Selecting the Next Generation of Nature Conservationists
Every year, hundreds of young nature conservationist around the world send in their applications in hopes of becoming a Future For Nature Award winner. FFN recognizes young individuals for their efforts in nature conservation with an award and 50,000 euros to fund their project. These conservation pioneers receive their funding and award at the annual FFN Award Event. In order to choose three winners out of hundreds of submissions, the applications go through an extensive selection process.
The National Selection Committee
After the candidates submit their applications in September, the applications are sent to the National Selection Committee (NSC). This is a group of renowned Dutch individuals who have impressive experience in the field of nature conservation. The committee currently consists of five people: Prof. Dr. Ir. Hans de Iongh, Drs. Kees Lankester, Dr. Pita Verweij, Dr. Margje Voeten, and Dr. Gabriella Frederiksson. These members are responsible for sifting through hundreds of applications and selecting the candidates that stand out. Naturally, these become the nominees for the FFN Award. After approval of the FFN Board, six to ten nominees are selected. These nominees are requested to provide additional information and are announced on the FFN communication channels. As you can imagine, this is quite a difficult and time consuming task, which is why it sometimes takes weeks to decide.
The International Selection Committee
Following the nominee selecting process, is making the final decision on who out of all the deserving nominees are the three final FFN Award winners. This responsibility lies in the hands of the International Selection Committee (ISC). As the word international would imply, these are people from all over the world who are experts in the field of nature conservation, like the NSC. This committee consists of eight members: Saba Douglas-Hamilton, Dr. Patrícia Medici, Dr. Masha Vorontsova, Dr. Annette Lanjouw, Dr. Vivek Menon, Dr. Simon Stuart, John Mackinnon and Prof. Brian J. Huntley. Each ISC member scores the candidates and gives a qualitative evaluation. Based on averaging the results of the ISC members, the FFN Office ranks the candidates and informs the FFN Board.
Once they agree, the winners are informed and the preparations for the FFN Award Event can fully begin!