Sir David Attenborough named recipient of WWF’s Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

Posted on 10 June 2021

For over 60 years, Sir David Attenborough has brought the wonders of the natural world to our screens and into our homes, completely transforming our view of the wild world and inspiring action for our planet's most precious species and fragile habitats.

Today, the world renowned naturalist, writer and broadcaster has been named the recipient of WWF’s Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award which honours and recognizes outstanding contributions made to the global conservation movement.

Sir David Attenborough has been a passionate champion for the natural world, dedicating his life to inspiring hundreds of millions around the world to love and care for nature and wildlife. His extraordinary broadcasting career began when he joined BBC Television in 1952. Across more than six decades, he has become synonymous with natural history programming and his universal appeal has transcended generations and borders. 

With nature in crisis like never before, we need everyone on the planet to be a voice for nature and through his work Sir David Attenborough has been an inspiration in explaining nature to audiences and a strong advocate for the need to translate our love for nature into real, collective action to protect our planet, our one shared home.

In 1970, WWF established its prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award to recognize and encourage significant achievement in the global environmental field. The award carries particular poignancy this year given the passing of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in April. 

Prince Philip - who would have turned 100 today - was a pivotal patron of WWF, serving as a passionate voice, advocate and champion for the organization’s work from its creation and particularly as WWF International’s President from 1981 to 1996. The Prince was also the first president of WWF-UK, from its founding in 1961 until 1982.

Also this year WWF celebrates 60 years of action for people and nature and our mission has never been more important. Today we know we can only have a safe, prosperous, healthy and fair future for humanity on a cared-for planet where sustainable development becomes the norm. 

That’s why we are calling for urgent action to address the global climate and nature crises and ensure a sustainable future for all. The conservation movement, along with world leaders, businesses and communities - indeed all of us - will have to achieve more in the next 10 years than in the last 60.

Sir David Attenborough summed it up best when he said: “The natural world has never been in greater need of help than it is today. I have seen the damage we have done to it myself. The good news is more and more people are beginning to recognise the threat of impending catastrophe. But there is a long way to go and time is running out. It will be the next generation that determines the future of our planet, and the passion of young people that will ensure that change happens."