Meet the 1st-ever winners of the Forest Heroes Award

Ahead of the upcoming launch of the 2nd round of the Forest Heroes Award, given by the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, take a look at these new videos featuring the first-ever group of honoruees talking about their work:

Forest Heroes award winner – Paul Mzeka, Africa

Cameroon’s Paul Nzegha Mzeka, founder of the Apiculture and Nature Conservation Organization (ANCO), was given the Forest Hero award by the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat for promoting sustainable bee-farming as a way of raising awareness about biodiversity, and for helping 30 Cameroonian communities protect their watersheds and preserve community forests.

Forest Heroes award winner – Anatoly Lebedev, Europe

Russia’s Anatoly Lebedev was honoured for his successful campaigns against illegal logging, and against the destructive land practices threatening indigenous communities and Siberian tigers.

Forest Heroes award winner – Shigeatsu Hatakeyama, Asia

Japan’s Shigeatsu Hatakeyama was honoured for having the foresight to plant trees upstream of the ocean, to help reduce pollutants flowing into the sea, and for recognizing and promoting the vital connection between forests and oceans for the coast line in post-Tsunami Japan.

Forest Heroes award winners – Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, North America

Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva of Michigan, United States, were honoured for the attention they’ve drawn to the use of palm oil in Girl Scout cookies, and how the production of that palm oil impacts an endangered species—the orangutan.

Forest Heroes award winners – Paulo Adario, Latin America

Brazil’s Paulo Adario was honoured  for pioneering a campaign to prevent deforestation in the Amazon, and for brokering sustainable solutions in the region.

Forest Heroes – Jose Claudio Ribeiro and Maria do Espirito Santo, Special Award

Brazil’s Jose Claudio Ribeiro and Maria do Espirito Santo were posthumously honoured for their work in fighting illegal logging in the Amazon forest.  They were tragically murdered in May 2011 following death threats they received for their activism.