Kurdish woman nominated to receive environmental award
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An environmental activist from Sulaimani and the founder of Leopards Beyond Borders (LBB), Hana Raza, has been nominated for the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award.
In addition to Raza, two other candidates have been nominated for the award, Ms. Iroro Tonshi from Nigeria and Mr. Juan Carlos Monterrey Gomez from Panama.
“I am delighted to be nominated for the World Award, and I am looking forward to receiving the award on October 26 at the University of California,” said Ms. Raza to Kurdistan 24.
The Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award is an international award presented to people under the age of 40 who are making a significant contribution to the environment. The award comes with a $100,000 prize and is presented annually at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Hana Raza’s LBB is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to safeguarding and conserving Iraq’s threatened wildlife. Ms. Raza is an expert in the field of wildlife conservation, with a focus on mammal conservation, particularly Persian leopards (Panthera pardus tulliana) and their prey species.
Previously in 2017, Raza received the “Future for Nature” award after rediscovering the Persian leopard in Iraq in 2011, where she and her team later documented the species’ first recorded reproduction using a camera trap.
In 2022, she was named an honoree and fellow of the Explorers Club 50, “50 People Changing the World the World Needs to Know About.”
Raza holds a master’s of science degree in ecology and wildlife conservation from Newcastle University. After nearly 15 years of working with Nature Iraq, she established the first wildlife conservation-focused organization in the Kurdistan Region, which the UCLA board of environment has endorsed and has collaborated with as the leading wildlife conservation NGO in the region.