Header image for Jairo Award
Jairo Mora Sandoval Bravery Award

Jairo Mora Sandoval was a marine conservationist from Costa Rica who dedicated his life to protecting sea turtles. Jairo grew up in Gandoca, an isolated Caribbean community of farmers located inside the National Refuge of Wildlife. He encountered sea turtles for the first time at the age of 8, when his school class took part in the release of young sea turtles. It was love at first sight. As a teenager he became a volunteer for a local organization working on sea turtle conservation in the community of Gandoca and he was later hired to continue his conservation efforts. In 2013 he was brutally murdered by poachers. He was 26 years old.

The Jairo Mora Sandoval Bravery Award is an initiative from the Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB Marine) and honors Jairo’s commitment to marine conservation. The Award is given for bravery associated with an outstanding contribution to the field of marine conservation, with particular emphasis on responsible and educated scientific endeavor, public engagement and conservation activism.

It is given biennially and the winner is announced at the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC). The 2018 Awardee is Patima  Tungpuchayakul. She is was born and grew up in Thailand and is currently the Manager of Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN), founded by her and her husband in 2004 to promote the labor’s quality of life. She has escued thousands of trafficked fish workers stranded on remote islands, some of whom were literally chained and trapped in cages on these islands. You can learn more about her here.





The Jairo Award Committee would like to thank the award-winning National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry for providing some amazing images for this project. You can learn more about him and his work here: www.brianskerry.com


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