INDIANAPOLIS--It’s his daring and courageous characters that have made Harrison Ford a timeless hero of the silver screen, but it’s his bold, heroic devotion to planet Earth that has earned him the 2018 Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award.
The Indianapolis Prize — recognized as the world’s leading award for animal conservation — created the award, named in recognition of Tony and Emmy-winning actor and conservation advocate Jane Alexander. The Wildlife Ambassador Award honors individuals who have been effective, credible and consistent voices for wildlife.
The Indianapolis Prize released a statement:
Ford’s passion for wildlife conservation is evident and actionable, including extensive, hands-on work both in the field and in the boardroom. Whether patrolling the Hudson River by helicopter to get a bird’s-eye view of polluters, or taking viewers to Indonesia to understand the challenges of deforestation in Showtime’s Years of Living Dangerously, he is a true hero for the planet.
“Nothing is more important to human society than preserving its natural capital. Nature does not need people, people need nature,” Ford said. “Our health relies entirely on the vitality of our fellow species on Earth. I care deeply for the natural world. It’s not about me, it’s not about me at all, it’s about this other world we’re going to leave behind. If we don’t stop the destruction of nature, nothing else will matter. Jobs won’t matter, our economies won’t matter, our freedoms and ethics won’t matter, our children’s education and potential won’t matter. If we end the ability of a healthy natural world to sustain humanity nothing else will matter.”
“Harrison Ford is among today’s most credible conservationists and is widely respected by the professional and academic conservation communities,” said Michael I. Crowther, CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc., which administers the award. “Harrison’s involvement with Conservation International spans decades and he has worked with many of today’s leading scientists and experts.”
His conservation achievements have earned several honors, including Conservation International’s prestigious Founders’ Award, the World Ecology Award from the International Center for Tropical Ecology, the Global Citizen Award from the Center for Health and Global Environment and a Lindbergh Award for his efforts to balance technology and nature.
Ford will receive the award September 29, 2018 at the Indianapolis Prize Gala, which will be at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis Prize recognizes and rewards conservationists who have achieved major victories in advancing the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. Winners receive the Lilly Medal and an unrestricted $250,000 award. Remaining Finalists each receive $10,000. The Indianapolis Prize has received support from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation since its inception.
(PHOTO: Indianapolis Zoo)