Georgetown, Guyana - Conservation International announced the winners of the Biodiversity Reporting Award 2004 today at the Tower Hotel in Georgetown. Nicosia Somantha Smith of Stabroek News received the BDRA Guyana 2004 First Prize for her article "Wildlife Traders warn against dolphin exports". Mrs. Smith, will travel to Bangkok, Thailand, to attend the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress.
The Second Prize was given to Patrick Denny from Stabroek News for his article "CI helping Amerindian to develop their community's sustainability." Nikolai Johann Earle's article titled "Iwokrama throws lifeline to Arapaima" took third place. The article was published in Stabroek News. The second and third place will receive G$60,000 and G$30,000 respectively. All three winners received a plaque and a professional resource kit from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
Honorable Mentions went to Sharon Lall for "Project aims to tap rich shore waters in Guyana's North West," which appeared in the Guyana Chronicle and to Nicola Waldron for "Battling to save endangered Arapaima," published in Kaieteur News.
The BDRA is an environmental journalism competition that takes place in six countries in the Americas and Africa and is organized by Conservation International (CI), the International Center for Journalists and the International Federation of Environmental Journalists.
Major General (Retd) Joseph Singh, Executive Director of Conservation
International Guyana commented: "Considering the quality and number of the entries submitted this year, Guyana's journalists are alert to the influence that their profession can make to inform and to educate the public, especially on issues relating to the environment."
Started in 1999, the Award was first launched in Guatemala and Guyana. In 2000, it was expanded to include Colombia; in 2001, Bolivia, Brazil and Ghana entered the competition. This year, the contest was held in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Peru and Madagascar.
"The Biodiversity Reporting Award has been generating incentives to engage Guyana's journalists in the coverage of biodiversity for the past sixth years," said Haroldo Castro, CI's Vice-President for Global Communications and Executive Director of the Award. " The BDRA started in Guyana in 1999 and since then we have recognized the excellence of 14 winners in the country."
In this sixth edition, 109 print journalists, representing 72 media outlets, participate in the award with 186 stories. As in previous years, the judging process took place almost exclusively online through the BDRA Website. For more information you may access www.biodiversityreporting.org.
The Biodiversity Reporting Award was made possible through the support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), the Virginia W. Cabot Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.