Last Friday, international filmmakers, scientists and some of the world’s most respected conservation leaders gathered for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival Red Carpet Gala & Awards Ceremony to honor five distinguished guests. Mission Blue founder Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Birute Galdikas, Dr. Patricia C. Wright, His Royal Highness Prince Khaled bin Sultan and Nan Hauser each received a Lifetime Achievement Award during one of the premier conservation galas of 2014 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City.
Sylvia Earle both received an award and presented one to HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan for his international efforts to conserve coral reefs. In his acceptance speech, the prince spoke of the wonder he experienced during his first scuba dive and shared his inspiration for founding the Living Oceans Foundation, which co-hosted the gala and works tirelessly for “the conservation and restoration of living oceans and pledges to champion their preservation through research, education and a commitment to Science Without Borders.”
The gala was a highlight of the weeklong Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (WCFF) in New York City last week. This annual festival aims to celebrate and inform the public on the importance of conserving biodiversity around the globe. Now in its fourth year, the WCFF featured over 70 films from 30 countries including “Isla Holbox: Whale Shark Island,” – a story of ecotourism under scrutiny narrated by Dr. Sylvia Earle and produced by Mission Blue Director of Photography and Expeditions, Kip Evans. The festival also hosted a series of receptions and workshops.
Featured image (top): Living Oceans Foundation Executive Director Phil Renaud with honoree Sylvia Earle