The National Geographic Society announces 2024 explorer of the year

Fernando Trujillo has been involved in the conservation of threatened species in South America for over 30 years, in particular to protect the pink dolphin: he has now won the 2024 Explorer of the Year award

The National Geographic Society has named Fernando Trujillo, a marine biologist and conservationist, as the 2024 Explorer of the Year. Fernando is renowned for his efforts to protect the Amazonian pink dolphin. This prestigious honor, the Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year Award, celebrates his unwavering dedication to the conservation of endangered species and aquatic ecosystems in South America.

Over 30 years of commitment to conservation

Fernando Trujillo has devoted more than 30 years to conservation, working closely with local communities to develop sustainable solutions that protect endangered species and promote environmental sustainability. His dedication and passion for safeguarding the pink dolphin, also known as “tonina,” have earned him the nickname “Omacha” in the Ticuna indigenous culture, where Omacha is a mythical figure who protects dolphins.

Longstanding involvement with the National Geographic Society

Trujillo’s relationship with the National Geographic Society dates back to when he received his first grant in 2008 to study the abundance of Amazonian dolphins in Brazil and Peru. Currently, Trujillo is a leading explorer in the Perpetual Planet Amazon Expedition by National Geographic and Rolex, a scientific and narrative initiative exploring the Amazon Basin from the Andes to the Atlantic.

Trujillo’s broad cCommitment

Trujillo not only conducts in-depth research but also collaborates with local leaders, veterinarians, and scientists to monitor dolphin migration patterns and assess the health of river ecosystems. His efforts have led to numerous successes, including increased fishing agreements, wetlands protection, and tree-planting initiatives to revitalize ecosystems impacted by climate change.

One of his major achievements was facilitating the first global declaration for the protection of river dolphins, signed by governments of several South American countries. This effort has solidified his reputation as a conservation leader and promoter of international collaborations.

Founding Member of the Omacha Foundation

Trujillo is also a founding member of the Omacha Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating sustainable conservation strategies that protect forests, rivers, lakes, and wildlife, while supporting the livelihoods of local communities.

The National Geographic Society, recognizing his invaluable contribution, awards Trujillo the title of Explorer of the Year 2024, celebrating his pivotal role in protecting our planet and the species that inhabit it.

Source: National Geographic Society

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