The Year 2015 in Review
The foundation KfW Stiftung has split the environmental award KfW-Bernhard-Grzimek-Preis 2015 and the prize money of 50,000 euros, awarding one half to Emmanuel de Merode, director of Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the other half to the scientist and economist Pavan Sukhdev.
Emmanuel de Merode has been honoured with the award for his outstanding work in Africa’s oldest national park and his commitment to protecting endangered mountain gorillas and the region’s unique biodiversity. In addition, he has launched essential economic initiatives in the national park, aiming to secure a sustainable livelihood for the population. He has contributed immensely to reducing poaching and illegal logging and has been crucial to the conclusion of peace agreements with rebel leaders in the border region.
Pavan Sukhdev has received the award for his leading contribution to the study “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity“ (TEEB). It offers a ground-breaking approach to evaluate biodiversity and for the first time ever allows the increasing costs resulting from the loss of biodiversity to be determined. Meanwhile, the approach has been adjusted to be used in different sectors and has been transformed into a useful tool for policy makers. In his tribute, Dr. Christof Schenck, director of Frankfurt Zoological Society, emphasised that both laureates had in their different ways not only proved their long-standing commitment to preserving biodiversity but had made a sustainable contribution to positive structural change.