Posted on 10 October 2010
Global environment organisation WWF has paid tribute to Linda Norgrove, a former employee who played a pivotal role working with indigenous people to protect the Amazon headwaters. Linda, taken hostage while working as an aid worker in Afghanistan, died Friday during an attempted rescue.
Linda Norgrove, a British aid worker being held hostage in Afghanistan died on Friday during an attempt to rescue her by NATO forces. Originally from Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands, Linda was a former employee of WWF Peru and the United Nations, working for the firm Development Alternatives Inc at the time of her kidnap.
Juan Carlos Riveros, head of the Science and Climate Program in WWF’s national office in Peru, worked with Linda during her time at WWF and has sent this message of remembrance and condolence:
“Linda started working for WWF Peru in 2002 and left in September 2005. She first began supporting work in the Peruvian portion of the Northern Andes, and a few months later she took charge of the Forest Program.”
“Her time in Peru was crucial for the consolidation of the Forest Program of WWF Peru and the broadening of supporters (donors), which after Linda left included the European Union (a project on forest management with indigenous communities) and the Italo-Peruvian Fund (conservation of the Cordillera del Condor – Condorcanqui).
"Her work was fundamental for the implementation of the Peruvian portion of the Amazon Headwaters Initiative*, which during her tenure led to the establishment of Alto Purus National Park, the largest park in Peru, and a Gift to the Earth to then President Toledo for doing so. In the end, she even left the seed funding to support restoration work in Tabaconas-Namballe in Northern Peru. Her perseverance was key for the construction of WWF’s alliances and work with indigenous federations in Peru.”
“None of this would have been possible without the dedication and effort that Linda put into what she did. And yet, she always took time to relax with the whole team in WWF Peru. For many of us, Linda has been a friend, a sister or even a daughter, who left for Afghanistan to keep helping people and advancing environmental conservation. In the end, I think that she discovered and loved Peru like few Peruvians, and left us a high standard of commitment and devotion to WWF’s mission.”
Linda left a message for WWF on her departure in 2005:
"I'll always remember the challenges wéve faced together, the experiences, trips, celebrations and the achievements wéve accomplished together. It has been an honor and a highly valuable experience for me, being able to work with all of you towards the conservation of the Amazońs cultural and biological diversity." (September, 2005)
Everyone working for WWF globally gives sincere thanks for Linda’s life and work and all of our thoughts are with her family and friends at this tragic time.
* The Amazon Headwaters Initiative is spearheaded by WWF in collaboration with the governments of Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, local NGOs and indigenous/traditional communities. The goal of AHI is to conserve the southwestern headwaters of the Amazon River through the creation and improved management of inter-connected protected areas and indigenous territories.