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SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: IUCN award

11/09/2012 by Alan Cole in the UK

Conservationist and broadcaster recognised by charity at World Conservation Congress

David Attenborough's significance as an educator and entertainer has been recognised by the IUCN with a major achievement award...



The IUCN charity – the International Union for Conservation of Nature is currently hosting its annual World Conservation Congress, on Jeju Island in South Korea.

Today, September 11, the charity awarded its highest medal for conservation to Sir David Attenborough, the legendary BBC natural history broadcaster...

Attenborough the brother of film director and actor Richard Attenborough is the only person to have won a BAFTA, a British film industry award, in 3D, HD colour and black and white...

Attenborough has received the John C Phillips Memorial Medal, which is awarded annually in memory of Phillips, a pioneer of the conservation movement and a specialist in species classification...

The Phillips Memorial Medal for outstanding service in international conservation has formerly been awarded to Indira Gandhi...

Over five decades Attenborough’s programmes on natural history have innovated, captivated and informed millions of people, inspiring many to take up an interest in the natural planet as well as conservation causes.

His best known works include his Life series which began with Life on Earth in 1979 and have subsequently documented the planet’s main species, and ecology at increasingly close quarters...

His programmes hugely popular the world over, are also a record of development in environmental filming, including his work on insects and invertebrates which include macro photography techniques. His films have used a robotic shark to film sharks and a robotic snow ball to film polar bears, to name just a couple of innovations - the results of which have been enthralling.

Attenborough chose to praise the work of the IUCN in a video message to the IUCN Congress rather than celebrate his own achievements.

“IUCN is an organisation of enormous importance for all of us who care about the natural world. There is no other international organisation quite like it - none which is quite so scientifically based...” he said.

Other awards included the Harold Jefferson Coolidge Memorial Medal for outstanding contributions to conservation of nature and natural resources to Dr Wolfgang E Burhenne, the Executive Governor of the International Council on Environmental Law...

Honorary membership of the IUCN was also granted to eleven recipients: Dr Abdulaziz Abuzinada, Saudi Arabia; Ms Angela Cropper, Trinidad and Tobago; Dr Aila Keto, Australia; The State President, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, Botswana; Mr Veit Koester, Denmark; Dr Russell Mittermeier, USA; Dr Ian Player, South Africa; Professor Nicholas Robinson, USA; Dr Marina Silva, Brazil; Mr Achim Steiner, Germany; and Professor Randolph Robert Thaman, Fiji.

The IUCN is best known for its Red List which was founded in 1963, and is the world's most comprehensive record of the global conservation status of biological species...

The scientific conservation organisation supports research and advises on environmental policy and best practice and is the world’s largest global environmental network org with more than 10,000 volunteer scientists in over 160 countries.


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Written and edited in London and Geneva All Xperedon news articles are original and are written by the Xperedon news team. The team is headed in the UK by Alan Cole, an experienced award-winning journalist and copywriter. Alan has previously worked in-house for UK publishers, Pearson Media (Financial Times) and Northcliffe Newspapers, among others, and is an accredited member of the National Union of Journalists, UK.

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