Humphrey Bheki Mvula
The achievements of the Green Machine Nature Conservation Nature Club run by the Sunridge Primary School have to be seen in the light of the fact that it is managed by students belonging to one of the most under-privileged sections of the Republic of South Africa's society. Greening of the environment has gone along with efforts to improve the living conditions of the people. The first project aimed at uplifting the impoverished and informal settlements in and around the Knysna district. The Club organized workshops for the youth addicted to narcotics as well as soup kitchens for the hungry. Since the informal settlement is situated around a dumping site, a system was set in motion to exchange food packets for recyclable materials. This not only helped clean up the area, but also assisted the community in supplementing its income. For the second project, the Club created an indigenous park in the grounds of the school. As part of the project, the Club supplied trees to other schools in the area and helped another create its own indigenous park. Their third project was a campaign against waste, encouraging recycling. This was run concurrently with a campaign to enhance environmental awareness. Waste paper recycling bins were taken to businesses in the district and companies were asked to sign a pledge to recycle office waste paper.
With more than 35 years experience in journalism and social service and as Honorary Vice-President and Chairperson of the Rural Energy Department of the All-India Women's Conference (AIWC), Mrs. Lalita Balakrishnan has been a pioneer in the environmental field and has spearheaded the country's woodstove programme which has been judged to be the best by the Government of India. Her efforts have resulted in: more than 3,000 rural women being trained in the construction and maintenance of improved woodstoves and their becoming self-employed and earning decent wages; a reduction in the amount of time spent on collecting fuelwood by three to six hours daily; the installation of 215,000 improved woodstoves in 3,000 villages in 22 states; a saving of 700-1000 kg of fuelwood per chulha per annum or a total of 200,000 tons in a decade or Rs.700 per household/year; the prevention of smoke-related diseases such as bronchitis, asthma and eye infections in a population of about one million (studies have shown that woodstove smoke inhaled by the average rural woman is equivalent to smoking five packs of cigarettes a day); the construction of more than 2000 bio-gas plants in rural areas using a network of 150 NGOs; the provision of clean cooking fuel under hygienic conditions and bio-fertilizers for more than 200 families. She is India's National Coordinator for the International Forum for Sustainable Energy and a Director on the Board of India's Renewable Energy Development Agency.
Professor Paul J. Crutzen has made and continues to make, major contributions both to environmental research and to rational political discussions that lead to enhanced environmental protection measures. In 1969, he was the first to propose that nitrogen oxides (NOx), some of which could be produced by human activities including nuclear explosions and the operation of high-flying aircraft, are capable of destroying stratospheric ozone catalytically. This work led directly to a large expansion in research efforts on the stability of the ozone layer and to the identification of further threats from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Then in 1973, Prof. Crutzen opened the field of tropospheric chemistry by demonstrating through theory that a rich variety of chemical reactions must occur (driven by sunlight). Some of these reactions are more intense in polluted regions while some proceed in remote, unpolluted regions. In this research, he demonstrated the central role of NOx gases from human-caused high-temperature combustion processes. Still in the 1970s, he was a leader in mapping out the response of the stratospheric ozone layer to nitrogen and chlorine compounds, and he identified carbonyl sulphide as the most important non-volcanic source of stratospheric aerosol particles that can affect the Earth's climate. In the late 1970s, he identified tropical biomass burning as an important pollution source affecting ozone formation and atmospheric chemistry, and in 1982, with Birks, the possible atmospheric and climate consequences of a large scale nuclear war ("nuclear winter"). The "nuclear winter" theory has had profound impact on the debate concerning nuclear disarmament. During the 1980s, Prof. Crutzen expanded the scope of his biogeochemical research to include global perturbations of the nitrogen cycle, and the role of greenhouse gases in disturbing Earth's climate. Throughout, he has remained a world leader in the investigations of the ozone layer, in providing understanding of the Antarctic ozone hole and how human-produced CFCs lead to ozone depletion. In summary, Professor Crutzen has played a leading role in showing that human activity can have significant effects on the global atmospheric environment. There is no doubt that he has made an outstanding contribution to the sum of our knowledge in atmospheric chemistry - a new area of atmospheric science.
