On Friday, May 13, Howard G.
Buffett became the 19th recipient of the World Ecology Award. Through
his Howard G. Buffett Foundation, he is directing projects in such countries as
Afghanistan, Burundi, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda and many additional
has also been employed with and served on boards at a variety of organizations,
including United States Trade Representative Committees, Archer Daniels Midland
Company, The GSI Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, ConAgra Foods, Sloan Implement, Coca-Cola
Company, Berkshire Hathaway and numerous nonprofit boards.
1999 this extraordinary individual established the Howard G. Buffett Foundation
(HGBF) with a mission to improve the standard of living and quality of life for
the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations. Its immediate
priorities include food security, clean water and humanitarian aid in conflict
and post-conflict regions.
established HGBF using the bulk of the resources available to him through
family assets. At the time Howard himself worked on his own farm. Currently he
has a 1,400 acre farm near Decatur, Illinois; oversees two research farms of 2,300
acres and 9,200 acres in Illinois and South Africa respectively.
his Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Annual Report, he quotes his
father Warren’s advice to him: “Don’t
just go for safe projects. You can bat a thousand in this game if you want to
do nothing important. Or you’ll bat something less than that if you take on the
really tough problems.”
addition to the primary mission described above, his Foundation’s operations
have remained sensitive to global issues such as conservational agriculture, habitat
protection and biodiversity. Additional funding is directed toward nutrition,
forced migration and development of journalists—which supports student learning
and improved governance. Buffett also continues a decade-long interest in the
well-being of cheetahs and mountain gorillas.
has traveled to more than 100 countries documenting the challenges of preserving
our biodiversity while providing adequate resources to meet the needs of a
growing global population. He is the recipient of numerous honors bestowed by
both international governments and domestic organizations.
Howard G. Buffett Foundation’s Annual Report proudly describes it efforts to
learn from its mistakes, failures and successes. It seeks to be a catalyst for
successful innovation, to provide the leadership required for success, and
makes seed capital available that can be leveraged for additional support. This
year’s World Ecology Award uniquely recognizes a carefully developed, well-managed
and innovative effort to build a better planet by focusing on fundamental,
structural problems designed to improve the lives of over 3 billion people who
live on less the $2 a day.