May 21st, 2009
11:45 PM ET

A message of hope from a Planet in Peril

Dr Fred Boltz
Conservation International

Today, Conservation International will present Anderson Cooper with our most prestigious award – the Global Conservation Hero Award – in honor of the entire team responsible for CNN’s Planet in Peril Series.

It’s the first time that we’ve ever given the award for journalism. Previously it has gone to some very powerful people – the former head of the World Bank and to the CEO of Wal-Mart – for the huge strides that they have taken in protecting the environment.

This year’s award reflects the major achievement of Planet in Peril which has fearlessly engaged the American public in issues that the mainstream media had previously been reluctant to cover.

The key to the show’s success – and to the award that we are presenting to the team that made them – is their incredible determination to tackle huge and complex subjects head-on and to make them accessible to ordinary people. Whether it is the spread of diseases from wildlife to humans or the conflicts developing over natural resources that sustain us all, the shows made connections between what is happening in some of the world’s poorest nations and what is happening right here in the US.

And now, more than ever, it is critical that people in this country understand how completely connected the US is to the rest of the world. At the end of this year the governments of the world will meet in Copenhagen to agree a plan for what needs to be done to address climate change, and the US will be one of the most important players in that debate.

The very places highlighted in Planet in Peril – like the forests of central Africa and South America– are among the most vital components in the efforts to address climate change because forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store vast quantities of it. In fact, the destruction of the world’s forests puts more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year than all of the worlds transportation put together – around a fifth of all CO2 emissions.

The more forests we lose, the harder it will be for the earth’s natural systems to cope with humanity’s CO2 emissions – and that means we will have to spend more on reducing CO2 emissions or deal with even worse climate change. But the more connected we all feel to these far-away places, and the more we realize how vital it is to conserve them, the better our chances of protecting the world from the worst potential outcomes of climate change.

Planet in Peril has taken millions of people in the US a few steps closer to understanding the connections that exist between the average American, the rest of humanity and the world that sustains us. If the world’s politicians can really grasp this too, then perhaps the UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen at the end of the year will achieve what Conservation International is calling for to avoid dangerous climate change, and will put protection of the ecosystems that help prevent climate change at the heart of the world’s new plan to confront this challenge.

To find out more about Conservation International here.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Planet in Peril
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Susan Williamson

    To Anderson Cooper, Lisa Ling, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the entire team, I am so proud and excited for you!! This is a well deserved award.

    Not only did Planet in Peril entertain us, it also opened our eyes. One of my favorite places was the garden of eden. It is beautiful.

    As you celebrate, know the public thanks you.

    May 22, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  2. Lisa L

    Dear Anderson,

    Congratulations for winning the Global Conservation Hero Award.

    I recognised you are a hero and now the Conservation International has as well.


    Lisa L
    Sydney, Australia

    May 22, 2009 at 6:12 am |
  3. Marie Anne Sam - Alabang in the Philippines

    It's one of the most comprehensive watch I have that tackles climate change generated from a lot of factors - the peril it brought to humanity as well as those living stuff around us.

    PIP 1 tackles the diversity and causes why we have this strange, drastic climate change and rapid global warming.

    PIP 2 confronts what's behind the changes - the factors specifically humans - and the results that made other living things go suddenly extinct and the number of losses on some exotic varieties. It also engages us to face the challenges head on.

    PIP the series is very informative - compare to other documentaries made facing the same issues. It plunges head on and makes you wonder that you don't want to experience what will happen next. The data are raw delivered by CNN's best anchors/correspondents.

    It deserve all the accolades it gets 🙂 - Congrats to the team of Anderson Cooper, Sanjay Gupta among others - and of course the show producer and those working behind the cameras!

    We need to see PIP 3 soon!!! 🙂

    May 22, 2009 at 5:23 am |
  4. Sarah, Canterbury UK

    Hey Coop,

    No doing a Gwyneth Paltrow !

    PIP was a great way of getting these important issues into the media. The team at CNN did a great job the stories and pictures were nicely put together.

    Well done.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:59 am |
  5. Sashya latha from Pondycherry India

    This is great news! I hope you get the Nobel price for Environment this yearl.. I used this topic for a poster assignment for the first year medical students in MES Medical college in Perinthalmanna , Kerala S.India in 2006 and they came up with some of the most interesting visuals and comments.
    Your cameraman deserves a lot of credit for the great pictures. Congratulations!!

    May 22, 2009 at 3:52 am |
  6. lpfoong

    Congratulations! Well deserved! Keep it up.

