The James A. Waight Award is an annual conservation award given to deserving individuals or organizations in recognition of positive work in the protection and enhancement of Belize ‘s environment.

The award is named after James A. Waight (1907 – 1999) the Belize Audubon Society’s first President. He served in this role from the Society’s inauguration in 1969, until 1986. He was born in Belize City¬†and worked as Surveyor General of Belize. The award is presented on his birthday – February 16.

Mrs. Lydia Waight describes her husband – “He was a land surveyor in a time when there were no Land Rovers or fancy vehicles. He had to ride the mule train to traverse the country or take a river ferry for a week at a time to reach Cayo. He and another man spent time putting in the markers for the boundary between Guatemala and Belize, from Toledo to Garbutt Falls and it was during this time, when he was in the bush, that his love for nature and wildlife strengthened. He was a founding member of BAS and remained a dedicated member until he was no longer able to get out and participate.”

Since its establishment in 1987, the award has been presented to many deserving people, including Julian Cho for his work as a Maya leader, Gregory Smith for his work in marine turtle conservation, and the Sibun Watershed Association for their work in protecting the Sibun River.


Selection Criteria for James A. Waight Award

The award nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Belizean or resident of Belize
  • Preferably, a member of the Belize Audubon Society but otherwise be involved in work directly related to the protection of the environment
  • Involved in rainforest protection, coastal zone protection, pollution control, waste management, eco tourism promotion and the socioeconomic environment, indigenous rights, and socio-cultural protection. The efforts of the nominees must be national in scope, have a human dimension, and be innovative or non-traditional.


2014 Award Recipients

Lydia Waight
2014 Award Recipient
Alice M. Craig
2014 Award Recipient
Mike Heusner
2014 Award Recipient
Lascelle Tillett
2014 Award Recipient
Rudi Burgos
2014 Award Recipient
Dr. Judy Lumb
2014 Award Recipient


Past 5 Award Recipients


Marchilio Ack
2017 Award Recipient


Elma Kay
2016 Award Recipient


Tony Garel
2015 Award Recipient


Wild Tracks
2013 Award Recipient


Adrian Vernon
2012 Award Recipient