Earth Love Fund
Earth Love Fund is a non-profit organization founded by three individuals from the music business who put aside their commercial ventures to raise money for conservation projects in rainforest regions. The Fund's first album was the official album for the Earth Summit and raised half a million pounds which have supported more than 40 projects around the globe - particularly in developing countries. To compile this record, the Fund persuaded some of the world's leading musicians, including Paul McCartney, U2, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Dire Straits to donate tracks on a non-profit basis. In 1995, Earth Rise II was released and received major media coverage in Europe. The link with popular music gives the Fund an opportunity to promote the environmental message to a wide audience which is one of its primary objectives. Activities supported include: extraction of samples of essential oils in the Alto Jura region of Brazil to seek sustainable economic activity for rainforest areas; purchase of seedlings for the Green Belt Movement in Kenya; education in a local community of Cameroon on management of resources in a sustainable manner; establishment of a rainforest medicine project in Peru; creation of an eco-forestry training support programme in Papua New Guinea; development of a project to protect the Dong Nah Tom Forest in Thailand; preservation of traditional crop varieties in Nepal; establishment of an indigenous peoples' environmental resource centre in Irian Jaya; and research into Amerindian agriculture in Guyana.
Miguel A. Reynal
Miguel Reynal became actively involved in nature conservation following a personal tragedy. In 1978, he founded the Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina (FVSA) which today is the leading environmental non-governmental organization in Argentina and through-out the region. FVSA has an annual budget of more than US$1.5 million and a membership of 4,000 with chapters in major parts of the country. During his 12 years as Executive President, he has: saved the pampas deer, historically the most abundant mammal in the region, from extinction; discovered a rare bird, the spotted grebe, and saved it from extinction; established a network of private reserves including an 84,000-hectare private and state biological reserve and bird sanctuary in Buenos Aires; created a breeding station for the endangered pudu-pudu deer; developed courses on environmental education for primary school teachers (1,500 trained to date); undertaken continuous lobbying and advocacy on behalf of the environment; and organized ongoing nature safaris. In 1987, Mr. Reynal started Save the Forest, an international initiative designed for media advocacy and debt for nature swaps. He purchased three full-page ads in the New York Times indicating individuals most responsible for destructive environmental practices. In 1993, he founded, funded and became Executive Director (ad honorem) of Fundacion Ecos which organizes short courses, seminars and workshops for community leaders and decision makers in South America.
Garanti Bank T.A.S.
Garanti Bank is committed to conserving Turkey's natural assets. The Bank has made nature conservation the central theme of its public relations programme. Wall calendars promote awareness of issues such as animal populations and flora and fauna, while their advertising campaigns highlight endangered species. Recycled paper is used whenever possible for the Bank's publications. Clean air, greenery and open space are the thematic messages of its branches, whose architectural design reflect a green environment in the form of an oasis. In-branch parks serve as waiting areas, while ionizers purify the atmosphere. The Bank has been the primary sponsor of The Society for the Protection of Nature (DHKD) since 1992. One of several projects is the Bird Sanctuary project which seeks to protect wetlands and other bird sanctuaries throughout Turkey. Some 450 species of birds are found in the country, including 12 internationally-recognized threatened species. In addition, Turkey harbors living and breeding grounds for sea creatures, most notably sea turtles. Garanti Bank sponsors programmes which protect the nesting areas of these creatures. Turkey possesses some of the most diverse flora in Europe, with more than 9,000 plant species - one third of them unique to the country. The Bank assists in the protection of this natural wealth by funding several projects managed jointly by DHKD and The Fauna and Flora Preservation Society. Thanks to these efforts, Garanti Bank has given Turkey's wildlife and habitats a chance to survive.
