Prominent campaigner and former Environment Minister in Ecuador, Ms Yolanda Kakabadse takes over from Chief Emeka Anyaoku who served two terms as WWF International President. Ms Kakabadse feels strongly about the importance of conservation and sustainable environmental management, as a key political and social issue.
Richly experienced in diplomacy, mediation and international governance, she is known for resolving environmental and other conflicts between different sectors of society, and has been an environmental champion since founding the Ecuadorian NGO Fundaçion Natura.
Ms Kakabadse has also been president of IUCN, WWF’s sister organisation, and brings to WWF a passion for the environment, and a vision for the WWF network as a bridge to bring people and nature closer.
Freshwater ecologist and visionary environmentalist Chen Yiyu has been awarded the 2009 WWF Duke of Edinburgh Conservation medal. WWF’s most prestigious award highlights Mr Chen’s lifelong devotion to conserving China’s freshwater resources, and his role in helping advance river basin management and establish the Yangtze Forum, bringing together key stakeholders to implement policies to secure the environmental integrity of this key river.
He is considered a leading figure in sustainable development and on-the-ground conservation. “Thanks to Mr Chen’s leadership, China’s freshwater conservation policies have improved dramatically, particularly in the areas of integrated watershed and ecosystem management, “said WWF International Director General Jim Leape. “The contributions Chen Yiyu continues to make to freshwater conservation in China are outstanding and deserve to be celebrated”.
Fisheries worldwide are in a perilous state, the result of overfishing, and poor fisheries practices, exacerbated by government subsidies to national fishing fleets that encourage overfishing.
Ambassador Guillermo Valles Galmés, Permanent representative of the Government of Uruguay to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has made a truly substantive contribution to reforming the economics of unsustainable fishing and improving the multilateral trading system, and is being recognised by WWF with a Leader for a Living Planet award.
As Chair of the WTO Negotiating Group on Rules 2004- 2010, Ambassador Vallés showed leadership and innovation in advancing trade rules that contribute to the responsible management of marine resources by combating inappropriate subsidies to the world’s fishing fleets. Ambassador Vallés has been dedicated to the achievement of an environmentally responsible trading system, with trade rules that prioritise sustainability and equitable development.