The Ecology and Conservation Biology Award in this inaugural edition of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards is shared by biologists Thomas E. Lovejoy and William F. Laurance of the Smithsonian Institution (United States).
According to the jury, the new laureates' research in Amazonian Brazil is of fundamental importance, allowing us for the first time "to measure the manifold consequences of habitat fragmentation for the integrity of tropical forests", and to scientifically simulate how they will cope in future.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards seek to recognize and encourage world-class research at international level, and can be considered second only to the Nobel Prize in their monetary amount, an annual 3.2 million euros, and the breadth of the scientific and artistic areas covered.
The awards, organized in partnership with Spain's National Research Council (CSIC), take in eight categories carrying a cash prize of 400,000 euros each. The Ecology and Conservation Biology award, the largest of its kind internationally, is to honor contributions which significantly advance the stock of knowledge in this area for reasons of their importance and originality.
"Amazonia is drawing close to the point of no return"
Thomas Lovejoy declared himself "deeply honored" to receive this prize, the more so as the achievement being recognized is "basically an attempt to understand biological diversity and to ascertain how we can co-exist with the marvelous variety of life to be found in the tropical rainforest". This researcher's scientific studies leave little room for doubt: "Amazonia is now perilously close to the point of no return. Ecosystem degradation is advancing much faster than we imagined, though we must take hope from the ambitious conservation initiatives that are now starting up".
William Laurance greeted the award as "a fantastic recognition, from an organization like the BBVA Foundation devoted t
|Contact: Javier Fernandez|