London, 30 April 2015 – The Philippine Embassy in London reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Filipino biologist Jayson Ibañez received the 2015 Whitley Award from HRH The Princess Royal of the United Kingdom at a ceremony in London last 29 April.
Philippine eagle conservationist Jayson Ibañez accepts the Whitley Award from HRH The Princess Royal (Photo courtesy of WFN)
Ibañez was recognized for his work in preventing decline of the famous Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) in Mindanao. As research and conversation director of the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao City, he has worked to implement a community-based conservation strategy. He has contributed in protecting eagle nesting sites and preventing hunting with the help of 350 indigenous people serving as forest guards.
Whitley Award winner Jayson Ibañez delivers his acceptance speech at the Royal Geographical Society in London
The 2015 Whitley Award winners include conservation leaders from Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the Philippines. Whitley Award alumni Dino Martins of Kenya received the 2014 Whitley Gold Award at the ceremony. The winners were selected from over 174 applicants from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
Considered as the ‘Green Oscars’, the Whitley Award is a prestigious international nature conservation prize worth £35,000 in project funding. It is sponsored and organized by the UK-based Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN). It supports and highlights the work of proven grassroots conservation leaders in developing countries by boosting their profiles and increasing international awareness of their projects.
Jayson Ibañez with Senen Mangalile, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Philippine Embassy in London
The occasion was attended by Whitley Awards’ organizers, judges, donors and conservation scientists, diplomats and journalists, among others. The Philippine Embassy was represented at the event by Deputy Chief of Mission Senen Mangalie and Vice Consul Rommel Romato.
The annual award ceremony was held at the Royal Geographical Society in London in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, who is also the Patron of WFN. END