National Trust seeks to reward conservationists

The National Trust is seeking nominations for this year’s Governor’s Conservation Awards following a successful inaugural event in 2012. 

The awards celebrate excellence in conservation in the Cayman Islands, by recognizing individuals, businesses and organizations that have made a contribution to historic preservation or environmental conservation in the Cayman Islands. 

National Trust Executive Director Christina McTaggart Pineda said, “It was encouraging to see such a great number of individuals and businesses taking their social responsibility to help conserve Cayman seriously at the 2012 inaugural awards. Given the growth of environmentally minded companies and organizations over the past two years, we expect the competition to be that much fiercer this year. We are looking forward to this year’s nominees being recognized by the governor for their commendable environmental efforts.” 

Awards will be presented in four categories – Conservationist of the Year, Corporate Conservation, Tourism Conservation and Heritage Preservation. 

The deadline for entry of nominations is Friday, Nov. 7, with a shortlist of finalists announced Nov. 10. Finalists and guests will be invited to the Nov. 19 awards ceremony at Government House. 

Submissions will be judged by a panel convened by the governor. 

According to the National Trust, judges will be looking for candidates for Conservationist of the Year who have demonstrated that they have implemented and/or significantly contributed to a conservation project aimed at protecting biodiversity, wildlife, endangered species, places of environmental or historic significance. They must have contributed to the long-term success of local conservation efforts and promoted conservation education and awareness locally. 

In the Corporate Conservation category, nominees should demonstrate that they have implemented significant changes within their organization to reduce its environmental carbon footprint, aligned current internal processes with internationally accepted corporate “green” best practices, and promoted a more environmentally conscious work ethic amongst customers and staff alike. 

In the Tourism Conservation category, nominees will evaluated on their ability to offer services that promote and highlight the natural resources and heritage of Cayman, their adoption of sustainable measures, such as water and energy efficiency and reducing waste, and their role in educating visitors and locals about the natural resources and heritage of the Cayman Islands.  

The nominees in the Heritage Preservation category are evaluated on their contribution to preserving a historic or cultural legacy for future generations, their contribution to a harmonious blend of the past, present and future recognizing heritage as a living tradition, and their commitment to educating people of all ages as to the importance of preserving Cayman’s history and culture. 

In 2012, Bonnie Scott Edwards received Conservationist of the Year for her work on Cayman Brac to ensure the survival of the Sister Islands rock iguana and sea turtles, through her training and education efforts. Montessori by the Sea school won the Corporate Conservation Award. The Heritage Award went to the Cayman Islands Catboat Club and the Tourism Conservation category was won by Sea Elements, an eco-tourism company. 

To submit nominations, complete the application form online, or download the form from the National Trust’s website, www.nationaltrust.org.ky, and email to [email protected] 

Conservationist-of-the-year-Bonnie-Scott-Edwards

Bonnie Scott Edwards was named Conservationist of the Year in 2012 for her work with iguanas and sea turtles on Cayman Brac.