YEPT wins BirdLife Award
Saturday 13th September, 2008The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust has been awarded a prestigious BirdLife International Conservation Achievement Award for its innovative conservation work. The Trust is the first New Zealand conservation organisation to receive this award.
Her Imperial Highness, Princess Takamado of Japan, Honorary President to BirdLife International, presented the award to the Trust on September 27 during BirdLife International's World Conference in Buenos Aires.
Mike Britton, General Manager of the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand accepted the award on behalf of the Trust.
Awards are presented in recognition of outstanding international achievements in bird conservation. Previous awards were given in 2004. Ten awards were made in total, five to BirdLife International partners and five to individuals or organisations world-wide who are making a significant difference for bird conservation in the wild.
Euan Kennedy, Founding Trustee of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust says, "This award confirms New Zealand's place as a world leader in bird conservation. It's international recognition for our vision and hard work. We could not have done this without the thousands of Kiwis - Trust members, volunteers, schools, community organisations, businesses, local and central government - who have helped us along the way. Special thanks also to the Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand who nominated the Trust for the award."
"Without question, this award also celebrates the invaluable support of Mainland Cheese who have been our principal sponsor for 19 years. Through the Mainland bar-code redemption scheme, thousands of New Zealanders have contributed to saving yellow-eyed penguins and their coastal habitats."
David McFarlane, Field Officer for the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, says, "The yellow-eyed penguin is an endangered species and needs ongoing help to restore their populations to sustainable levels. For the foreseeable future, we will need to continue our conservation activity so that these iconic penguins have safe, high quality habitats in which to breed and prosper again."
Chris Earl, Brand Manager for Mainland, says, "We are thrilled the Trust's great work has been recognised internationally. We also wish to thank the thousands of New Zealanders who have sent in their Mainland barcodes, which has allowed us to donate over $1 million to the Trust. However, the Trust still needs ongoing support, so we urge New Zealanders to continue to send in their barcodes found on the back of Mainland cheese and butter products."
Anton Oliver, the Trust's patron recently worked with BirdLife International in Fiji's outlying Ringgold Islands where he has been studying the link between biodiversity and economic security as part of his dissertation.
BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strive to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. BirdLife Partners operate in over one hundred countries and territories worldwide. BirdLife Partners collaborate on regional work programmes in every continent.