News Release

A Triumph for Species in the 2012 Rolex Awards Laureate Selection

14 June 2012
Sergei Bereznuk, a Russian conservationist and ecologist, is committed to saving the Amur tiger. Photo: Rolex Awards/Mark Latzel

The 2012 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, announced yesterday at the Science Museum in London, UK, recognize pioneers whose work contributes to protecting the environment, or improving lives. Three of the 2012 Laureates, Sergei Bereznuk, Barbara Block and Erika Cuéllar have won Awards for projects devoted to saving species.

Over the past year, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has been working with Rolex to promote the Rolex Awards for Enterprise on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ website.

It is greatly rewarding to see our efforts to promote the Rolex Awards for Enterprise result in the support of some truly fantastic conservation related projects,” says Dr Simon N. Stuart, Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). “We are immensely grateful to have been able to contribute to the process of connecting worthwhile projects with much needed funding and support through these Awards.”

Laureate Sergei Bereznuk will be working to protect the last of the Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) while Barbara Block is setting up “Wi-Fi” hotspots to track marine predators. Erika Cuéllar, who is also a member of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC), will train members of local communities in Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay to conserve the Gran Chaco region of South America.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise have supported pioneering work in the environmental arena since they were established in 1976,” says Rebecca Irvin, head of philanthropy at Rolex. “Working with IUCN has allowed us to reach further into the conservation world to help find individuals whose ground-breaking projects meet the Awards’ strict criteria of originality, feasibility and positive impact on the local community and beyond. The 2012 Laureates are an exceptional group and we are delighted to be able to help them carry out and complete their initiatives to conserve the diversity of life on earth.”

This year, 3,512 applications were received from around the world and five projects were selected. Rolex will provide each of the five Laureates 100,000 Swiss francs to put towards their projects, a Rolex chronometer, and international publicity for their work.

Visit the Rolex Awards for Enterprise website for more information.

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