Harrison Ford receives Indianapolis Prize award

In this Nov. 5, 2017, file photo, Harrison Ford poses in the press room at the Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Harrison Ford coming to Indy
Harrison Ford

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — He played the role of a space smuggler, an adventurous archeologist and president of the United States. However, it's actor Harrison Ford's role as an environmental ambassador that caught the attention of the Indianapolis Prize.

Harrison Ford with an orangutan. (Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Prize)
Harrison Ford with an orangutan. (Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Prize)

Ford has been honored with the 2018 Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award for being a voice for wildlife. He will receive the award on September 29, 2018 at the Indianapolis Prize Gala. The event will be help at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

Tickets are still available for the gala.

The Indianapolis Prize released a statement detailing why Ford was recognized with the award:

Ford's passion for wildlife conservation is evident and actionable, including extensive, hands on work both in the field and in the boardroom. Whether patrolling the Hudson River by helicopter to get a bird's-eye view of polluters, or taking viewers to Indonesia to understand the challenges of deforestation in Showtime's Years of Living Dangerously, he is a true hero for the planet.

"Nothing is more important to human society than preserving its natural capital. Nature does not need people, people need nature," Ford said. "Our health relies entirely on the vitality of our fellow species on Earth."

Ford is an Honorary Chair of the Indianapolis Prize and has been part of Conservation International for more than 25 years, where he is on the Executive Committee and active in the organization's design and growth. He influenced the establishment of its Center for Applied Biodiversity Science and their Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. Ford narrated Conservation International's Nature is Speaking feature, The Ocean, and is a board member of their Global Conservation Fund which has secured the protection of more than 40 million acres on three continents.

"Harrison Ford is among today's most credible conservationists and is widely respected by the professional and academic conservation communities," said Michael I. Crowther, CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc., which administers the award. "Harrison's involvement with Conservation International spans decades and he has worked with many of today’s leading scientists and experts."

(Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Prize)

Ford's love for the natural world is rooted in a commitment to the world that will be left for future generations.

"I care deeply for the natural world," Ford said. "It's not about me, it's not about me at all, it's about this other world we're going to leave behind."

"If we don't stop the destruction of nature, nothing else will matter. Jobs won’t matter, our economies won't matter, our freedoms and ethics won't matter, our children's education and potential won't matter. If we end the ability of a healthy natural world to sustain humanity nothing else will matter."

His conservation achievements have earned several honors, including Conservation International’s prestigious Founders' Award, the World Ecology Award from the International Center for Tropical Ecology, the Global Citizen Award from the Center for Health and Global Environment and a Lindbergh Award for his efforts to balance technology and nature.

Actress Jane Alexander received the first Global Wildlife Ambassador award in 2012. The next ambassador award was presented to actress Sigourney Weaver in 2016.