Zelealem Tefera and young Peruvian volunteers awarded with the Bruno H Schubert Prize
For two decades the Bruno H Schubert foundation has been honoring exceptional commitment for conservation and conservation research with its “Bruno H Schubert Prize.” Frankfurt Zoological Society feels honored to announce that this year two of the five laureates are FZS staff members.
(Frankfurt, 29th October 2014) - Today the Frankfurt based Bruno H Schubert Foundation has awarded five outstanding conservationists and scientists with the prestigious Bruno H Schubert Prize. The event took place at Frankfurt Zoo.
Committed to Ethiopia’s unique wilderness
We are especially excited to announce that Dr. Zelealem Tefera, Country Representative for Frankfurt Zoological Society in Ethiopia was awarded the Schubert Prize in category 2 for his scientific achievements and practical application in the area of nature and environmental protection.
His professional experience has taken him to some of Ethiopia’s most prized wild places. He began his career as an Assistant Park Warden in Bale Mountains National Park before moving to Omo National Park where he served as the Chief Park Warden for 3 years.
After finishing his PHD in 2004 he began working with Frankfurt Zoological Society and has helped FZS tremendously by developing community conservation areas. He was instrumental in setting up Guassa as a Community Conservation Area and is utilising the model for the formation of the Abune Yoseph Community Conservation Area which is still in progress towards gazettement.
Dr. Tefera is a pioneer for protecting Ethiopia's wildlife. His commitment and passion have left a deep sense of enthusiasm and respect on his team, his colleagues and all who know him. His work in the Guassa area is unique and represents a special longevity in wildlife conservation in Ethiopia.
Environmental education for kids in Peru
The Schubert Prize in category 3 goes to a very special project in Eastern Peru. Within the FZS Peru programme we have established the “Voluntarios Ambientales,” a group of volunteers bringing environmental education to the children of the Puerto Maldonado area. The 30 volunteers are mainly technical students or college students and in 2014 their program has benefited approximately 1500 children.
As part of the environmental activities, primary school children from first to sixth grade have the opportunity to experience the Amazon by visiting protected areas and joining guided tours led by the “Voluntarios.” The volunteers offer a full day trip to a lake inside the protected area, where the kids learn first hand about the forest, its biodiversity, flagship species and the importance of the protected area. The “Voluntarios” are the backbone of the logistics for various events such as the Giant Otter Festival, and they assist in the giant otter census, field trips to the control posts and lakes, and treks inside the protected areas.
Moreover, FZS has developed a very popular teaching material for primary school children: “Pepe the Giant Otter”, a coloring book (and a teacher´s handbook). “Pepe” is one of the main channels to communicate the consequences of forest degradation and the importance of its conservation. Puppet shows and other performances of “Pepe” the famous giant otter have made the educational programme one of the best known in the region of Madre de Dios.
FZS congratulates Professor Anthony Sinclair on winning the Bruno H Schubert Prize in category 1. He has been awarded the Prize as a “Personality of science who has rendered outstanding services to the conservation of nature and the environment, especially wildlife.”
Anthony Sinclair holds more knowledge of the Serengeti Ecosystem, its processes and its wildlife, than, perhaps anyone else on earth. He first visited Serengeti in 1961 and later began his research there in 1965. Much of this research is still on-going today, nearly fifty years later. He has observed population numbers of wildlife, food supply, predation and endless studies on the long-term dynamics of the ecosystem.
He has published over 150 refereed scientific papers and seven books, including his newest memoir ‘Serengeti Story,’ full of stories and tales from his days spent walking, watching, driving, observing, photographing, and counting animals in the Serengeti.
Apart from being the “mzee” of the Serengeti, Professor Sinclair is also the Former Director of the Centre for Biodiversity Research at the University of British Columbia and fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada. Sinclair’s research and much appreciated advice has been the basis for our own FZS conservation work in Serengeti over the last decades.
Another long-term partner of FZS is the Foundation “Naturlandschaften Brandenburg”. The foundation’s founding members Hubertus Meckelman and Dr. Hans-Joachim Mader are also among the Schubert Prize laureates. They share the category 2 award with Zelealem Tefera. Congratulations to both of them for the recognition of their excellent work to develop wilderness areas in Germany.