“Sharon Matola was – and remains – the most courageous person I’ve ever met. The fact that she wields that courage on behalf of the wildlife of Central America – well, that’s why we’re asking you to consider her nomination” – Bruce Barcott.
Acclaimed Belizean conservationist, director and founder of The Belize Zoo And Tropical Education Center, Sharon Matola, has been recognized for her dedication as Belize’s premier wildlife educator. In a recent interview, Matola confessed that she was both honored and stunned to be considered for such a prestigious international award and prize.
According to a public statement, “the work of all the biennial Indianapolis Prize nominees spans the globe, representing a range of species and locales.” Matola’s efforts here in Belize have been defined by the Jaguar along with the endangered Scarlet Macaws and Tapirs of Central America.
The Indianapolis Prize Committee will convene in March to review the applications in order to select six finalists, who will then be announced in the spring of 2012. With any luck, Sharon, who was nominated by Marsha Johnston, an editor and freelance writer, and supported by Bruce Barcott, author of Last Flight Of The Scarlet Macaw, will be one of those.
The Prize Jury will then determine the winner, who will be announced in mid-2012 and honored at the next Indianapolis Prize Gala. In addition to receiving the $100,000 prize, the recipient is also awarded the Lilly Medal, an original work of art that signifies the winner’s contributions to conserving some of the world’s most threatened animals.