Advancing U.S. leadership in international conservation through public and private partnerships and developing the next generation of Congressional conservation leaders
ICCF Teddy Roosevelt® International Conservation Awardees
The Honorable Rob Portman
Director of the Office of Management and Budget, The Honorable Rob Portman, was the first-ever recipient of this award in recognition of his contribution as author of the 1998 Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA). As a result of the enactment of the TFCA in 1998, millions of acres of tropical forests and watersheds have been protected by TFCA agreements. The TFCA is a valuable tool for ensuring critical conservation measures in biodiverse regions worldwide while simultaneously reducing the foreign debt burden of developing nations. Ambassador Portman served as Associate Counsel to the President from 1989 to 1991 and later as Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Elected to Congress in 1993, Ambassador Portman served in the House of Representatives for 12 years. He served as Chairman of the House Republican Leadership, as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and its Subcommittee on Trade, and as Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee. In 2005, Ambassador Portman was appointed United States Trade Representative, and in 2006 he was nominated and confirmed as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The Right Honourable Tony Blair
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Right Honourable Anthony C.M. Blair, was the Labour Party’s longest-serving Prime Minister, leading three consecutive general election victories. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair addressed some of the world’s pressing conservation issues: overfishing and the need for marine protection, illegal forestry, and agricultural policy, among others. In 2001, Prime Minister Blair announced sectoral initiatives contributing to Great Britain’s global leadership in conservation. The initiatives covered financial services, water, tourism, energy and forestry. Mr. Blair worked tirelessly to ensure mainstream UK financial services companies applied capital and services to support sustainable development. In 2001, Prime Minister Blair’s government was awarded the World Wildlife Fund’s “Gift to the Earth” award for having all state-owned forests certified to strict sustainable forest management criteria and for having developed a UK Woodland Assurance Standard for independent forest certification. In 2002, the Blair administration launched the UK and South African Water and Forestry Support Programme and became a partner in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership. Prime Minister Blair set long-term targets for halting the depletion of fish stocks, and established a substantial network of marine protected areas. In his 2005 Commission on Africa Report, Mr. Blair urged global collaboration over the next decade to strengthen environmental commitments in Africa in support of the Environment Initiative of the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) program. Much due to groundwork by the former Prime Minister, Britain recently became the first country to set legally binding targets for carbon dioxide emissions.
The Honorable Jens Stoltenberg
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway Jens Stoltenberg is a world leader in environmental policy. He took office as Prime Minister of Norway in 2005, having previously served as Prime Minister from 2000 to 2001 and as a Member of Parliament, State Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment, Minister of Industry, and Minister of Finance. As a member of Parliament, he served as leader of the Standing Committee on Oil and Energy Affairs. In 2008 he visited the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the Himalayas to experience first-hand the potential consequences of poor natural resource management. Norway is the world leader in conservation funding, with the highest level of environmental giving. Norway is committed to preventing deforestation and preserving rainforests, and is one of six countries pledged to provide 3.5 billion USD in short-term financing to combat deforestation from 2010 - 2012. Norway plays a key leadership role in the UN Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Programme, including financing the initial phase in the amount of US$35 million. In June 2008, the Norwegian Government pledged to make the fight against deforestation one of its main priorities and announced that it will increase its support for the prevention of deforestation in developing countries to more than $500 million per year.
Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was presented with the award in recognition of her leadership in the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security, the first reef conservation program ever undertaken. In May 2009 during the celebration of World Ocean Day, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and five other Asia-Pacific leaders launched an extraordinary initiative aiming to oversee the protection and preservation of marine life in the Coral Triangle called the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. The CTI is a cooperative arrangement among the six Coral Triangle governments. A range of CTI Partners work together in support of the CTI Plan of Action, including other governments such as the United States and Australia, international aid agencies and financial institutions such as the GEF and the Asian Development Bank, and many conservation NGOs including ICCF partners Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, and WWF. In January 2010, President Arroyo and the Republic of the Philippines hosted the Coral Triangle Business and Industry Summit. Leaders from the communications, fisheries, seafood, travel, finance, and tourism sectors came together with Asia Pacific policymakers to discuss the role of the private sector in protecting the Coral Triangle. The Summit was aimed at establishing new partnerships between the private sector, policymakers and organizations interested in sustainable business opportunities. NGO partners in the CTI reported that the summit had been a huge success and had laid some strong foundations for greater participation of the private sector in the protection of the Coral Triangle. The Summit was organized by the Philippine Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Department of the Environment and Natural Resources in collaboration with WWF and with the support of USAID. President Arroyo has been a strong leader in the CTI, traveling to the United States and other nations abroad to promote the initiative.
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco
Prince Albert II of Monaco has demonstrated a great personal commitment to good natural resource management, particularly in biodiversity and water conservation, and has exhibited significant leadership in focusing other world leaders on these important causes. The Award honored the Prince’s contribution to international conservation through the founding of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, whose mission is to act as an accelerator of projects and solutions for the environment. Dedicated to the promotion of sustainable and equitable management of natural resources and placing mankind at the center of its projects, the Foundation encourages the implementation of innovative and ethical solutions in three main areas: natural resource management, biodiversity, and water. The Foundation supports and develops initiatives of public and private organizations and companies in the fields of research and studies, technological innovation, and socially aware practices. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation funds conservation projects around the globe. The Prince continues to demonstrate his personal dedication to conservation. In 2007, he served as the International Patron of the United Nations and United Nations Environment Program International Year of the Dolphin. He founded Monaco’s Jardin Animalier Zoo, which has begun to return animals to the wild, and recently participated in a month-long expedition to Antarctica.
