Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy, an Apiculture and Nature Conservation Campaigner and founder of Cameroon Gender and Environmental Watch has won the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2020. He is the first Cameroonian and second African to have won the Prize since inception.

AEON Environmental Foundation and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) announced the winners on August 26, 2020 in MIDORI in a press release.

The other two winners are Dr. Paul Hebert from Canada who is a Professor at the Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Canada and Ms. Melina Sakiyama, from Brazil who is Co-founder of Global Youth Biodiversity Network.

The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity is a prestigious biennial international prize organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation and the CBD Secretariat.

It honours individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Each of the prize winners is awarded a monetary prize to support their work in addition to a commemorative gift and a plaque.

“Climate change, and the frequent occurrence of disasters due to climate change, is causing rapid changes in biodiversity and having an immense impact on the global environment,” said Mr. Takuya Okada, Chairman of the AEON Environmental Foundation.

“Efforts to conserve the global
environment will become even more important. In addition to honouring the achievements of the Prize winners in 2020, we will continue to actively promote environmental activities in order to pass on the beautiful and healthy planet Earth to the next generation.”

At a time when the world is facing an interlinked crisis of health, climate and biodiversity, it is crucial to work together to find solutions and ways to live in harmony with nature. Each of this year’s winners are contributing to these objectives and inspiring positive change for people and planet” said Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and CBD Executive Secretary.

“I would like to express my deepest appreciation for their commitment and achievements and my wholehearted congratulations.”

Mr. Wirsiy’s apiculture initiatives according to AEON Environmental Foundation and the CBD Secretariat have provided micro-financing opportunities for women, brought sustainable sources of income to communities and reduced bushfires drastically in the regions.

He has been leading environmental educational campaigns to raise the awareness of hundreds of thousands of forest people and has contributed largely in the regeneration of biodiversity hotspots.

Mr. Wirsiy has empowered bee farmers and organized them to honey cooperatives to increase honey quality and quantity for a better market.

It is worth noting that its not the first time Mr Wirsiy and his organisation CAMGEW is receiving an award for their hard work.

Just recently they won the won the UNIDO ITPO Italy 2019 International Award for Innovative Ideas and Technologies in the Agrofood and Climate Biodiversity Category.

In 2019, they won The Guardian Post 2019 Achievement Award in Eco-Community and Biodiversity awarded for for her efforts in biodiversity protection, rehabilitation and damage mitigation programmes.

CAMGEW because of her work in Kilum-Ijim forest won the 2018 Cameroon Energy Globe Award. The Energy Globe Award is one of the most prestigious environmental prize worldwide.

Created in October 2007, CAMGEW has recorded many successes which have gone a long way not only in conserving the forest but has also alleviated poverty and created more jobs in Cameroon and beyound.

By Njodzefe Nestor

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