Congratulations to Pablo Borboroglu, Co-Chair of IUCN Penguin Specialist Group, for winning the internationally acclaimed Whitley Gold Award.
Established by philanthropist Edward Whitley in 1993, the Whitley Awards aim to provide funding, training and recognition to conservation leaders working in resource-poor, biodiversity rich countries. Whitley Award Patron, HRH the Princess Royal, presented the Gold Award – the highest level of award - to Pablo at a ceremony in London on April 25th, on World Penguin Day!
Ambassadors and trustees, such as filmmaker Sir David Attenborough and nature documentarian Alastair Fothergill also support the awards.
Over the past 29 years, Pablo has dedicated his life to penguin conservation. He has brought together 125 organisations, consolidating an international effort to speed up conservation through science, management and education. His work has benefitted 1.2 million penguins across four continents. Pablo’s conservation achievements include establishing the IUCN SSC Penguin Specialist Group and the Global Penguin Society – the world’s first coalition for the protection of penguins. He has worked with the Argentinian government to designate the Blue Patagonia Biosphere Reserve as a UNESCO site and successfully campaigned for the inclusion of ocean conservation in the Sustainable Development Goals - which have been ratified by 193 countries. Further to this, Pablo has educated over 6,000 children through lessons and field trips about penguin conservation.
There are 18 known species of penguins, 55% of which are considered Vulnerable or Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The greatest threats to these birds include poor fisheries management, pollution, climate change, coastal development, irresponsible tourism and introduced predators.
Pablo plans to use the money from his Gold Award to gather data on Magellanic, Fiordland and King Penguins in Argentina, New Zealand and Chile; collaborate with the Argentinian government to establish five new Marine Protected Areas and increase school visits to penguin colonies to instil a conservation culture. He will support the elaboration of a Global Penguin Conservation and Research Agenda by the IUCN Penguin Specialist Group. Pablo will work at different scales to address marine pollution and finally he will assess the magnitude and nature of the illegal traffic of penguins.
“I am very honoured to receive this important Whitley Gold Award and share it with my IUCN colleagues,” Says Pablo. “It will allow me to increase visibility of penguin and ocean conservation globally. I will allocate these funds to speed up penguin research useful for conservation, improve stewardship of our oceans expand our educational program.”
Watch the below video to find out more about Pablo.