Wade Davis

Anthropologist, environmental activist, author, photographer, passionate defender of life’s diversity.
Vancouver, Canada
Wade Davis
Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner (2017)
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From a boy growing up in West Vancouver, Wade has created a life full of extraordinary accomplishments as an advocate for the protection of our planet’s pristine wilderness and unique cultures, particularly in Latin America. He has returned many times to Latin America in the past half century, documenting everything from Haitian Voodoo practices to the ethnobotany of the tribes in the South American rainforest. His 1986 book about the Haitian Voodoo practices, The Serpent and the Rainbow, was an international bestseller and was later released by Universal as a motion picture. More recently, in Canada, his advocacy in defence of the Valley of the Sacred Headwaters in the Stikine Valley in northern British Columbia, led to a decision by Shell Canada to abandon plans to exploit the resources of the area. His book, The Sacred Headwaters (2011), is a magnificent celebration of the beauty of this land. Wade is an explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society, while holding the position of Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Described by David Suzuki as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of life’s diversity,” Wade has created an outstanding life achievement, which is still very much a work in progress.