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16th Annual Wege Speaker Series to Feature Dr. Daniel H. Janzen, World-Renowned Biologist and Champion of Costa Rica’s Land, Water and Biodiversity

April 12, 2012 - (Grand Rapids, Mich.) - On April 19, 2012, the biodiversity of Costa Rica will come alive at Aquinas College during the 16th annual Wege Foundation Speaker Series. Dr. Daniel H. Janzen has devoted his life to preserving and protecting biodiversity in the tropical forests of Costa Rica. His passion for this work has paid off. This project is now the oldest, largest, and most successful ecosystem restoration project on the planet.

Janzen’s work has been recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship, the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and, the Kyoto Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of Japan. Janzen will talk about his work to restore the forest ecosystems in a large conserved wildland in northwestern Costa Rica, conservation through biodiversity development, and why what happens in Costa Rica matters to the rest of the world.

The heart of Dr. Janzen’s success story is the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) equaling two percent of the entire country and stretching six kilometers into the Pacific. The University of Pennsylvania biologist’s passion for conservation is driven by the fact that the ACG contains 350,000 species of plants and animals or 2.6 percent of the world’s biodiversity – as much as the U.S. and Canada combined.

In addition to Janzen, this year’s Wege Lecture will include additional experts on tropical restoration, including Dr. Janzen’s wife and fellow scientist Dr. Winnie Hallwachs and William Allen, who authored the book “Green Phoenix”, which documents how Janzen and Hallwachs brought Costa Rica’s burned-out pastures back to life through reforestation. Allen and Janzen will be available to sign copies of his book after the lecture.

The public is welcome to attend the Wege Foundation Speaker Series event, which takes place on April 19, 2012, 4 to 5 p.m. at Aquinas College’s Performing Arts Center. Guests are invited to stay for a reception and book signing after Dr. Janzen’s talk. The event is free, but seating is limited.

Every spring since 1997 the Wege Foundation invites a renowned economicologist to present a free public lecture.

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