Breaking Conservation News

Receive news, views and features from the front line of conservation, straight to your inbox.

Thank You

Conservation International Fellow Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim Wins 2019 Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award

November 8, 2019

LOS ANGELES (November 8, 2019) – Conservation International Lui-Walton Fellow Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim was awarded the 2019 Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award last night in recognition of her work to include indigenous people in the global fight to address the impacts of climate change.

The honor annually recognizes an environmental leader, under the age of 40, who is making lasting change in the field of environmental sustainability. It includes a $100,000 cash prize, which is funded as part of a $20 million gift to UCLA from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation.

According to the press release from UCLA, Ibrahim said the award will help amplify the voices of 370 million indigenous people around the world. “The voices of indigenous people are being heard here — through me, through all of you and through this prize,” Ibrahim said. “We are all together. We will win this battle, I am so confident.”

“Tonight’s recognition of Hindou’s hard work is also recognition of the critical role of indigenous peoples solving the climate crisis,” said Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. “We live in a world that prioritizes high-tech, high-cost solutions. Yet it is indigenous peoples who – more than anyone else on the planet – are succeeding at one of the most readily available climate solutions out there: keeping the natural world alive. Conservation International is deeply grateful to Hindou for her important work, and to the Pritzker Family Foundation for honoring and supporting it.” 

Ibrahim is a member of the pastoralist Mbororo community in Chad, and represents the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee  and the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad, which she founded at the age of 15, upon witnessing, firsthand, the connection between climate, nature, and women’s rights. 

In 2016, she told her story to Conservation International: “In my own lifetime I observed the changing of the weather. When I was young … we used to have a lot of milk. But now, during the dry season, there is not enough milk.” Without enough milk for the family, Ibrahim explained, there was not enough to sell in support of their livelihoods. “Our life and livelihood are linked to the environment.”

Ibrahim has been widely recognized for her work, most recently by TIME magazine, which named her one of the 15 women leading the fight against climate change.

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking  "Nature Is Speaking" campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “Drop in the Ocean”"My Africa," “Under the Canopy" and "Valen's Reef." Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation News, our blog, FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Request an Interview

Kipp Lanham

Media Relations Manager

2011 Crystal Drive Suite 600

Arlington, Virginia 22202

(703) 341-2405