RASI Director Budiono wins Whitley Award 2013


Princess gives £30,000WFN conservation award to river dolphin’s champion

LONDON, UK: 9 MAY 2012 - HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) tonight presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to Ir ‘Budi’ Budiono, of Indonesia, for his work to save his country’s last freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. Budi, the Founder- Director of Yayasan Konservasi RASI (YK-RASI) received the honour during a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London, hosted by Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) – the UK-based charity which organises the international awards scheme. His Whitley Award comprises a project grant of £30,000 - donated by WWF-UK - an engraved trophy, membership of the influential network of past Whitley Award winners and professional development training. The award recognises Budi’s success at rallying community support for conservation in and around the Mahakam River, East Kalimantan, Borneo, after adopting the area’s last freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin – or pesut as they are known locally – as an emblem of why action is needed and how to help. Congratulating Budi on his win, David Wallis, Acting Director of Whitley Fund for Nature, said: "The aim of the Whitley Award is to identify and support conservationists from around the world who are inspiring real and positive change for people and wildlife and the habitats they share.  In the case of Budi, the judges were particularly impressed by how he has used the pesut’s plight to get local communities interested in designing protected areas for nature and in changing how they live and fish to give the pesut a better chance of survival.”In addition, Her Royal Highness presented six other conservationists with £30,000 Whitley Awards for leadership, bringing the night’s grants total to £240,000 overall. The presentations were watched by a 350-strong audience, including embassy representatives, Whitley Fund for Nature donors and leading environmentalists.  As part of the ceremony, The Princess Royal and other guests watched a series of short films showing finalists at work. The screenings included a film about Budi’s work, narrated by the world-renowned wildlife broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough, a Trustee of WFN.

 The Whitley Awards scheme is an annual competition, first held in 1994. Since the scheme began, it has given grants worth more than £6m to support over 140 conservation leaders worldwide. To learn more about the charity, its donors, past winners, and how to apply for the  awards, please see:

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