CI wins top environmental award for Atlantic Forest conservation achievements

5/26/2013

São Paulo, Brazil – Conservation International is delighted to announced today that it has been named the winner of one of Brazil’s most prestigious environmental awards, the 2013 Muriqui Award. Rewarded by the National Council for the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve (CN-RBMA for its acronym in Portuguese), a network of non-profit organizations, government agencies and businesses, the prize is given annually to individuals or groups for their outstanding efforts to protect the Atlantic Forest hotspot

The Muriqui Award was created in 1993 with the objective of recognizing actions that contribute to biodiversity conservation, promotion of traditional and scientific knowledge and fostering of sustainable development in the Altantic Forest. The award was named after the muriqui or woolly spider monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides and B. hypoxanthus), an endangered primate species native and the flagship species of the Atlantic Forest.  Conservation efforts and research focused on this primate have resulted in numerous initiatives to protect the region and train many Brazilian conservationists. CI’s President, Dr. Russell Mittermeier, a world-leading primatologist,​​​​ also received the award in 1997.

 
André Guimarães, Executive Director of Conservation International Brazil (CI-Brazil), said: “The Muriqui Award - the ‘Oscars’ of conservation in our country - is the public recognition of the exceptional results we have achieved in the benefit of the Brazilian society over the past two decades and an encouragement to continue to push forward with our work. We are extremely happy and would like to share this important recognition with all of our partners who help our mission to become a reality on the ground.”

 
CI-Brazil has been working in the Atlantic Forest, a threatened biodiversity hotspot, for over 20 years by carrying out scientific research on social aspects of biodiversity to serve as the basis for sustainable economic alternatives. More recently, the organization has been instrumental in the campaign to elect the muriqui as the official mascot of  the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

 
The Atlantic Forest or Mata Atlântica stretches along Brazil's Atlantic coast, from the northern state of Rio Grande do Norte south to Rio Grande do Sul. It extends inland to Paraguay and Argentina, and narrowly along the coast into Uruguay. Long isolated from other major rainforest blocks in South America, the Atlantic Forest has an extremely diverse and unique fauna and flora. Yet, less than 16 percent of its original forest cover remains with dozens of species clinging to survival, including muriquis, lion tamarins and other.

 
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Note to editors:
Conservation International - Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and its global biodiversity to promote the long-term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. CI employs more than 800 staff in nearly 20+ countries on four continents and works with more than 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please see www.conservation.org or visit us on Facebook  and Twitter.

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