Media Release


Royal Wedding Charity Nomination a top 40th birthday present



Earthwatch is celebrating its 40th birthday and has been nominated as one of the charities by Prince William and Kate Middleton for their royal wedding.  

Earthwatch is one of 26 charities selected by Prince William and Miss Middleton to receive donations in lieu of wedding gifts for the royal couple's wedding in April, St James's Palace announced today.

A share of the funds raised through donations from wedding guests and members of the public to the Royal Wedding Charitable Fund, will be donated to Earthwatch in support of the charity's Australian-based educational programs.

 Richard Gilmore, Executive Director of Earthwatch Australia, said the nomination was a great boost to the organisations funding efforts.

"It will also generate awareness for Earthwatch's citizen science programs which bring together volunteers from the community to work side-by side with scientists on research projects worldwide," he said. 

Over the past 40 years over  96,000 global supporters, scientists and educators have committed nearly 11 million hours of conservation field work and distributed millions of dollars in research funding. 

Meerkats of the South African Kalahari

With the number of natural disasters such as floods and fires happening in the world - which Prince William will soon be visiting in Victoria - tracking and recording data is becoming an increasingly valuable part of environmental science activities.

Mr Gilmore said volunteers help scientists by conducting biodiversity surveys and installing traps, surveying animals at night with a spotlight, deploying camera traps to identify and determine the population of animals, radio tracking animals and many other research tasks that involve collecting and recording data.

"With more than 60 research expeditions to choose from in Australia and across the world, Earthwatch provides rare access to unique areas where people not only observe but actually take part in and contribute to the scientific research to preserve animals and habitats.

"This creates a unique rite of environmental passage which people will regard as a life-changing experience.

Mr Gilmore said the projects are as diverse as investigating Australia's outback to discover new species, to Cheetah Conservation in Namibia or surveying the Dolphins of Greece.

"Individuals join an expedition in the field that interests them, contributing both funds and hands-on support to the scientists conducting research. Being in the field often has a transformative effect on the volunteers, who return home inspired to lead change in their own communities.

"Earthwatch believes by involving a diverse range of people in scientific research and education, they gain the knowledge, skills and motivation needed to take responsibility for the environment," Mr Gilmore said.

Mahony by Alex Wong
Join Australia's Vanishing Frogs Earthwatch expedition on YouTube

"Earthwatch not only engages people directly on an individual level, but also reaches out to their schools, workplaces, universities, research institutes, professional affiliations and community groups.

"With the increased understanding of climate change the Earthwatch Expedition program is becoming popular with companies sponsoring expeditions for staff to become involved in environmental programs and people from all works of life benefiting from the thrill of the expeditions to gain a deeper understanding of our planet," Mr Gilmore added.

Earthwatch 2011 Expedition Guide

Earthwatch Australia's work is recognised with The Prime Minister's Award for Australian Environmentalist of the Year 2009 for outstanding achievement at a national and international level.

Media Enquiries:  
 Ron Smith, Media Communications, Earthwatch - Mobile: 0417 329 201


About Earthwatch Institute (Australia) 


Earthwatch is an international not-for-profit organisation bringing people and science together to advance conservation, research and education for a sustainable planet.  Paying volunteers work alongside leading scientists on research expeditions ranging from dividing and snorkelling to projects dealing with mammals, archaeology and climate change in more than 30 countries.