The Schweitzer Medal


Jennifer Lonsdale has dedicated more than three decades to protecting the world's oceans from environmental crimes and abuses and has been highly influential in the whale world. Last month she received the prestigious Schweitzer Medal from the Animals Welfare Institute.

This award was established in 1951 by AWI to recognise outstanding 'achievement in the advancement of animal welfare'. It was presented to Jennifer during the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Slovenia in October 2022. On receiving the award, Jennifer said:

"I am quite overwhelmed to be awarded this medal, and thank the Animal Welfare Institute for choosing me. It is particularly precious to me because founder of AWI Christine Stevens was a mentor to me for many years. She was a champion for animals all her life and never shied away from making her voice loudly heard on animal welfare abuse."

Jennifer co-founded the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in 1984 with Allan Thornton and Dave Currey. She received an OBE in 2016 in recognition of her environmental advocacy.

In the early 1980s, the three co-founders travelled to collect the first-ever documentation of the Norwegian minke whale hunt. A year later, they visited the Faroe Islands to investigate the Grindadráp.

As director and oceans campaigner for EIA, Jennifer worked to ensure the protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises was a core focus for the IWC. She focused on threats to cetaceans and the marine environment, including climate change, pollution and wildlife entanglement.

"Jenny's three decades at EIA have focused almost exclusively on cetaceans, their conservation and their welfare, and she has built a remarkable depth of expertise and wisdom. She has served as a longstanding chair of the UK's NGO coalition working on cetacean issues and many times on the UK delegation to the IWC." said DJ Schubert, wildlife biologist for AWI.

ORCA would like to extend their best wishes and congratulations to Jennifer and thank her for all her work protecting the world's oceans.