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The Whitley Awards are made annually by the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) to recognise and celebrate effective national and regional conservation leaders across the globe. The awards are worth £30,000 (2007) and are now amongst the most high profile of conservation prizes - they have been called the "Green Oscars". The awards particularly seek to recognise contributions to conservation made from outside the developed world, and to bring to international attention the work of deserving individuals committed to precipitating long-lasting conservation benefits on the ground. The awards involve a process of reference, application and interview.

The Whitley Awards were established in 1994 by Edward Whitley, when a single award of £15,000 was made. In 2007 eight awards were made, together with several runner-up and associate awards.

Certain awards are sponsored by other organisations or given for particular areas. In 2005 these included the Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation, WWF-UK (for People and Environment), the William Brake Charitable Trust, Sting and Trudie Styler (for Human Rights and the Environment), Sigrid Rausing Trust (for Environmental Justice), HSBC and an award for Rivers and Wetlands.

Of the Whitley Award winners selected each year, one recipient goes on to win the prestigious Whitley Gold Award, worth an additional £30,000. In 2007, the Gold Award was won byDr Fernando Trujillo of the Omacha Foundation for his commitment to protecting Colombia’s Amazon River dolphins.

The Whitley Awards Ceremony, hosted by the patron of WFN, HRH The Princess Royal, is held annually at the Royal Geographical Societymarker, usually in the Spring.

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