The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK registered charity offering awards and grants to outstanding nature conservationists around the world. Similarly to the Goldman Environmental Prize that we wrote about last week, the Whitley Awards are granted to exceptional individuals doing conservation across the globe. This year WFN granted one Gold Award to Çağan Şekercioğlu for his work initiating community-based conservation, ecological restoration and ecotourism in Turkey. Çağan previously won a joint Whitley gold Award in 2008 and received continuation funding in 2010 and 2012.
WFN also granted seven Whitley Awards:
1. Ekwoge Abwe for local community protection of endangered great apes in Ebo forest, Cameroon. This award was donated by Fondation Segré.
2. Dr. Aparajita Datta for her work to conserve hornbills and use them as flagships for the Himalayan forests of Arunachal Pradesh, India. This award was donated by WWF-UK.
3. Zahirul Islam for community based sea turtle conservation in Bangladesh. This award was donated by The Scottish Friends of the Whitley Fund for Nature.
4. Eugene Simonov for protection of the Amur River Basin and Wetlands in Russia. This award was donated by the Shears Foundation.
5. John Kahekwa for inspiring community action for Grauer’s Gorilla conservation in and around Kahuzi Biega National Park in South Kivu, Eastern DRC. This award was donated by Goldman Sachs.
6. Zafer Kizilkaya for helping to establish Turkey's first community managed marine protected area in Gökova Bay. This award was donated by The William Brake Charitable Trust.
7. Daniel Letoiye for his work restoring grasslands for Grevy’s Zebra and free ranging livestock of the nomadic Samburu pastoral community in Kenya. This award was donated by donated by The LJC fund in memory of Anthea and Lindsey Turner.
Award winners receive up to £35,000 towards their work, as well as support to raise their profile, network and inspire others. This funding is not always one-off and £70,000 is available for previous Whitley Award winners continuing to do exceptional work.