Colin Bibby was awarded the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences 1994 for BirdLife International, in recognition of the pioneering international research being conducted by BirdLife International and also to help ensure its continuation.
BirdLife International is a worldwide co-operative of organisations in the field of bird protection. They seek to protect birds and their natural habitats as one means of safeguarding the environment. Their endeavours are in the interest of all human and animal life on earth.
Birds are outstanding indicators of the condition of the environment, since they can be observed more easily and studied more closely than almost any other group of organisms. The scientific team of BirdLife International takes advantage of this fact by implementing and constantly evaluating its programme for the protection of biodiversity. The scientists at BirdLife are pioneers in documenting the worldwide threat to biodiversity.
The publication Putting Biodiversity on the Map (1992) convinced the jury to award the prize to BirdLife International. The study is an attempt to document patterns in the spread of biodiversity over the earth. It showed that one fourth of all bird species occur in a very small part of the world.
About the laureate
Until 2001 Dr Bibby (1948) headed a small group of researchers at BirdLife International in Cambridge, England. At the same time he directed BirdLife International's research programmes in some seventy countries. He left BirdLife in 2001 and devoted his professional time to helping other conservation organisations and international companies to develop their strategic thinking for biodiversity conservation. He passed away on 7 August 2004.