The goal of our Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Europe Section Blog is to share stories and relevant information about activities going on within our section and more broadly in the conservation community. Stories and articles shared on our blog should not be taken as an official position or statement of SCB or SCB Europe Section. Thank you for reading!

Friday, 7 September 2012

“It takes only 5 days to get to Glasgow… by bike!” - Swarovski Optik Green Travel Price awarded during the 3rd European Congress of Conservation Biology

At the end of the European Congress of Conservation Biology, the Swarovski Optik Green Travel Price was awarded to Willem Laermans from Belgium, who made his way up from Belgium to Glasgow using a boat and his bike. In five days he travelled 550 km and was challenged by varying Scottish weather conditions.

The Society for Conservation Biology - Europe Section, has established this green travel prize in order to encourage members not only to invest in science that can inform better management and policy for the conservation of biodiversity, but also to set a good example on how to reduce their individual footprint. Swarovski Optik was happy to support this initiative by providing two prices, the first of which was a pair of Swarovision binoculars. Carina Schiestl-Swarowski, chairman of the executive board of Swarovski Optik: “We work in harmonious symbiosis with nature and environment because this forms the basis for the use of our products. Only nature that is in good order, and the biodiversity of flora and fauna help our customers to enjoy breathtaking, unforgettable visual experiences”.
Paul Beier, Global President of the Society of Conservation Biology noted that “Although carbon offsets are necessary, the mantra for reducing emissions is “reduce, replace, offset.” These actions are listed in order of priority, starting with reducing our energy use. No form of offset stores carbon as reliably as keeping fossil fuels in the ground. SCB is proud to put the spotlight on avoiding emissions rather than correcting the damage.”.

Swarovski Prize Awarded in ECCB2012
(l to r: P. Ibisch, P. Beier, W. Laermans, G. Lövei and  G. Lupp)
Willem Laermans, a committed member of the SCB Europe Section stressed the importance of permanently reflecting about how we, personally, affect our surroundings. “We need to take the necessary time to think about how to change this society to help it becoming more sustainable”. Willem, actually, just wanted to give a good example. He himself suggested the establishment of the Swarovski Green Travel Price and will therefore pass the prize to the former president of the European section, Martin Dieterich, who is very well known for his great care, efforts, and setting personal example in how to reduce our ecological footprint on Earth. 

The second prize was awarded to Gerd Lupp, who arrived by train from Sweden to Glasgow via Copenhagen, Basel, Paris and London.

Pierre Ibisch -  Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development,, ++49-3334-657 178
Willem Laermans - Parklaan 75, 9000, Gent, Belgium, +3293 51 74 66,

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