WASHINGTON - Antonio Reina, the Director of Mozambique's Forum Natureza em Perigo (FNP) has been awarded this year's J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced today. The annual prize honors outstanding contributions to international conservation and carries with it an award of $100,000.
Established in 1974 by the late J. Paul Getty, the prize recognizes outstanding contributions to international conservation by individuals and groups. Previous winners have included famed conservationist Sir Peter Scott, pioneering chimpanzee researcher Dr. Jane Goodall, and the Charles Darwin Foundation.
Reina was honored for his contributions "to protect the world class natural resources of Mozambique" and for "his vision and advocacy, which have been key to preserving not only the nation's outstanding coastal and marine biodiversity but also the well being of coastal communities."
With the government and local partners, Reina has worked tirelessly for the expansion of Mozambique's Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, and the conservation of the dugong, a rare marine mammal that is facing extinction. In the 1980's, Reina served with Mozambique's Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and later established the Forum Natureza em Perigo, one of the country's leading conservation organizations.
Reina was presented with the Getty Prize at a ceremony in Mozambique on September 7, attended by the President of WWF International, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and its General Director, Dr. Claude Martin. Nominees for the Getty Prize are selected by WWF with the winner chosen by a jury of notable conservationists. The Getty Prize, currently overseen by J. Paul Getty's son Gordon and his family, is intended to encourage conservation innovation and heighten public awareness for conservation.