In recognition of their long-term efforts to protect the headwaters and floodplain of the Pantanal wetlands and bordering Cerrado, the WCS Brazil Pantanal/Cerrado team received the Ecology and Environmentalism Award from the City Council of Campo Grande. The award ceremony took place at the "Camera Municipal" (city hall) of Campo Grande on Wednesday evening, June 10, 2015. Campo Grande is the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state and the gateway to the Pantanal wetlands of central-western Brazil. The City Council presents the award annually to individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to regional environmental conservation.
To honor all of the award recipients, WCS's regional specialist in environmental education, Maria do Carmo Andrade Santos, "Duca", was chosen by the city's environmental council to open the ceremony with some inspirational words about the history and importance of the environmental movement and how individuals from all walks of life can contribute, and are contributing, to sustainable development of the region. Other organizations honored with the award included long-time WCS Brazil partners, the Ecology and Conservation Biology Department from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS) and the state environmental agency, IMASUL.
The president of the Campo Grande Environmental Council, councilman Eduardo Romero, one of Duca's former high school science students, closed the ceremony by saying (in translation) that it was a night to celebrate the work of individuals and institutions dedicated to promoting sustainable living, whether through actions influencing day-to-day habits, improving environmental awareness with educational projects, or changing public policies.
Congratulations to our small, effective team, as well as all of the award recipients!