Prof. Oteng-Yeboah Gets Highest Conservation Award

9th September 2021

Prof. Alfred Oteng-Yeboah  (middle) receives John C. Phillips Memorial Medal— the highest conservation award bestowed by the IUCN. Photo Credit: IUCN

The Board Chair for A Rocha Ghana, Professor Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, was yesterday awarded the John C. Phillips Memorial Medal— the highest conservation award bestowed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the ongoing IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille—France.

The prestigious award has been given in recognition of the Professor’s outstanding service to international conservation.

Prior to the ceremony, the IUCN said the award was being conferred on the Ghanaian Professor for his exemplary dedication to establishing a mechanism that places biodiversity on the political agenda.

“We congratulate your work in chairing and in laying the foundations for managing the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative, as well as your participation and service on a number of high-profile bodies, and your work as a Professor of Botany who inspired young minds,” the IUCN stated.

Accepting the award, Prof. Oteng-Yeboah said three global crises have bedevilled humankind and the solution, he believes, is to first of all protect biodiversity.

“I have always been convinced that if we’re able to protect biodiversity, then the other two crises of land degradation and climate change would be a thing of the past.” —Prof Alfred Oteng-Yeboah

Passion unwavering

The renowned Professor’s passion for biodiversity conservation cannot be overemphasised. 

His interest in biodiversity spans several decades of research and advocacy in various subject areas, including local and traditional knowledge systems in Ghana. He contributed to the development of the 2016 to 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has published extensively on the Environment and Biodiversity for both local and international audiences.

He is a founding bureau member and former Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), representing Africa.

Prof. Oteng-Yeboah currently chairs the Steering Committee of the International Partnership for Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) and has done so since its establishment in 2010.

He has also chaired several National Biodiversity Committees in the sub-region.


John C. Phillips Memorial Medal

The revered medal has been presented at every IUCN General Assembly and Congress since 1963 to recognize outstanding services in the field of the conservation of nature and natural resources.

Previous recipients include distinguished conservationists such as the Prince of the Netherlands, Indira Gandhi, HM Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman, Professor E. O. Wilson, Dr Luc Hoffmann, Dr José Aristeo Sarukhán Kermez and Maria Tereza Jorge Pádua, each of whom has contributed their vision, wisdom and perseverance to furthering the global conservation cause.

John C. Phillips Memorial Medal. Photo credit: IUCN

A Rocha Ghana congratulates Prof. Alfred Oteng-Yeboah on this remarkable achievement. It is proof of his massive and continuous contribution to biodiversity conservation.

We are extremely proud to be associated with him and appreciate his role as the Board Chair for A Rocha Ghana.

Watch excerpts of Prof. Oteng-Yeboah’s acceptance speech HERE


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