Harrison Ford (2003)
Award Presented at the San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, California
Harrison Ford has been a formidable watchdog for the environment ever since the 1980s when he was introduced to the majestic rain forests of Belize during filming of "The Mosquito Coast." He is now leading a campaign to preserve Belize's Macal River Valley's rich biodiversity. Ford is committed to protecting biodiversity. He has worked with the Riverkeeper organization in New York, and served 10 years on the board of directors of Conservation International (CI). As an active member of the CI Board of Directors Ford has participated in the strategic design and growth of that organization, which is dedicated to applying innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity, tropical wilderness areas, and key marine ecosystems. Ford has played an instrumental role in establishing CI's Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, the first early warning system for global conservation efforts, and in designing and developing CI's Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, a coalition of conservation and business interests searching for ways to reduce the impact of development on the earth. He also serves as a board member of CI's Global Conservation Fund, which has protected over 100,000,000 acres on three continents in the past 18 months. Ford has contributed millions of dollars to wildlife conservation projects in 30 countries and has traveled around the world to see for himself how the environment is suffering at the hands of man.
In May of 2002, Ford, a pilot himself, was honored at the Riverkeeper annual dinner in New York for using his Bell 407 helicopter to track pollution in the Hudson River. This type of work - using technological advancements to address environmental concerns - is the epitome of the Lindberghs' concept of balance, and is the cornerstone of the Foundation's mission and programs. Ford has conducted safety videos for the FAA, and is the owner of a single-engine de Havilland Beaver bi-plane and a twin-engine Gulfstream IV jet. In addition to the Riverkeeper award, Ford received a Global Environmental Citizen Award from Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment in honor of his environmental work. "Our health relies entirely on the vitality of our fellow species on Earth," Ford said at the Harvard Medical School's ceremony. "When we protect the places where the processes of life can flourish, we strengthen not only the future of medicine, agriculture and industry, but also the essential conditions for peace and prosperity." The International Center for Tropical Ecology at the University of Missouri at St. Louis honored Ford with a World Ecology Award for his "heroic" efforts to promote conservation of environmental resources, and the African Rainforest Conservancy acknowledged him for his contributions to the environment.
Ford recently completed the narration of the IMAX film "Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance," which examines the planet's biological diversity from the Polar Regions to the tropics. In another show of personal commitment to environmental preservation, Ford has donated nearly 400 acres of his Wyoming ranch for a conservation easement to the Jackson Hole Land Trust.