Murlidhar (Baba Amte)
20 years ago, Mr. Amte, popularly known as "Baba", established Anandwan, a settlement for leprosy victims in central India. Anandwan now houses 2,500 leprosy victims and 500 blind children who grow food by using fertiliser produced from biogas reactors. They also produce energy for cooking and lighting by feeding organic matter and human excrement into the central biogas unit. Recently Anandwan has adopted North African technology which enables them to building the roof structures of houses without using wood. "Baba" Amte has also directed efforts toward saving forests and indigenous populations from the degradation used by dam projects.
H. R. H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
In 1961 His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands founded the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). He was president of WWF for 15 years, and during this period developed it into an influential global organisation and the largest worldwide non-governmental organisation in the field of nature onservation. He has successfully raised funds to finance conservation activities and projects in all countries where WWF is active. He is also President of WWF-Netherlands and in that capacity launched a television fundraising campaign in the Netherlands in 1977 which raised six million Swiss Francs for WWF funded projects. A television programme in 1987 raised over 100.000 new members for WWF-Netherlands. 30 years after the founding of WWF, Prince Bernhard continues actively to convey with great enthusiasm the message of conservation through those active in the field of nature conservation and numerous radio and TV presentations.
Gertrude Duby Blom
In 1943 Ms. Blom joined the first Mexican government-sponsored expedition through the highland Mayan villages of the Chiapas rainforest on muleback. There she met the Lacandons, a group of Mayans who had been isolated from civilisation for almost three centuries. This peace was shattered when private and commercial greed for the mahogany in the Lacandon rainforest stimulated massive road building and tree cutting into their area. Blom supported the Lacandons by writing, photographing, and publishing articles about the Lacandon culture. Today, at 89 years of age she continues to seek solutions to the ecological problems devastating local and worldwide indigenous populations.
Lynton Keith Caldwell
Dr. Caldwell has participated in numerous environmental projects with the UN, UNESCO, OAS, IUCN and the International Joint Commission of Canada and the United States of America. He has published 10 books and over 200 scholarly articles. He was a leading participant in the drafting of the United States of America's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and the principal elements of this Act are now being utilised by 30 governments and international agencies in the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the European Community. Dr. Caldwell has served on numerous scientific policy boards and commissions. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, among others, and an honorary member of the International Association for Impact Assessment.
Herbert Jose de Souza
Mr. De Souza, also known as "Betinho", is a sociologist, economist and author. He was head of the national Campaign for Agrarian Reform and founded the Brazilian Institute for Socio-Economic Analysis (IBASE). De Souza campaigned for Amazonian Indians and rain forests by co-authoring "Tregda Ecologica para a Arnazonia" (Give Peace to Amazonia), a publication advocating eco-development in the Amazonas. In 1988 he coordinated the Se Liga Rio (Pay Attention Rio) movement, offering an answer to city violence, pollution and surrounding deforestation. With the help of IBASE he and others organised "Terra e Dernocracia" ("Earth and Dernocracy"), the biggest ecological event in Brazilian history dedicated to the Amazon and Indian nations.
The late Mr Nakhasathien worked as a forest researcher at the Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand from 1975 to 1979. In 1983, as Chief of the Wildlife Rescue Project he worked unrelentingly to rescue drowning wildlife while also fighting against illegal poachers. In 1987 he campaigned against the construction of the Nam Choan, a 580 megawatt dam planned for the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary. In 1989, as chief of a Wildlife Sanctuary, he succeeded in saving 6,000 square kilometres of land from exploitation. Nakhasathen took his own life on September 1 1990 following the shooting and death of two of his rangers by poachers and renewed frustrations encountered in his struggle to protect the environment.
Dr. Polunin is a botanist and plant ecologist who has participated in, or led, numerous scientific expeditions to Greenland, Spitsbergen, northern most Norway, the Canadian Eastern and Western Arctic, northern most Alaska, Siberia, and West Africa and high mountains elsewhere, as well as making flights over the North Pole to investigate the biotic content of the atmosphere at the highest latitudes. He has made significant discoveries in the plant ecology of the Arctic, subArctic, and high-altitude regions.
More recently he has organised major conferences on the environmental future and the endangered biosphere.
Colleen McCrory, as Chairperson of the Valhalla Wilderness Society, led an eight-year campaign from 1976 for the establishment of the 49,000 hectare Valhalla Provincial Park in 1983.
Between 1984-1987 she assisted in the formation of the National Save South Moresby Park Reserve on Queen Charlotte Island. She received the Equinox Citation Award for her achievements in saving Canada's environment in 1989, which encouraged her to form Canada's Future Forest Alliance, an umbrella coalition of grassroots organizations representing one million Canadians.
Over the years its Board of Directors and Staff have included a diverse mixture of scientific expertise, political strategists, public spokespersons and literary/artistic talent. Colleen McCrory, who was one of VWS's chief activists and its longtime Chairperson, passed away suddenly in July of 2007
Oliver Henry Knowles
A dedicated environmentalist, Oliver Knowles has been responsible since 1977 for ecological conservation at Mineracao Rio del Norte (MRN), working at the bauxite mining area in Amazonia, Brazil.
He has done pioneering work in land and water regeneration, the classification and preservation of species and most particularly in the spread of environmental education within the Company workforce and in local communities. His work on the rehabilitation of land after bauxite mining is a model to all companies working in tropical rainforest areas. He conceived and implemented his company's programme, "Five Minutes for the Environment".
Knowles was awarded the Marshall Candido Rondon medal in 1972 for his contribution to the responsible development of Amazonia, and the MBE in 1990 for his work on forest preservation in Brazil.
Francesco di Castri
As early as 1965, Francesco di Castri was involved in the study of ecological sciences. He is the Coordinator for the Environment in UNESCO, Paris and has written 12 important scientific volumes and some 300 papers on theoretical and applied ecology.
Di Castri began his career in 1958 when he obtained his PhD in animal studies, and specialised in ecology in Pavdova University. After lecturing at the Universities of Chile and Austria, he joined UNESCO in 1971 as secretary of the MAP Intergovernmental Council.