Dr. Tansu Gurpinar
Tansu Gurpinar, a botanist, zoologist and geologist, joined the National Parks and Wildlife Department of Forestry in 1966 until 1969. He carried out several projects on the conservation of large endangered mammals in Turkey, including the anatolian wild sheep, the ibex goat and the fallow and roe deers who today enjoy a healthy population. He helped plan several National Parks, while undertaking inventories and censuses of wetlands and birds. In 1970, after observing the alarming decline of birds of prey in the country, he made a plea for their conservation and succeeded in ensuring their full legal protection. From 1969 to 1973, he was Director of the country's first bird sanctuary where he enforced protection laws and improved their habitat to attract new species of birds. Thanks to him, a considerable increase in the existing population has been recorded. Since 1976, the Park has been awarded four times a First Class Europeans Diploma. From 1973 to 1977, he fought and succeeded in saving one of the most important wetlands in Turkey from a large drainage project. Today, it is a nature protection area and a Ramsar site with more than 500,000 birds. In 1978, he was appointed Head of Education, Legislation and Finance Department where he implemented better conservation policies. He is currently Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Gurpinar, a leading nature photographer who has won numerous awards, is the author of three nature books and is a founder/member of the Society for the Protection of Nature.
Carlos Roberto Hasbun
Carlos Roberto Hasbun, born in El Salvador in 1963, is a biologist who has done more for the environment in six short years than most accomplish in a life-time. His activities have been undertaken at the grassroots level without publicity or fanfare, but simply out of love for the flora and fauna of his country. He wrote and lobbied for the first wildlife conservation law approved in the El Salvador Congress (1994). He is co-founder of the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre of El Salvador - a clinic where injured and/or confiscated animals are treated and returned to the wild. He is the founder of the National CITES Commission and of the Zoological Foundation of El Salvador. He also founded and continues to head the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme in the village of Barra de Santiago where he develops management schemes for the sustainable use of mangrove wood, green iguanas and marine turtles through the involvement of local communities. He established the Salvadoran Environmental Association "Friends of the Trees" which has planted 300 mangrove seedlings for each adult mangrove tree cut down. He is currently the Director of the National Parks and Wildlife Service where he develops conservation and management programmes for wildlife and wildlands. His is the tale of a quiet man and a beloved teacher who taught children in a village who in turn taught their parents, to leave half the eggs each turtle lays on the shore so that this species can be safeguarded for future generations.
Rampa and Tom Hormel
Rampa and Tom Hormel have been environmentalists since 1986. Initially, they supported the Global Tomorrow Coalition by funding and organizing conferences supporting sustainable development.
In 1986, Tom founded the Global Environment Project Institute (GEPI) a private foundation which they co-chair. Through GEPI, they have initiated and supported projects such as: The Eastern Africa Environmental Network (EAEN) which helps increase environmental awareness in the region and promotes information exchange through a newsletter and an annual conference which now draws participants from 10 East African countries; Environment and Education which designed a curriculum for high school students to investigate the impact of consumption on natural resources within the school context; the Environmental Resource Centre (ERC) which serves the public with its library, meeting area and projects on waste, energy efficiency and transportation; the Sawtooth Community Garden Project (SCGP), which educates communities in sustainable living practices through the construction of a renewable energy greenhouse and community facility set in a five-acre botanical garden. SCGP will provide models of sustainable building and gardening practices.
Rampa has focused on consumer issues, the founding and directing of an information centre at the nation's first environmental shopping mall and served on the Board of Green Seal, a non-profit organization which identifies environmentally-friendly goods and services.
Veit Koester heads the Ecological Division of National Forest and Nature Agency in the Ministry of the Environment of Denmark. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and publications in the field of nature conservation and international environmental law. Mr. Koester has been an active contributor to the preparation of several international legal instruments on nature conservation, notably the World Heritage Convention, the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, the European Community Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds and Community Regulations i.e. on the implementation of the Washington Convention within the community. He has been responsible for the Danish implementation of these international legal instruments. Mr. Koester has served as elected chairman for and is member of numerous international committees and environmental organizations.