We're delighted to announce Bethany Powell as the winner of this year's student essay competition in collaboration with our long-time partner, the University of Winchester's Centre for Animal Welfare (CAW). The pioneering Centre, launched in 2016, offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses and positively contributes to animal welfare advancement through research, education and engagement in critical social debates.
The annual competition asks students to submit an essay that provides innovative solutions to challenging conservation issues, with a focus on human impact on wild animals, such as the commodification or destruction of wildlife. Bethany's winning essay, The impact of anthropogenic plastic pollution on marine life, draws attention to the alarming threat posed by discarded plastics on our oceans.
"Bethany's essay summarises one of the most important emerging problems of our time that threatens the welfare and conservation of marine species," commented Prof. Andrew Knight, CAW Director and Programme Leader for the MSc. "Importantly, Bethany's essay also offers solutions. As she concludes, ‘Humans created and exacerbated this problem; therefore, it is our responsibility to solve it’. Bethany's succinct and well-organised essay was quite outstanding."
James Sawyer, Regional Director of IFAW UK, added: “We are pleased to announce Bethany, who showcased such a strong interest in animal welfare and conservation, as this year’s winner. Bethany’s essay offers a stark warning about the impact of plastic pollution on marine life and reminds us that we have a long way to go in remedying the situation. We wish her all the very best for her future career."
We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Bethany on producing such an inspiring and thought-provoking essay. Check out her winning entry here: CAW-IFAW-essay-competition-winner-2020-Bethany-Powell-Ocean-Plastics.pdf (winchester.ac.uk)