MTSG Member Wins Whitley Award for Nature

The UK-based Whitley Fund for Nature awarded Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto, an MTSG member from Lima (Peru), with one of the world’s most prestigious wildlife conservation awards – the Whitley Award.

The results were announced during a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in May, at which the Whitley Fund for Nature’s patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) presented the prizes.

Commenting on the shortlist, Whitley Fund for Nature’s acting director David Wallis said: “Winning a place on the Whitley Awards shortlist is a major achievement alone. Entries are always high, and of high calibre, and only the most committed and effective nature conservationists win through to the finals.”

Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto was awarded this honor in recognition of her work with ProDelphinus to provide small-scale fishermen with the tools to fish more selectively and reduce their impacts on endangered marine fauna such as sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals.

She said: “This award will directly contribute to the empowerment of small-scale fishermen by helping them to fish in a more selective and responsible way, and reduce the effect of their fisheries on the sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals that are caught incidentally. With the generous support of WFN we will achieve major advances in the conservation of our oceans and toward improving the livelihoods of the thousands of fishermen, their families, and the communities that depend upon marine resources in Peru”.

The Whitley Awards is an annual competition first held in 1994. In the 19 years since the program began, the Whitley Fund for Nature has given grants totaling more than £6m to support the work of more than 130 grassroots conservation leaders in over 60 countries.

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