The tireless efforts of individuals and organizations for the conservation of nature have been rewarded this year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored individuals and organizations from across Puerto Rico with Environmental Quality Awards for their achievements in protecting public health and the environment. These include Para la Naturaleza partners and collaborators who have step up to the challenge of providing education through action for the protection of the environment.
On the international scene, collaborators of the unit Para la Naturaleza are also shinning and gaining recognitions for being stewardships for the conservation of nature.
Para la Naturaleza congratulates these environmental heroes and encourages all groups to join us in protecting and conserving our natural resources!
And the heroes are…
Corriente Verde Environmental Magazine
Corriente Verde Environmental Magazine is a reference and educational material for schools, universities, professionals, businesses, government agencies and the industrial and manufacturing sector. It features materials written by academics and government professionals and has a readership of more than 200,000 people.
Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences – Public Health Program
The Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences Public Health Program has been a leader in environmental awareness and public health promotion in Puerto Rico. The school frequently collaborates with EPA, state agencies, universities, non-profit organizations and the general public to promote environmental and public health. Many of its programs are designed to benefit low-income communities such as Caño Martin Peña in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Madre Tierra Atabey
Madre Tierra Atabey is a non-profit organization that serves the residents of Guayanilla and Southern Puerto Rico by working to improve their environment. It has organized numerous forums and initiatives that educate the public and promote awareness of environmental issues in Southern Puerto Rico. It also spearheaded the first environmental education program developed exclusively for students affected by chemicals listed on the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory. This program has taught 600 students about their role in toxic emissions and how to reduce and mitigate those effects.
Three Kings Workshop
The Three Kings Workshop is an organization that has been collecting and recycling used toys for needy children for the past 20 years. Relying heavily on sponsors and volunteers, the Three Kings Workshop has recycled over 90,000 toys. Not only does this work brighten the holidays for untold numbers of children in Puerto Rico, it also recycles toys instead of sending them to landfills.
SanSe Recicla was created to improve recycling at the San Sebastian Festival, the largest festival in Puerto Rico. With the help of 200 volunteers, the San Juan Bay Estuary Program, the Sierra Club, the Municipality of San Juan and Strategic Materials, Inc. set up 10 recycling stations in Old San Juan. Altogether, nearly 70 tons of recyclables, more than double the previous year, were collected and recycled. They also recovered 1500 gallons of oil.
Estudiantes Dispuestos a la Rehabilitación Ambiental (EDRA),
This is a group formed by intermediate and high school students from the communities of Caño Martín Peña. EDRA was recognized for their agroecological initiatives and their school crop. They have shared their work and passion for nature with other students across the planet in a congress celebrated at Chiapas, México. Congratulations to EDRA and their mentor Ana Elisa Pérez Quintero!
Excursiones Eco is a community based ecoturistic business that’s part of the Community Business Incubator of Proyecto ENLACE. They were recognized as an outstanding business and for raising awareness of the ecological importance of the situation of Caño Martín Peña, their history and their commitment, strongly related to the San Juan Bay Estuarine Program and Puerto Rico. For more information and excursions visit www.excursioneseco.com.
On the international scene
The Winner of the Whitley Gold Award donated by The Friends and The Scottish Friends of The Whitley Fund for Nature was awarded to fellow IUCN member and collaborator of Para la Naturaleza, Director Jean Wiener from Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM) – Haiti
For over 20 years, local Haitian, Jean Wiener, has worked tirelessly to address the severe environmental issues affecting his country. With his NGO, FoProBim, Jean focuses on addressing the needs of local communities through education, conflict resolution, and livelihood development. Jean also engages the Haitian government to achieve important environmental monitoring, management, and protection.