Mongabay founder set to receive award on August 15

Mongabay’s founder and CEO Rhett A. Butler will be honored with a new award on August 15th, and readers and friends are invited to join the festivities virtually.

The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) and actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. will honor Butler and four others during their 7th Annual Pongo Environmental Awards.

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award on behalf of the whole Mongabay team,” Butler said. “Thank you to the Orang Utan Republik Foundation for recognizing the effort Mongabay undertakes to deliver news and inspiration from nature’s frontline.”

Previously the winner of accolades such as the Parker Gentry Award for his work growing from a personal project into a team of 50+ staffers reporting environmental news for an average of six million monthly readers (nowadays published by five bureaus around the world: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the U.S.), Butler wishes to congratulate his fellow award winners:

“I also extend congratulations to the other winners for their inspiring work: Jamartin Sihite and Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation; Farwiza Farhan and HAkA; and Paul Redman of “If Not Us Then Who?” It is humbling to be honored with such an accomplished group of people,” Butler said. Also being honored is Guardians of Life, a short film starring Joaquin Phoenix which was written, produced, and directed by Shaun Monson.

This year’s gala will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds raised will support OURF’s field education programs to reduce conflict between villagers and wildlife, while improving the peoples’ livelihoods, the organization’s press release noted.

The gala event will be live-streamed from 6-8 pm (Pacific) on August 15, and will also feature surprise celebrity appearances, live updates from Indonesia, music, and an online silent auction featuring unique gift items. Registration for the event is free, here, and Mongabay readers and friends are invited to register and join the festivities.

Previous Pongo Award recipients have included Mongabay Advisor Dr. Jane Goodall and an array of other celebrities, activists, and funders of global conservation programs.