1 Oct 2011

BirdLife International Partnership honoured with Premio Gorila

By Adrian Long
BirdLife has been awarded Premio Gorila 2010 for contributions to conservation, and “bringing birds to people” On behalf of the BirdLife International Partnership, BirdLife’s Chief Executive, Dr. Marco Lambertini, has received the prestigious Premio Gorila 2010 (Gorilla Award) from the Loro Parque Foundation. The award, in the form of a bronze gorilla sculpture, was presented at the headquarters of the Presidency of the Canary Islands’ Government in Tenerife. The award recognises BirdLife’s contribution to the conservation of biodiversity, and promotion of its role in underpinning ecologically sustainable tourism. It recognises several aspects of BirdLife’s activities during the year in question (2010). The first relates to the focused actions BirdLife and its Partners have carried out to prevent extinctions of threatened bird species around the world. A second aspect has been BirdLife’s application of policies designed to place environmental stewardship in the hands of local people. A third and related aspect has been its commitment to ‘bring birds to the people’, by making them more relevant to people’s lives in general, and especially by demonstrating the value of nature and bird-watching tourism to stimulate local conservation initiatives.

From Left to right side: Ricardo Melchior (President of Tenerife Island), Paulino Rivero (President of the Canary Islands), Marco Lambertini, Wolfgang Kiessling (President of Loro Parque) and José Manuel Bermúdez (Major of Santa Cruz City).

"It is a great pleasure to accept the Premio Gorilla on behalf from BirdLife International", said Dr Lambertini. “The BirdLife International Partnership’s local to global structure enables us to deliver evidence-based nature conservation.” The Loro Parque Fundación also supports projects implemented by BirdLife Partner organisations to save threatened species of parrots. Since the mid-1990s, Loro Parque Fundación has worked with Armonía, (BirdLife in Bolivia) to conserve the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw Ara glaucogularis, and with Burung Indonesia (BirdLife in Indonesia) for the Near Threatened Tanimbar Cockatoo Cacatua goffiniana and Vulnerable Chattering Lory Lorius garrulus. In 2008, the Loro Parque Fundación supported SAVE Brasil (BirdLife in Brazil) in intensive conservation action which contributed to the “downlisting” of Lear’s Macaw Anodorhynchus leari from Critically Endangered to Endangered. The earliest collaboration between BirdLife and Loro Parque Fundación took place between 1989 and 1996, and addressed the Imperial Amazon Amazona imperialis and  Red-necked Amazon Amazona arausiaca on Dominica. The Premio Gorila is a recognition that Loro Parque has been giving to the most important contributors of the year for their effort and commitment to the development of the sector, and the application of responsible environmental policies. This award consists of a gorilla bronze sculpture, because this animal represents loyalty, strength and fidelity. In previous editions, Loro Parque has awarded the Tour Operator Iberostar, and its President Miguel Fluxá received the award 2003. The following year the award went to the group Neckermann Thomas Cook AG, with the presence of the General Manager Wolfgang Beeper. Globalia – Travel Plan received the award in 2005 and in 2006 TUI UK, its General Manager David Harper attending the official event. In 2007 the Tour Operator TUI Germany received this award, and in 2008 it went to the President of the Cabildo of Tenerife, Ricardo Melchior, in recognition of his dedication and advocacy for the environment. In the last edition of 2010, the Premio Gorila was awarded to the German TV channel VOX, for the promotion of the destination Tenerife.