Clockwise from top left: Luz Maria showing local parataxonomists how to design and upload their own species pages; Professor Daniel H. Janzen with colleague Isidro Chacon of INBio and GDFCF; Federico Matarrita and his video team.

Blue Planet Prize awarded to Professor Daniel H Janzen (GDFCF) and INBio

Professor Daniel H. Janzen, founder and Chair of the Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund’s (GDFCF) Board of Directors, and Costa Rica’s INBio (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad), have been selected to be co-awardees of the prestigious Blue Planet Prize. Established in 1992, the Blue Planet Prize by the Asahi Foundation is an award presented to individuals or organizations worldwide in recognition of outstanding achievements in scientific research and its application that have helped provide solutions to global environmental problems. The Prize is offered in the hopes of encouraging efforts to bring about the healing of the Earth’s fragile environment.

This year, a total of 620 nominators from Japan and 770 nominators from other countries recommended 119 candidates. The fields represented by the candidates were ecology, atmospheric and earth sciences, multidisciplinary fields, environmental economics, and policy making. The candidates represented 28 countries,  27 percent of which were from developing countries.  The Board formally awarded Professor Daniel H. Janzen jointly with Costa Rica’s Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio). Professor Janzen, in conjunction with INBio, was recognized for his proposed measures and policies on sustainable development in harmony with local environmental conservation and local inhabitants as well as efforts in environmental education and the conservation of biodiversityas manifest through Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica.

The Blue Planet Prize awards ceremony will take place on November 15th, 2014 at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo Japan, where Janzen-INBio and Professor Herman Daly will each be awarded with 50 million yen (~US$500,000). A great honor indeed!

The JRS Biodiversity Foundation is proud to have supported Dr. Janzen’s work with grant awards in 2011 and 2013 (see ACG Parataxonomist Program) in support of the local ‘parataxonomists that have been trained by Dr. Janzen and his colleagues, INBio and ACG.

Writes Dan Janzen on receipt of the award:

This honor really is for a cast of thousands of Homo sapiens – Costa Ricans and internationals – dancing with billions of other beasts, each doing their part to keep alive some portion of the nature that produced all of us… Yes, we can restore some of what we have destroyed, and yes, we can help the world to become biologically literate. Without bioliteracy, nature is just a green threatening mass and there is little hope of its peaceful coexistence with all of us. We, INBio, and Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, are happy recipients of this recognition of decades of trying to open the doors of conserved wildlands to non-damaging partnerships with humanity. Only through direct understanding of the wild world can society welcome it into the family, village and nation.