Photo credits by: Rolex Awards, Tomas Munita, Stefan Walter, Francois Schaer, Ambroise Tezenas, Günter Försterra and Vreni Hӓussermann

Forty years ago—following the 50th anniversary of Rolex’s Oyster chronometer, the world's first waterproof wristwatch—the company initiated the Rolex Awards in the same enterprising spirit. Since then, it has become a benchmark for corporate philanthropy.

As an international philanthropic programme, the awards support new and ongoing projects tackling on major challenges by individuals across diverse research fields. This year, juries of 12 eminent experts chose five Laureates and five Young Laureates out of 2,332 applicants from 144 nationalities.

From the 10 innovators with each his or her own unique and beneficial research presented at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, USA, here are three representatives. All of them are joining a line of 130 Laureates awarded since the awards' launch in 1976.

 Kerstin Forsberg, slide 1, from Peru is helping protect the giant manta rays through Planeta Oceano. This organisation works with fishermen, schools, communities and the government to change their perceptions of mantas—both the ecological and tourism values.
Slide 2 shows Sonam Wangchuk, on the other side of the globe, who is discussing about ice stupas, or artificial glaciers. These stupas supply water for agriculture to the people in Ladakh, India, who lives in desert landscapes west of the Himalayas.
Next, Vreni Hӓussermann is another marine biologist whose efforts to explore and document the unknown and unique life at the bottom of Chilean Patagonia's southern fjords. The funds received will aid her work in conserving the area.

Tags: Rolex, Awards, Marine, Glacier, Manta, Oyster