— Conservation International announced the winners of the Biodiversity Reporting Award (BDRA) 2005 today at the Tower Hotel in Georgetown. Nikolai Johann Earle of Stabroek News received the BDRA Guyana 2005 First Prize for his article "Jaguar vulnerable to Trophy Trade" about the increasing threats that the endangered jaguar faces. Mr. Earle will travel to Malaysia to attend the International Media & Environment Summit, organized by News World Nature, which will take place in Kuching, Sarawak's capital, between November 30 and December 2.
The Second Prize was given to Neil Marks, for his article "Surama's Greenheart", published in the Guyana Chronicle and the Third Prize was given to Nicosia Smith, for her article "Balancing nature preservation with human needs, published in Stabroek News. They received G$60,000 and G$30,000 respectively. Oscar Clarke, received an Honorable Mention for the article "Economics vs. the environment?" published in Stabroek News.
"The Biodiversity Reporting Award continues to recognize outstanding environmental journalists in Guyana," said Ajay Baksh, CI-Guyana's Media Manager. "It focuses on excellence and the quality of reporting to ensure that accurate pictures are painted for the public. We hope that more and more journalists will be inspired to break new ground in the field of environmental journalism."
The Biodiversity Reporting Award takes place simultaneously in seven other biodiversity-rich countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Madagascar, Peru and Venezuela, and is organized by Conservation International, the International Center for Journalists and the International Federation of Environmental Journalists. The objective of the Award is to increase the quantity and quality of environmental reporting by recognizing the outstanding work of Guyana's environmental journalists.
"This year, the BDRA was a success in the eight countries where it took place. 376 articles written by 218 journalists and published in 107 media outlets participated in the contest" said Haroldo Castro, CI's Vice President for Global Communications and BDRA Executive Director. "In Guyana, where the BDRA celebrates its seventh consecutive year, eight journalists from three newspapers submitted 19 articles."
In 2004, Nicosia Somantha Smith from Stabroek News won the first prize for her article "Wildlife traders warn against dolphin exports" and traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, where Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan congratulated her during the IUCN World Conservation Congress. In 2003 Miranda La Rose of Stabroek News won first prize for the second time for an article about the Iwokrama canopy walkway and in 2002, Andrew Richards of Stabroek News won first prize for reporting about the damage being done to the Knawaruk River.
As in previous years, the judging process took place online through the BDRA Website. For more information you may access www.biodiversityreporting.org