NRI receives Queen’s Anniversary Prize at Buckingham Palace


HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall gave representatives of the University of Greenwich the Queen’s Anniversary Prize at Buckingham Palace today (Thursday 20 February).

The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) received the Further and Higher Education for tackling pests which cause plague, famine and disease.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met members of the Greenwich party, whose ground-breaking work has found smart solutions for pest control that have an impact on human, animal and plant health, especially in the developing world.

NRI Director, Professor Andrew Westby, said when the awards were announced: "This recognises NRI's world-leading work that balances pest control with protecting our environment.

"Our combination of academic excellence and practical application supports our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes where our students learn to become future leaders in the field."

NRI's pest management programme looks specifically at four key areas, including blackfly transmitting 'river blindness'; rodents spreading disease and destroying crops and infrastructure; mosquitoes transmitting dangerous diseases including malaria, dengue and Zika; and insect pests threatening the horticulture industry.

The NRI's work on blackfly contributed to the elimination of river blindness in eleven countries in West Africa, preventing 600,000 people from becoming blind and re-claiming 250,000 km2 of abandoned land for cultivation and resettlement.

NRI first worked on managing pests at the beginning of the 20th century, conducting research and implementing a series of major pest management programmes and innovations, including work on locust plagues in Africa.

Over the past 50 years, it has built on this pioneering work, specialising in pest behaviour in order to design specific solutions to control them.

Pictured: NRI Director Professor Andrew Westby and university Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Harrington receive the awards.