Russell Train has been a leader in the conservation movement for more than 50 years; he is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the World Wildlife Fund; and served as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1973-1977. Russell oversaw the creation and implementation of much of the legislation that would become the basis for environmental policy in the United States. He played a key role in shaping America’s national environmental policy in his roles as member of the National Water Commission, Chairman of the Task Force on Environment for U.S. President-elect Richard M. Nixon, Under Secretary of U.S Department of the Interior, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is credited with bringing environmental issues to the broad attention of the American public, playing a key role in the development of the National Environment Policy Act of 1969, developing the concept for and promoting the establishment of the UNESCO World Heritage program, and leading the U.S. delegation to negotiate the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In addition to his outstanding achievements in the government sector, Russell has established a personal legacy as a conservation pioneer. Russell founded the Wildlife Leadership Foundation and the African Wildlife Foundation and helped to establish the College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Wildlife Fund and The Conservation Foundation. In 1991, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his work in conservation. He is also the recipient of the Heinz Award Chairman's Medal, for his achievements as “a tireless advocate for the cause of the environment… the architect of an environmental agenda without parallel in history in its scope…and a truly outstanding example of how a single life can make a difference in the world.”
Great Green Wall Initiative
ICCF honored the eleven nations of the Great Green Wall initiative with the ICCF Teddy Roosevelt® International Conservation Award in recognition of their leadership commitment to abate desert encroachment, reforest, and recapture the economic vitality of the Sahel region of Africa. The aim of the Great Green Wall project is to tackle both desertification and poverty in the Saharo-Sahelian zones by establishing a strip of forest 15 kilometers wide on average and more than 7,100 kilometers long that would link Dakar on the Atlantic coast with Djibouti on the Red Sea in the east. The 11 countries involved in the project are Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan. $119 million in funding for the project has been provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to help launch the initiative. Expected impacts of the Great Green Wall include slowing soil erosion; degraded soil restructurings; increased reforestation rates; revival, development, and diversification of agriculture and stockbreeding; vegetal and animal biodiversity restoration, conservation, and development; increasing coverage of local needs in forest products; improved living standards and health; reversal of rural migration phenomenon; and control of water resources. By creating a sustainable, physical, organic shield against the desert, the Great Green Wall will not only revitalize the environment, but will also improve the capacity of local communities to benefit from sustainable natural resources in order to preserve their way of life.
His Excellency Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama
ICCF recognized His Excellency for his extraordinary conservation leadership in Africa. With its extensive network of National Parks/Reserves and Wildlife Management Areas, and its innovative community-based conservation programs, Botswana provides an outstanding model of good natural resource wealth management. President Khama has led the way in developing innovative policy solutions that promote the growth of ecotourism in Botswana while ensuring that local communities benefit from the new wealth derived from that investment. By making ecotourism and agricultural innovations a priority in Botswana’s economy, His Excellency has diversified his country’s economic makeup to include more varied and sustainable forms of income. He launched a historic effort against poaching in Botswana and has initiated major efforts relating to conservation, development, and democratization. His Excellency has served for more than a decade on the Board of Directors of Conservation International; is a supporter of the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Chobe Wildlife Trust, Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation, and other wildlife conservation organizations; and is a strong democratic partner to the U.S. in sub-Saharan Africa.
His Excellency Felipe Calderón
This award was presented to the President of the United States of Mexico Felipe Calderón in recognition of his impressive record as an innovator of environmental policy, a champion of oceans, and a leader in transboundary conservation. President Calderón’s administration has raised awareness of deforestation through various policy measures such as planting over 8 million trees and attracting green-technology companies to Mexico. 4.6 million ha of the country’s forest receives support for the preservation of forests and jungles and the reforestation and restoration of soil and forest ecosystems. During President Calderón’s term, natural protected areas have increased by 3.6 million ha. President Calderón has also partnered with the U.S. Department of the Interior in developing a cooperative action plan for conservation in the Big Bend/Rio Bravo region. In 2009, The United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed to work together to protect wilderness areas across North America by establishing an intergovernmental committee to exchange research and approaches that address challenges such as fire control and invasive species in land, marine, and coastal protected areas throughout the continent. Mexico and the United States recently announced the U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program (Border 2012), a collaboration between the United States and Mexico to improve the environment and protect the health of the nearly 12 million people living along the border. In 2007, President Calderón designated the Bahia de los Angeles Biosphere Reserve as a naturally protected area in the Gulf of California – an area encompassing beaches and coastal wetlands known as a home for protected and endangered marine species. Other examples of President Calderón’s dedication to conservation include the largest budget ever for protected areas management in Mexico and the creation of a Conservation Program for Endangered Species, to focus on species such as the vaquita dolphin, the leatherback turtle, and the jaguar.