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FZS congratulates Markus Borner on winning the 2016 Blue Planet Prize

Frankfurt, 15 June 2016 – Professor Markus Borner has won the 2016 Blue Planet Prize. Frankfurt Zoological Society congratulates the former Director of the Society’s Africa Programme on receiving this prestigious award for his lifetime commitment to conservation.
The Japanese Asahi Glass Foundation awards the Blue Planet Prize annually to two recipients worldwide to honour their contributions to solving global environmental problems. Markus Borner more than deserves this prize, as he has dedicated not only his professional career to safeguarding Africa’s wild places but also most of his private life. For more than three decades Markus shaped the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Africa Programme before he retired in 2012. “The whole FZS team congratulates Markus on this very well deserved prize, we are super happy for him”, says Christof Schenck, CEO of Frankfurt Zoological Society.

Markus Borner can look back at a remarkable career in conservation. He arrived in the Serengeti with his family during dark times in the early 1980s. A wave of poaching had left its bloody mark on the national park. Carcasses of elephants and rhinos littered the landscape. The surviving animals tried to seek shelter in the centre of the park, where the Borners had built a small house and a makeshift office. Undauntedly, Markus Borner joined with the Tanzanian authorities to get the national park back on its feet.

Markus Borner, former FZS Africa Director Throughout my career, 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. Markus Borner, former FZS Africa Director

Markus Borner’s contributions to positive developments in conservation were not limited to the Serengeti and the many other Tanzanian conservation areas with which he was involved. As director of our Africa Programme, he was active in many African countries. Frequently, he was the first to recognise emerging opportunities for nature conservation, quickly assembling an expert team that shared his passion and willingness to take on tremendous challenges.

“Throughout my career, 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,” Borner is quoted by the Asahi Glass Foundation.

In collaboration with the Tanzanian authorities, Borner led pioneering research studies on the ecology of wildlife and developed conservation approaches to embrace and empower the local people living in or near protected areas.

“Credit is due to the people of Tanzania who have declared 25% of their land area for conservation and - as one of the poorest countries in the world - continue to do their best to preserve their natural heritage,” says Borner, who, after his retirement from FZS, continues to work in conservation and research as Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow and Adjunct Professor of the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Tanzania.

 

Borner is awarded this year’s Blue Planet Prize along with Pavan Sukhdev from India, who is UNEP Goodwill Ambassador and Founding Trustee of Green Indian States Trust. Sukhdev is honoured for his research on the transition towards an inclusive green economy. His work has shown how to mainstream the values of ecosystem services into improved public policies and business practises.

 

The award includes prize money of 50 million Yen (approx. Euro 420,000). The commemorative lectures by the winners will be held at the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan, on 17 November 2016.

 

Information on the Asahi Glass Foundation and the Blue Planet Prize:
http://www.af-info.or.jp/blog/b-info_en/