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Midori Prize for Biodiversity



The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity was established in 2010 at the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the AEON Environmental Foundation, which coincided with the celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity. The MIDORI Prize honors three individuals who have made outstanding contributions to conservation and sustainable use at local and global levels, and who have influenced and strengthened various biodiversity-related efforts, as well as raised awareness about biodiversity. Each winner is awarded a wooden plaque, a commemorative gift and a monetary prize of 100,000 US dollars to support their work in safeguarding biodiversity. The MIDORI Prize is co-hosted by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and is a key instrument at the service of the objectives of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020.

Cristiana Pașca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “The MIDORI Prize is a unique international prize focused on biodiversity, shining a spotlight on the work of dedicated individuals. We hope it will contribute to raising public awareness on the essential role of biodiversity to human well-being and the solutions that biodiversity provides to global challenges like climate change.”

Takuya Okada, Chairman of the AEON Environmental Foundation and Honorary Chairman of AEON Co., Ltd., said: “Safeguarding the Earth’s biodiversity and tackling climate change are two of the greatest challenges of our time. We hope that the MIDORI Prize will help to inspire action to meet the global challenge, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the objectives of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020.”

For more information, visit MIDORI official website.

MIDORI Prize for 2018

The call for nominations remains open from 15 February to 15 June 2018 at the MIDORI official website the MIDORI official website.

MIDORI Prize for 2016

The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2016 was awarded on 2 December 2016 at the end of the opening session of the high-level segment of the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and of the meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Nagoya and Cartagena Protocols, together known as the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, Cancun, Mexico, 2016.

From left to right: Dr. Yury Darman, Dr. Vandana Shiva and Dr. Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz.

2016 Winners

  • Dr. Alfonso Aguirre-Muñoz, Executive Director of Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (Mexico). Dr. Aguirre-Muñoz has worked tirelessly in the Mexican islands—unique ecosystems and home to abundant endemic species—to remove invasive species and actively restore seabird populations and vegetation communities. Thanks to his interdisciplinary collaboration involving fishermen cooperatives, private donors, the Mexican Navy and federal government agencies, protected areas in excess of 40,000 ha stretching over vast island regions have been created. He has also made a significant contribution to Revillagigedo Archipelago’s (“Mexican Galapagos”) recent recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

  • Dr. Yury Darman, Director of WWF-Russia Amur Branch (Russia). Concerned about the impact on freshwater ecosystems of proposals for dams within the Russian Far Eastern Region, Dr. Darman organized five campaigns against their construction. He has extolled tremendous efforts to increase populations under the umbrella of iconic rare species, including the Amur tiger. Vast nature reserves extending beyond Russia’s border to China and Mongolia were established as areas of international cooperation based on an approach that integrates scientific and traditional knowledge. He addresses contemporary challenges through a focus on the nexus between biodiversity and climate change.

  • Dr. Vandana Shiva, Founder and Director of Navdanya (India).Centered on the principle of ‘Earth Democracy,’ Dr. Shiva formed a grassroots movement “Navdanya” to save seeds, protect farmers’ rights and biodiversity, and promote traditional organic farming methods that raise levels of nutrition and income, thus reducing both hunger and poverty. In the context of the global discourse on biodiversity and biosafety, she has demonstrated unshakable resolve in speaking out for marginalized populations and women, and also achieved notable success in establishing sustainable societies based on models contributing to access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources.

MIDORI Prize for 2014

The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2014 was awarded on 15 October 2014 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, at a ministerial luncheon hosted by the Government of South Korea during the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 12).

2014 Winners

  • Dr. Kamal Bawa, President of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), India, and Distinguished Professor of university of Massachusetts, Boston. Dr. Bawa is globally recognized for the results of his research on tropical forests. Through developing new methods and genetic markers he has shown that forest fragmentation, widespread in the tropics, depletes biodiversity. He has led research on conservation biology for many years, including on the extraction of non-timber products and on mainstreaming biodiversity into agricultural landscapes. He established the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) as a research institution for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. He has displayed operational leadership and integrally promoted research, education and implementation at the ATREE.
  • Dr. Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Chair of Ghana National Biodiversity Committee, Ghana. Dr. Oteng-Yeboah is a leader in biodiversity-related foras, including as a representative of Africa. He has held several important positions within international biodiversity-related institutions including as Chair of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). He has led international negotiations on biodiversity from a global perspective and his work had, and continues to have, an impact worldwide. Importantly, he contributed to the establishment and management of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) through advocating the importance of dialogues between science and policy.
  • Dr. Bibiana Vilá, Director of Vicuñas, Camelids and Environment (VICAM), and Principal Researcher of National Research Council (CONICET), Argentina. Specialized in the conservation of wild vicuñas in the Andean altiplano, Dr. Vilá has led the implementation of conservation measures integrating both traditional knowledge of indigenous communities and modern science including ecology, ethology and animal welfare. Her work in promoting support to local communities and the implementation of environmental education has had significant impact in the region. Her efforts focus on promoting the sustainable use of economically high-value vicuña fiber, thus contributing to the conservation of wild animals and the stable development of regional communities. The work of Dr. Vilá demonstrates that local-based projects can have repercussions at the regional and global levels.

2014 News

MIDORI Prize for 2012

The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2012 was awarded on 17 October 2012 in Hyderabad, India, at a ministerial luncheon hosted by the Government of India during the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP11).

In her remarks to the distinguished guests, Her Excellency Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan, the Minister of Environment and Forests of the Government of India and COP11 President, said: “As COP11 President, I am very honoured to host this award ceremony and happy to have these distinguished winners at COP11, who have made outstanding contributions to implementation of CBD. I believe their inspiring works will help attract people’s attention to biodiversity issues through this MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity.”

2012 Winners

  • Dr. Juan Carlos Castilla, Professor of Marine Ecology at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. As "the pioneer of South American marine ecology,” Dr. Castilla has been involved in national strategies promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. He worked with governments, coastal and more marginalized artisanal fisher communities, and proved that the small scale Marine Protected Area is effective for sustainably developing the community as well as growing a green economy.
  • Dr. Rodrigo Gamez-Lobo, President of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio). Dr. Gámez founded and initiated the INBio in Costa Rica, a country of mega-diversity. He provided a successful model for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity to the world in various fields including the inventorying of biodiversity, environmental education, bioprospecting, policy and legislation, land use management/technical assistance, capacity building and eco tourism.
  • Dr. Vo Quy, Honorary President at the Center for Natural Resources Management and Environmental Studies (CRES), Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Dr. Quy, who took the initiative to involve rural communities as the main proponents of the country’s nature conservation and reforestation program, is rightly called the father of Vietnam’s environmental conservation movement. He showed a model of the conservation and rehabilitation of nature, offering hope that lands devastated by urbanization or warfare can be regenerated.

2012 News

MIDORI Prize for 2010

The establishment in 2010 of “The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity” corresponded to the 20th anniversary of the AEON Environmental Foundation and commemorated the International Year on Biodiversity 2010 as well as the hosting by Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture and Japan of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The 2010 Award Ceremony took place at the occasion of the the high-level segment of the tenth meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties. More information on the 2010 edition is available here.

2010 Winners

In 2010, the first MIDORI Prizes were awarded to:

2010 News

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme