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15 juin 2012 5 15 /06 /juin /2012 09:00


Sergei Bereznuk became a winner of Rolex Global Awards for Enterprise

13 June 2012 – Five visionaries, whose projects have the potential to save millions of lives and protect endangered wildlife and ecosystems, have been announced in London as the 2012 winners of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise.  The five pioneering men and women are carrying out groundbreaking projects in Australia, Bolivia, Kenya, Russia and the United States.  

Sergei Bereznuk, director of Phoenix Fund – small conservation NGO working to save the last remaining Amur tigers in the Russian Far East – was chosen from more than 3,500 applicants from 154 countries by an independent Jury of international experts.

“Where I live, we are fortunate to have the Siberian tiger, a truly magnificent cat”, says Sergei Bereznuk. “Sadly, today, this tiger population has dwindled to only about 500 individuals due to poaching and the destruction of their habitat. Every one of us is responsible for the future of the Siberian tiger. Some people might say that, with the ongoing global economic crisis, there aren't sufficient funds to finance conservation projects. It has become more difficult for organizations like ours to raise money. But the Siberian tiger can't wait. His fate is in our hands. The clock is ticking. Throughout our journey, we have had the kind support of various global partners: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, Whitley Fund for Nature, 21st Century Tiger, Rufford Foundation and others.

Now, thanks to Rolex's generosity, we will be able to implement two aspects of a new project called MIST, aimed at increasing the effectiveness of our anti-poaching activities in protected areas in the Russian Far East. These activities cannot be achieved without our committed and trained wildlife rangers, and MIST will help them work more efficiently and provide standardized performance indicators.

Our second challenge within this project is to enhance eco-education in the region, particularly in small towns and villages situated in the tiger habitat. Anti-poaching activities alone will not win the war against poachers. We have to fight for the hearts and minds of the local people. We must educate our future generations. We must protect the tiger for our future before his time runs out!”

The other four new Laureates are: Barbara BLOCK from United States for her project to preserve part of the Pacific Ocean by tracking marine predators off the North American coast, Erika CUELLAR, who is training indigenous people to conserve the biodiversity of South America, Australian Mark KENDALL, who is developing a “Nanopatch” to replace needles in vaccination, Aggrey OTIENO from Kenya  for saving the lives of hundreds of mothers and babies in a Nairobi slum each year by providing them with a lifeline to obstetric medical care through a telemedicine centre. 

The Laureates join the 115 individuals from 42 countries whose spirit of enterprise and concern for the environment and mankind have earned support and recognition from Rolex Awards in the last 36 years in areas including science and health, applied technology, exploration and discovery, the environment, and preservation of cultural heritage. 

“This year, the Jury was struck at how each of these remarkable individuals is empowering people in their communities to take control and preserve the natural world and the lives of those around them,” said Rebecca Irvin, head of Rolex philanthropy. “In most cases, they are harnessing new technology to promote public advocacy and change for the better. We at Rolex welcome these five Laureates into the global network of visionaries that has grown since the Awards were founded in 1976.”
On November 27, more than 400 distinguished figures from around the world will gather to honour the new Laureates at a ceremony in New Delhi, India. 

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