Winners at World Conservation Congress

Two medals and one honorary membership were awarded at the IUCN World Conservation Congress today.

Dr. Robert Goodland Photo: IUCN/J. Muntaner

The Harold Jefferson Coolidge Memorial Medal for outstanding contributions to conservation of nature and natural resources was established at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Bangkok in 2004 and awarded for the first time today. 

The winner, Dr. Robert Goodland, from Canada, was Environmental Advisor to the World Bank Group from 1978 to 2001. He has written numerous books on ecology and environmental science. He is particularly renowned for providing inspiration, encouragement and support to numerous individuals, especially young people, to pursue their careers in conservation.

“I have four minutes to make the speech, but four minutes aren’t enough to give you the thanks it deserves. I wish I could finance you all at IUCN as Dr Coolidge did,” said Dr Goodland.

IUCN’s highest conservation award, the John C. Phillips Memorial Medal, has been presented at every General Assembly and Congress since 1963. Awarded in memory of the life and work of Dr John C. Phillips, a pioneer of the conservation movement and specialist in taxonomy and genetics, it is in recognition of outstanding service in international conservation.

Former recipients of this medal include Indira Gandhi, Professor E. O. Wilson and Dr Luc Hoffmann. This time the winner was Dr. José Aristeo Sarukhán Kermez, who was dean of Science and later Rector of the National University of Mexico for eight years. His areas of research include plant population ecology and systems ecology.

“I feel very proud to receive this medal. It gives me the motivation to keep working for a better planet,” said Dr Kermez.

Since IUCN was founded 60 years ago, individuals who have made exceptional contributions to furthering the goals of the Union have been given Honorary Membership of IUCN.

This year, Honorary Membership went to Dr. Larry Hamilton in recognition of his outstanding service to the conservation of nature and natural resources. Dr. Hamilton is Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources at Cornell University and continues to contribute to conservation on a voluntary basis as an active Commission member.

Dr. Hamilton was unable to attend the IUCN World Conservation Congress, so Dr. Graeme Worboys of the World Commission of Protected Areas gave the speech on his behalf.

“To accept this award is a joyful and humbling experience. It gives me particular pleasure to join the other IUCN personalities who have be awarded this,” wrote Dr Hamilton in his speech.

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