This year’s esteemed Blue Planet Prize from the Asahi Glass Foundation was awarded to Prof. Markus Borner (Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow) who has been at the forefront of the conservation and management initiatives to protect endangered wildlife and ecosystems in Africa over the past 40 years.
The Prize Award Ceremony was held in Tokyo on November 16 in attendance of his Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino. The opening address was given by Asahi Glass Group Chairman, Mr. Kazuhiko Ishimura followed by an array of congratulatory remarks from H.I.H Prince Akishino, Prime Minister Abe (read by METI Vice Minister Mr. Sugawara) as well as the Ambassador of Switzerland to Japan, H.E. Mr. Jean-François Paroz.
The Swiss Ambassador pointed out in his Congratulatory speech that the Swiss Constitution in its preamble stipulates that the Swiss people and Cantons are mindful of their responsibility towards creation and towards future generations. He thanked Prof. Borner for all his contributions to protect and conserve biodiversity and wilderness and also the Asahi Glass Foundation for establishing the Blue Planet Prize which highlights the achievements of individuals and institutions that are hard at work to protect our environment.
Prof. Markus Borner, in his acceptance speech, said he was “deeply humbled as one of the recipient’s of this year’s Blue Planet Prize“, and he also thanked the people of Tanzania: “I have been very fortunate and privileged to have been able to do something that has had great meaning for me, and that has contributed towards the conservation of the iconic Serengeti National Park and other important conservation areas in Africa. Mine is only a small contribution, and credit is due to the people of Tanzania who – coming from one of the poorest countries in the world – have shown extraordinary leadership in protecting the country’s natural heritage and some of the world’s most spectacular biodiversity for all of us who share this planet.”
At the end of his very personal speech, Prof. Borner thanked the Asahi Glass Foundation “for helping us find ways into the future, a future where there will be room for elephants and rhinos and where lions can still roar in the morning light.”
Congratulations, Prof. Borner for receiving the 25th Blue Planet Prize!