26 Jun 2013

BirdLife Conservation Achievement Awards recognise oustanding work for species, sites and habitats

By Adrian Long

Every five years, BirdLife’s World Congress recognises the achievements of organisations and individuals from within and outside the BirdLife Partnership who have made an exceptional contribution to BirdLife's mission, programmes and conservation priorities. Following five years of achievement, BirdLife’s Global Council has picked seven candidates from an outstanding field of nominees to receive Conservation Achievement Awards. The awards were presented to the winners by HIH Princess Takamado, BirdLife's Honorary President, at BirdLife International's World Congress.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) has given major support to the BirdLife Partnership through its large grants programme focused on biodiversity hotspots. BirdLife receives CEPF grants for its own work, and now plays a management role in allocating grants for the multi-million dollar CEPF initiatives in the Indo-Burma, Mediterranean and East Afromontane hotspots. Jorgen Thomsen, previously Executive Director of the CEPF, has continued to build strong relations with the BirdLife Partnership in his new role as Director of Conservation & Sustainable Development at the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The A.G. Leventis Foundation, a major benefactor of the BirdLife Partnership over the years, has generously supported the work of the Hellenic Ornithological Society, BirdLife Partner in Greece, in the Aegean Sea. The Leventis Foundation was also nominated by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, for support to Balkan-wide conservation efforts for the Egyptian Vulture, and by BirdLife Cyprus.

Douglas and Kris Tompkins, founders of the Conservation Land Trust, the Patagonian Land Trust, and the Foundation for Deep Ecology, have devoted their energies to expanding the number and area of protected areas in Argentina and Chile. They have created a number of private reserves, and donated funds and land to extend provincial and national parks in both countries.


A consortium of government and municipal agencies in Chinese Taiwan (China) and Hong Kong (China) have been recognised for their work to conserve the globally threatened Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor. The co-ordinated efforts of the Forestry Bureau/Council of Agriculture (Chinese Taiwan), Construction and Planning Agency of the Ministry of the Interior (Chinese Taiwan), City of Tainan (Chinese Taiwan), Taijiang National Park Chinese Taiwan, Mai Po Management Committee (Hong Kong) and WWF Hong Kong have protected the two most important wintering sites for the species. The Centro de Estudios y Acción Social Panameño (Panamanian Centre for Research and Social Action, ACEASPA), has used BirdLife’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) concept to help focus sustainable conservation achievements in local communities, resulting in successful coverage of a much greater number of IBAs than BirdLife Partner the Panama Audubon Society could have achieved alone.