SOS RHINO FIELD SCIENTIST, DR. ANNELISA KILBOURN, RECEIVES THE PRESTIGIOUS UNEP GLOBAL 500 AWARD
26 May 2003
Each year, the main World Environment Day www.unep.org
(WED) celebrations are held in a city at the invitation of a
Government. This year
it was held in Beirut. WED, considered one of the most important
events on the environment calendar, is celebrated every year
in more than 100 countries.
The occasion serves to inspire political
and community action. Governments, individuals, non-governmental
and youth groups, business, industry and the media undertake
a variety of activities aimed at renewing their commitment to the
protection of the environment.
Klaus Toepfer, the Executive Director
of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), presented
the 2003 Global 500 laureates with
their award for outstanding achievement at the World Environment
Day (WED) celebrations.
Mr. Toepfer said: "Every year it is
our privilege to recognize those individuals and groups who have
gone beyond the rhetoric
and the grand-standing, who have seized the issues and transformed
a dream into reality, turned ideas into action on the ground."
Rhino’s Field Research Scientist, the late Dr. Annelisa
Kilbourn was among this year’s winners of the prestigious
UNEP Global 500 Award.
She was joined by an Indian whose eco-friendly
toilet is transforming the health and lives of the urban poor;
a Lebanese journalist who
has almost single-handedly brought crucial environmental issues
to the attention of the Arab world; an individual from Niger whose
company is delivering "sustainable development in action";
a litter-busting brigade of Nepalese women who have transformed
waste management in this Himalayan mountain kingdom. A team of
Bangladeshi lawyers who are bringing environmental and social justice
to their country; a visionary Frenchman who, over half a century
ago, recognized and pressed for the need for national parks; and
a children's group, which helped cut water wastage among communities
in the Algerian Sahara, complete the octet of this year's winners.
For more than 2 years, Annelisa worked for SOS Rhino contributing
much to wildlife research in Malaysia. She also worked for other
conservation organizations in Chicago, including Lincoln Park
Zoo and Shedd Aquarium.
Her work in Malaysia to save the endangered Sumatran rhinos of
Borneo has given these magnificent animals a chance for survival.
Working with SOS Rhino staff, she developed a computerized wildlife
tracking system to facilitate data collection and survey of animal
localization in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve on the island of Borneo.
In addition to her work as an SOS Rhino researcher, Annelisa consulted
for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Gabon, Congo and CAR.
While implementing and conducting research on the health of free-ranging
wild populations of apes, she discovered the connection between
viral transmission to humans and dwindling ape populations in
Annelisa died tragically on the afternoon of November 2 in a small
plane accident in the Lope Nature Preserve in Gabon, Africa.
entire conservation community mourns the loss of this young researcher
who in a short time made a difference in protecting
some of the world’s most endangered animals” Dr Nan
Schaffer, President of SOS Rhino.
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