Every year, the Asahi Glass Foundation rewards two organizations or individuals for their outstanding achievements in research solving global environmental problems. This year, the so-called “Blue Planet Prize” was awarded for the 25th time and goes to Mr. Pavan Sukhdev (India) for his efforts to hasten the evolution to an inclusive green economy, and to Prof. Markus Borner (Switzerland) for conserving endangered wildlife and protected-area ecosystems in Africa. He is the second Swiss to win the Blue Planet Prize, after Dr. Mathis Wackernagel who was awarded in 2012. The prize includes a certificate of merit, a commemorative trophy and a supplementary award of 50 million yen (approx. CHF 500’000).
Prof. Markus Borner is an Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, an Adjunct Professor of The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania, and the former Director of Frankfurt Zoological Society Africa Program. He dedicated all his working life to the conservation of wildlife in Africa, first in Tanzania and over the years in many other countries as well. Thanks to his outstanding efforts, areas like the Serengeti are much better protected and documented as three decades ago, when Prof. Borner started his work there. He found new approaches to conservation, involving the local people and empowering them at the same time. In addition, he invested a lot of time and efforts into pioneering studies researching the ecology of wildlife.
On Thursday, November 17, 2016, the two award winners will hold a commemorative lecture at the United Nations University (Shibuya, Tokyo).