    May 21, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  7. Christine, Minnesota

    Congratulations PIP team! Much deserved.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  8. Miss J


    May 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  9. robyn caffrey keyser wesr virgina

    ah" congratulations '

    yes we can

    May 21, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  10. LisaL - Canada

    hoping there is another one in the series.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  11. Terry, TX


    May 21, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  12. Annie Kate

    Kudos to Anderson and CNN for doing this series. I do hope PIP continues. The first 2 shows had to have been an immense amount of work and they were just enthralling to watch and are very deserving of this honor. Congrats!!

    May 21, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  13. Don, WA

    A well deserved recognition. PIP is making a difference I think. We need the jungle and the ocean and the ice. Keep on working please.

    May 21, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  14. Bobby

    Congratulations Anderson on a much deserved award for excellent coverage of a very important issue. The most professional, genuine, and best reporter on CNN – amongst several very good ones. Congratulations to all others who contributed to the Plant In Peril Series!

    Regards, Bobby A.

    May 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  15. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    That's great news for me to hear Anderson Cooper, Lisa Ling and Dr. Sanjay Gupta! I am so exciting for their the award! I love Planet in Peril 1 &2 parts documentary! They are amazing reporters!! They are best deserve the award for Anderson, Lisa and Sanjay! Congrats Anderson, Lisa and Sanjay!! I am really proud of them what they have their done! Maybe someday they will make other one Planet in Peril part 3. I hope! All of you are so best deserve the award! I can't wait for that to see them the award!

    May 21, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  16. Sandra Robertson, GA

    Congratulations to the 'Planet in Peril' team. You have given us awareness and insight into a vast array of subjects and what we can do to make a difference in protecting our fragile ecosystem. Keep up the good teamwork. Thank you and God Bless you all.

    May 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  17. Terry, TX

    Please....right in time for the Carbon Tax....I'll send him a copy of my utilities bills ...when theses carbon taxes hit....maybe he will pay for them.

    May 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  18. isabel

    @ Cindy

    When a team is champion, who lifts the cup is the master, but obviously he didn't play alone. 😉

    May 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  19. Vicky, Ottawa

    Well-deserved honour, congratulations to Anderson and the team. Really enjoy it when Anderson provides a broader, world focus, and about issues for which he has a passion. Photography was wonderful, and truly a special series. Hope it has some impact on world leaders and decisions taken, but hopefully inspired us to make changes as individuals to impact the environment positively.

    May 21, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  20. Krasi

    I completely agree with the statement that what happens in one small part of the world affects the rest of the world just as much. Nations are more interconnected nowadays than ever before in history and the sooner everyone understand this, the faster it will take for all of us to join in conserving the one planet we have.

    Congratulation to Anderson Cooper and team! Planet in Peril is an eye-opener and thoroughly deserves this award.

    May 21, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  21. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Congratulation to you Anderson, to you Sanjay and to you Lisa,and all that verry good Planet in Peril team.Thank you for let us know how wonderful our planet is!And makes us know that we have to protect our plant.

    May 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  22. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Great honor for Anderson and the palnet in peril team .I loved the 2 planet in perils and i can't wait to see the 3 one soon .

    Congratsa Anderson !

    May 21, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  23. DAWN

    Congratulations for helping to save us all.

    May 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  24. Alex (NYC)

    A most befitting reward for everyone involved in the Planet in Peril series. Congratulations and thank you for ensuring a future for our kids and the next generation beyond.

    May 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  25. isabel

    Congratulations Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Lisa Ling, and team of Planet in Peril!

    My suggestion, if possible, is to reprise, some portions of Planet in Peril, during the show AC360. I thank you!

    Congratulations! Award more than deserved.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  26. Teresa, OH

    Congrats to all, great and small, who brought these incredible topics to the general public. Most of us only wish we could do more to help with all the mayhem.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  27. Lilibeth

    This is wonderful. Congratulations Anderson, Dr. Gupta, Lisa Ling, and all of CNN for this well-deserved award.

    Edmonds, Washington

    May 21, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  28. Cindy

    It's great that Coop is getting this award. I hope that he doesn't forget to thank the "littlel" people who really do more work than we know! He gets the glory at all of these things but it is really way more than just him that puts PIP together and brings it to us!

    PIP 2 was a good doc and I can't wait to see PIP 3..UMM..you are doing one yes!? Haven't heard anything yet so just wondering!


    May 21, 2009 at 9:57 am |