rhinos in Sumatra.

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Award winners 2012


Chuon Vuthy

In 2012 Chuon Vuthy was one of the winners of the Future For Nature Award. He is working as Cambodia Programme Manager for Free the Bears. Illegal hunting and trading on bears is, unfortunately, still going on. Young bears will end up in a restaurant for bear paw soup of caged as a tourist attraction. Chuon Vuthy is strongly motivated to stop this.

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Anna Oposa

Anna  Oposa (24) won the Future For Nature Award in 2012. She is co-founder of Save Philippines Seas (SPS) a movement to protect her country’s richest marine resources. The financial recourses from the FFN Award enabled her to embark on her dream project to intensify the protection of sharks in the Philippines. She strongly believes that young people can make a difference to change society.

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Patricia Davis

Patricia Davis was one of the winners of the Future For Nature Award in 2012. When she was studying, she became inspired to commit her life to tropical marine conservation. She co-founded Community Centred Conservation (C3) and since 2009 has been working for the conservation of the endangered dugong in northern Madagascar.

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Award winners 2011


Ofir Drori

Ofir Drori (1976) was one of the winners of the Future For Nature Award 2011. In 2002 he went to Cameroon as an educator, photojournalist and activist, and founded LAGA to fight wildlife crimes. Seven months after its creation, still a small group of local activist volunteers without a donor, LAGA brought about the first ever wildlife prosecution for the whole of West and Central Africa by fighting corruption. Ofir Drori is the author of the book The Last Great Ape, the story of his life and work, and his journey to activism.

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Barbara Galetti

Barbara Galetti Vernazzani, a Future For Nature Award winner in 2011, is president of Centro de Conservacion Cetacea (CCC), a Chilean NGO dedicated to the conservation of cetacean species and the marine ecosystem. She says the Award is an important recognition of CCC’s achievements throughout the years, such as the Chilean whale sanctuary and the work conducted under the Alfaguara (blue whale) and Southern Right Whale projects.

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Corneille Ewango

Corneille Ewango grew up among poachers and it was a chance occurrence that led to him becoming involved in nature conservation. Having had his application to study medicine turned down three times, Ewango started studying biology, initially mainly to pass the time. After three years, however, he had lost his heart to nature and nature conservation.

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Award winners 2010


Alberto Campos

Alberto Campos was one of the winners of the Future For Nature Award in 2010. His life project is to do as much as possible to prevent extinctions. His work for the NGO Aquasis gives him the opportunity to prevent the extinction of the most threatened animals in North-East Brazil.

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Els van Lavieren

Els van Lavieren is one of the founders of the Moroccan Primate Conservation Foundation (MPC). She was the first person to research the illegal trade in Barbary macaques in Morocco and now works full time on the conservation of these species. Receiving the Future For Nature Award in 2010 finally brought international recognition for her work.

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Jean Thomas

Jean Thomas received the Future For nature Award in 2010 for her work for the Tenkile Conservation Alliance in Papua New Guinea, which links conservation of the rainforest with educating, supporting and empowering local communities.

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Award winners 2009


Inza Koné

Inza Koné is a primate conservation biologist. His project is for the community-based conservation of the most endangered three primates of West Africa: the guenon, the white-naped mangabey and Miss Waldron’s red colobus. Inza’s outstanding work was rewarded with the Future For Nature Award in 2009.

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Maggie Muurmans

Maggie Muurmans helped to establish the only sea turtle conservation and monitoring programme in Sumatra, working closely with the local community of Pulau Banyak. Maggie educates the local community and provides them with tools to stimulate ecotourism and prevent poaching. Her work was rewarded with the Future For Nature Award in 2009.

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Mohammed Farhadinia

Mohammad Farhadinia received the Future For Nature Award in 2009 for his efforts to save the Asiatic cheetah and the Persian leopard in Iran. He is co-founder of the Iranian Cheetah Society and has represented Iran at international meetings and symposia.

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Award winners 2008


Michiel Hötte

Michiel Hötte established the Tigris Foundation, a small conservation NGO to protect Siberian leopards and tigers in the wild, and has been successful in preventing forest fires and reducing the level of poaching. “I will never forget the moment when I heard I had been selected as one of three winners of the Future For Nature Award 2008. I was walking on a street on a cold December evening in Vladivostok. I jumped at least three feet in the air – but fortunately made a soft landing in the snow!”

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Patricia Medici

Patrícia Medici was one of the first winners of the Future For Nature Award in 2008. She won the Award for her outstanding conservation work on the tapir in Brazil. Winning the Award enabled her to take a critical step towards establishing the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative in the Pantanal. In May 2013 Future For Nature asked Patricia to participate in the International Selection Committee for the selection of the new Award winners.

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Charudutt Mishra

Charudutt Mishra is the Director and founder of the Nature Conservation Foundation, an NGO established in 1996 to promote science-based wildlife conservation in India. He has been working in villages at high altitude in the Himalayas, just south of Ladakh, to address the twin problems of declining wild prey and human incursion which are threatening the snow leopard. There are currently fewer than 1,000 snow leopards left in India.

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