Five young men and women who embody the spirit of enterprise, the ideas and will to make the world a better place, were named today the 2012 Young Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. The awards carry more than a check for 50,000 Swiss francs (U.S.$54,000) and a Rolex chronometer; A jury of distinguished scientists, explorers, conservationists, doctors, educators and entrepreneurs from around the world recognized them as young people who exemplify hope for the future of humanity.
So who are these Young Laureates? In the near future we hope to invite them to write about themselves and their aspirations here on News Watch. But meanwhile, here is what we have about them from materials released by Rolex today:
Karina Atkinson: Fosters research and responsible tourism in a Paraguayan biodiversity hotspot
Karina Atkinson, a highly resourceful Scottish scientist, has an ambitious goal: to promote Paraguay internationally as a destination for sustainable tourism by protecting and developing – through scientific research and community outreach – a natural reserve in the centre of the country.
Landlocked Paraguay, with a population of more than 6 million, is one of the poorest nations in South America. A boom in farming has boosted the economy, but intensive cattle ranching and soya and eucalyptus cropping have encroached on the natural environment.
Through Para La Tierra, a not-for-profit she co-founded in April 2010, Atkinson is establishing a model of environmental research and education, linked with support to communities living around a 804-hectare reserve, the Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, in central Paraguay.