Established eight years ago during the World Conservation Congress in Thailand, the Harold Jefferson Coolidge Memorial Medal will go to a conservation professional who has made outstanding contributions to the conservation of nature and natural resources.

Late Harold Jefferson Coolidge, born in Boston in 1904, was one of the founders of IUCN, a former president of the Union and its principal fundraiser from 1948 to the 1980s. He founded and chaired the Species Survival and National Parks Commission of IUCN, and was the first to bring women scientists into international conservation research. He influenced the lives of many students and professionals wishing to achieve the goals of conservation and environment protection.

The winner of the Harold Jefferson Coolidge Memorial Medal announced at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Republic of Korea, 6-15 September 2012 was Dr Wolfgang E. Burhenne of Germany, the Executive Governor of the International Council on Environmental Law.

The prize was awarded by an award jury consisting of five serving members of the IUCN Constituency Committee and three eminent conservation leaders who knew Harold Jefferson Coolidge well and/or understand his conservation ideals.

The medal recognises internationally significant contributions to effective conservation in one or more of the following ways:

  • Inspiration and support to individuals enabling them to become leading conservationists.
  • Exceptional contribution to the establishment of conservation institutions, or expanding the scope of existing ones.
  • Creation or implementation of international conservation initiatives.