WWF honours lifelong commitment to nature
For over fifty years, Lord Cranbrook has been a global leader in the fields of mammalogy, ornithology and zooarchaeology. The WWF award cites Lord Cranbrook’s exemplary commitment to the natural world, particularly for supporting conservation efforts in Malaysia, Brunei and the United Kingdom at national, regional and local levels.
“In everything he has contributed to conservation, Gathorne’s passion for field work, and his enthusiasm to share, teach and encourage, has shone through,” said WWF-UK Chief Executive, David Nussbaum. “His appreciation of the wonder and value of nature, coupled with an unwavering scientific rigour when communicating with politicians, peers and students alike, has provided us with a conservationist truly worthy of this award.”
Lord Cranbrook’s career in conservation began with academic research on cave swiftlets, a bird species unique for its use of echolocation and for building edible nests. Since that time, Lord Cranbrook has written or contributed to over a dozen books including Mammals of Borneo (1965), Wild mammals of Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) and Singapore (1968), and Birds of the Malay Peninsula (with D.R. Wells, 1976). Lord Cranbrook’s books are considered among the definitive texts on the birds and mammals of southeast Asia.
“To receive the accolade of WWF's Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award is a great distinction. I accept it proudly, not for myself, but for the many people whom I have worked with in the challenging field of wildlife conservation. The patronage of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh has been inspiring, and the annual presentation of this award gives encouragement to all of us who strive for a future where environmental conservation will be truly recognised as an imperative for all inhabitants of this world,” said Lord Cranbrook upon receiving the award.
In addition to his field work and writing, Lord Cranbrook has distinguished himself as an educator and a strong voice in civil society. Lord Cranbrook has also advocated for the environment through his seat in the British House of Lords.
The Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award was created in 1970 and is presented annually by WWF for outstanding service to the environment. This year’s award was presented by The Duke of Edinburgh during a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London.
Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award recipients are presented with a gold medal in a sustainably-sourced rosewood box donated by the Chamber of Mines of South Africa. Awardees also receive a certificate signed by The Duke of Edinburgh, and Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International.
WWF is grateful to Mr and Mrs Al-Naki and Bodegas y Viñedos Codorniu Raventós for their generous support in recognition of Lord Cranbrook’s conservation achievements.