Dr Mary T Kalin Arroyo and Professor Aila Inkeri Keto, 2005

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The Volvo Environment Prize for 2005 is awarded to two outstanding conservationists from the southern hemisphere who have made extraordinary contributions to conservation. Their work in these biodiversity hotspots has built strong public support and has enhanced global understanding of the importance of protecting biodiversity.

For the first time in the history of the Volvo Environment Prize, two women are sharing the award: Dr Mary Kalin Arroyo who works in Chile, and Professor Aila Keto whose work takes place in Australia.

Dr Mary Kalin Arroyo is a professor of biology at Universidad de Chile. She has combined research on the reproductive systems of plants with the study of complete communities and applied this information to conservation. Her studies have led to the design of an improved system of protected areas in Chile, one of the world’s most important biodiversity regions.

Professor Aila Keto has worked since 1982 as President of the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society to build support for the conservation of the natural heritage of Queensland. As a research scientist, she has identified numerous natural value in the rainforests of Queensland. She has made important contributions to at least three World Heritage Sites in north-eastern Australia. Professor Keto’s work led to the protection of more than 1.5 million hectares of Queensland’s rainforest.

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