The BBVA Foundation launches the Biophilia Award for Environmental Communication to recognize high-impact contributions in mobilizing ecological awareness

The Biophilia Award for Environmental Communication will recognize the work of professionals and organizations in any country that have contributed exceptionally to improving public understanding and awareness of ecological issues, through the dissemination of scientific knowledge and by opening up new perspectives on nature from any disciplinary angle.

31 January, 2019



Download entry conditions




In the year 2000 the BBVA Foundation established nature conservation as one of its priority areas, addressing the three facets of scientific research, projects and public communication.

Since 2001 the Foundation has promoted and funded research projects in the environmental sciences, with a particular accent on ecology and biodiversity conservation. In 2004 it created the BBVA Foundation Awards for Biodiversity Conservation, encompassing research endeavors, projects in Spain and Latin America, and environmental communication and awareness.

The research modality was integrated in 2008 into the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, with the creation of the two categories of Climate Change and Ecology and Conservation Biology.

The ecological challenges of our time know no borders, meaning a global approach is imperative. In light of this fact, the BBVA Foundation Awards for Biodiversity Conservation added a worldwide category in 2017, distinguishing projects to preserve species, habitats, and ecosystems.

Effective solutions to today’s environmental problems can only be achieved by mobilizing ecological knowledge and awareness on a planetary scale and this, in turn, calls for communication on environmental issues that is at once engaging and well-grounded. It is from this conviction that we now launch the Biophilia Award for Environmental Communication to reward best practices in this field based on scientific knowledge, while at the same time finding room for other perspectives (among them, those contributed by literature, aesthetics, and ethics).

The name of the award, which alludes to the “Biophilia hypothesis” proposed by naturalist Edward O. Wilson (2010 Frontiers of Knowledge Laureate in Ecology and Conservation Biology), denotes the deep connection that we as humans instinctively feel with nature and all forms of life. From this standpoint, the Biophilia Award for Environmental Communication will recognize the work of professionals and organizations in any country that have contributed exceptionally to improving public understanding and awareness of ecological issues, through the dissemination of scientific knowledge and by opening up new perspectives on nature from any disciplinary angle.



The award recognizes contributions in any aspect of environmental communication, especially in the areas of biodiversity conservation and climate change, characterized by a particularly innovative approach.

These contributions may encompass a wide spectrum of formats, styles, and channels, including articles, monographs, multimedia materials and books; the preparation, editing and presentation of reports and documentaries; the design and curatorship of exhibitions; and projects in any medium (press, radio, television, film, documentary or Internet). They should preferably, though not exclusively, be directed at a global audience, and those with a more limited focus (regional or national) should, in any case, have achieved a broad impact. Entries are open to communication activities concluded before 31 December, 2018.



One annual award will be given comprising 100,000 euros, a diploma and a commemorative artwork.
In the event that the award goes to a candidature comprising two or more persons, its monetary amount will be divided equally between them.
The BBVA Foundation will deliver the award in full to the winner(s) at a public ceremony convened for this purpose. The prize money may be spent at awardees’ discretion.
The award will be subject to the withholding and other taxes stipulated in current legislation, which will be deducted from its monetary amount.



3.1 Candidatures:

Natural or legal persons of any nationality engaging professionally in any facet of environmental communication.
Joint entries will be accepted from two or more natural or legal persons that have made collaborative contributions in environmental dissemination and communication.
Candidatures may be direct, submitted by the interested parties, or indirect, submitted by other natural or legal persons.

3.2 Required documentation:

Entries should include the following documentation:

  1. A duly completed entry form (downloaded from the BBVA Foundation website).
  2. A description of the communication and dissemination activities (max. five A4 pages).
  3. In the case of natural persons, a copy of the candidate(s)’ curriculum vitae.
  4. Copy of or link to the communication and dissemination activities of most significance and impact (up to a maximum of five). Where relevant, candidates are urged to provide some indication of the audience figures reached.
  5. Copy of letters of nomination or (as the case may be) letters of support (up to a maximum of five).

Letters of nomination and letters of support should come from experts or organizations working in nature conservation, the protection of the environment or environmental communication, among them:

  • Representatives and/or members of public institutions and authorities with competencies in nature conservation, climate change and environmental communication.
  • Representatives and/or members of associations of media professionals.
  • Scientists and/or experts of acknowledged repute in the areas of communication and the environmental sciences.
  • National and international conservationist organizations.

Letters of nomination or support should be sent directly by their signatories to before the close of the submission period, with the full name of the candidature appearing in the subject line. Letters should be signed and offer a short reasoned account of the significance and scope of the candidate(s)’ contribution.

The BBVA Foundation guarantees the confidentiality of all documents, which will be put on file after the award decision and in no event shared with third parties.

3.3 Submission period and procedure:

All submissions must be completed in full by Thursday, 30 May, 2019 at 12:00 (Spanish mainland time).
Entries should be submitted through the e-mail address with the name of the first candidate by alphabetical order stated in the subject line.
All documentation must be presented in English, with the exception of the materials substantiating the communication or dissemination activity, which may be submitted in other languages, accompanied by a short summary in English.

Any materials that cannot be attached or electronically identified should be sent by postal mail, with the name of the candidature clearly stated, to the following address:

Fundación BBVA
Paseo de Recoletos, 10
28001 Madrid, Spain

3.4 Correction of errors:

If the submission contains errors that can be corrected, the BBVA Foundation will inform the candidate or nominator to this effect, granting a non-extendible period of 15 calendar days as of this notification in which to rectify the information, so the entry may be accepted for consideration.

3.5 Incompatibility:

No candidate in this call may also submit an entry in the 14th edition of the Biodiversity Conservation Awards.



The selection process will be in the charge of an evaluation committee formed by the Director of the BBVA Foundation or a person he appoints in his stead, and from six up to a maximum of ten members designated by the BBVA Foundation, comprising researchers, communicators, experts and professionals of acknowledged repute in the areas of nature protection and the environmental sciences.

The committee will consider all the candidates meeting the requirements of these call conditions, and will arrive at its award decision by reference to the following evaluation criteria:

  • Broad social impact and public recognition of the communication activity, preferably on a global or transnational scale.
  • Innovation and originality of the communication activities, which may comprise the publication of articles, monographs, multimedia materials or books; the preparation, editing and presentation of reports and documentaries; the design and curatorship of exhibitions; and projects in any media channel (press, radio, television, film, documentaries or Internet).
  • The technical quality of the formats used.

The membership of the evaluation committee will be publicly disclosed following the award decision.
The evaluation committee may declare the award vacant.
The evaluation committee’s decision will not be open to appeal.
No itemized or individual information will be provided on the submissions received or the deliberations of the evaluation committee.



The decision in this call will be made public no later than 5 October, 2019.
The award will be presented at a ceremony organized by the BBVA Foundation.
By accepting the award, the winner undertakes to attend this presentation ceremony, at which they will deliver a lecture on an environmental topic of their choice.

In the event that the award goes to a legal person, it must furnish the following documents after being notified of the award decision:

  • A copy of its bylaws
  • A copy of its tax identification number

A statement from its governing body confirming its acceptance of the award.



The fact of participating in this call signifies the acceptance of its conditions and award decision and renunciation of any claim of whatsoever nature.

Exceptionally, the BBVA Foundation reserves the right to interpret  the wording of these conditions, for duly justified reasons, in order to clarify their content, without this in any case implying a substantial or arbitrary alteration of the same. The text of these call conditions and of the corresponding FAQs, whose reading we recommend to candidates and nominators, will be available for the duration of this call on the BBVA Foundation website: and/or