First “Golden Hen” for sustainable commitment: WWF congratulates “Eisbär-Frau” Sybille Klenzendorf

1 November 2021

Pan-Arctic Wildlife

The “Golden Hen” award this year went to Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf, Program Manager for Species Conservation Science and Monitoring at WWF Germany. The wildlife conservationist received the environmental award, which was awarded for the first time last Friday. Klenzendorf has been committed to protecting the Arctic and the polar bears that live there for many years.

"I am very honored by this award, but I accept it with great joy but also humility," said Klenzendorf in her acceptance speech on Friday in Leipzig. “I am standing on the shoulders of many people here, because nature conservation only works as a team and is not a one-woman show. The challenges are gigantic and are increasing exponentially, especially due to the climate crisis. I'm noticing that in my work in the Arctic. When I started polar bear protection 15 years ago, we still thought we had until the end of the century before the Arctic would be ice-free in summer. Now, this has advanced to 2030. The changes are so rapid. That is why it is all the more important that issues such as sustainability, species and climate protection receive a lot more attention, I hope this award contributes to that," said Dr. Klenzendorf.

"Sybille Klenzendorf fights tirelessly for the protection of endangered species. For years it has been advocating preserving habitats and designating protected areas in order to save biological diversity. The award for their commitment sends out a strong signal. Because in addition to the climate crisis, the rapidly advancing loss of species is our greatest threat worldwide. I am really happy for Sybille and that so many people support her work," said Eberhard Brandes, chairman of WWF Germany, in recognition of the award winner.

Sybille Klenzendorf has been working for the WWF as an expert in species protection since 2002. The wildlife biologist, who has a PhD, works in the Arctic program of the nature conservation organization, among other things, for the management of human-polar bear conflicts. As part of her work on wildlife monitoring, Klenzendorf also contributes to the protection of arctic species, European predators such as wolves, lynxes and bears as well as tigers worldwide.

The "Golden Hen" is the largest public and media award in Germany. This year, for the first time, an award for particularly sustainable commitment was presented at the ceremony. The “Golden Hen” is awarded annually in various categories to well-known people from the fields of film, music and sport.