23 Jun 2013

Core contributions and service to the BirdLife Partnership honoured with President’s Medal

HIH Princess Takamado of Japan, BirdLife's Honorary President, presenting the awards. Photo: J Trinity/jessicatrinity.com
By Adrian Long

The President's Medal is BirdLife’s most prestigious individual award. At the 2013 World Congress the medal was presented to ten people who have made an outstanding contribution to BirdLife, often by carrying out or funding the less glamorous but vital core work of the Partnership. The awards were presented by HIH Princess Takamado, BirdLife’s Honorary President, at BirdLife International’s 90th anniversaty Gala Dinner

    Since his “retirement” from a career in business development and marketing, Benjamin Olewine IV has devoted his energies to BirdLife. He was co-opted to the BirdLife Council in 2004, becoming Chair of the Finance Committee, and has been BirdLife’s Treasurer since 2009. Ben became a BirdLife Founder Patron in 2000 along with other members of his family trust.  



  Ben’s predecessor as BirdLife Treasurer, Stephen Rumsey, drew on his distinguished career in banking and finance when he established Permian Global, which encourages corporations to invest in tropical forest conservation by generating returns from carbon credits. Since 1990, and as a Founder Patron since 2003, he has contributed significant resources to BirdLife’s core work and conservation programmes.



  Co-Presidents of the Rare Bird Club since 2006, Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson have put their considerable international reputations as authors behind fundraising and campaigning activities for BirdLife, inspiring existing RBC members and encouraging new ones.      

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As board members of the David Webster Charitable Trust, Nikki Thompson and Tom Webster have been significant contributors through unrestricted gifts to BirdLife’s core work. Supporters in particular of BirdLife’s Forests of Hope programme, they have sponsored delegates from the Birdlife organisations in Kenya and Cuba to attend this World Congress.    



Nathalie Boulle has been a major contributor to BirdLife's core work through unrestricted gifts as a Founder Patron. She has been a strong supporter of the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation, encouraging and supporting their application to become a BirdLife Partner, and sponsoring their delegate to this World Conference.



    Nominated by BirdLife’s Partner in Denmark, where  Aage V. Jensen Foundation is a major supporter of nature conservation, Mette Skov is Trustee of the Aage V. Jensen Foundation, which has supported the conservation work of 46 BirdLife Partners, as well as BirdLife’s core scientific work and programmes.    



  Dr Michael R.W. Rands joined ICBP as Programme Director in 1986, and developed and directed multidisciplinary conservation projects in over 100 countries. In 1996, three years after the transition from ICBP to BirdLife, Mike replaced Christoph Imboden as Chief Executive, and presided over the expansion and consolidation of the BirdLife Partnership.



  BirdLife’s outgoing Chairman Peter Johan Schei has held senior roles in Norway’s Directorate of Nature Management and Ministry of the Environment, and served as Director of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute. As an international negotiator with and member of various institutions and conventions, including UNEP, CITES and the CBD, his knowledge and experience of combining biodiversity conservation with sustainable development have been invaluable to the Partnership.  


Photos: © J Trinity/jessicatrinity.com