Prince William praises five unsung heroes fighting for Africa’s wildlife – Telegraph.co.uk

Unsung heroes on the frontline of conservation in Africa have been hailed in a shortlist for the prestigious Tusk Awards.

Three finalists, from Malawi, Nigeria and Kenya, have been selected in the main category, while two further have been chosen in the Wildlife Ranger Award.

Prince William, the charity’s Royal Patron, who has previously spent time in Africa working with the recipients of past commendations, said it was “vital” that the work of both rangers and conservationists was recognised: “We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

Prince William says the world is starting to listen to conservation concerns
Prince William says the world is starting to listen to conservation concerns Credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT,

“I am immensely proud of the achievements Tusk has made,” said the Duke of Cambridge. “When it was founded in 1990, few were prepared to listen to its message about protecting wildlife and nurturing communities. Now, more than 25 years later, Tusk is a powerful voice that speaks out and is heard around the world.”

He cited “remarkable victories in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade” in the last 12 months, including domestic ivory bans in the US and China, as evidence of the vital role Tusk plays in the international conversation about the planet’s wildlife.

The winners from the shortlist for the fifth annual Tusk Awards, supported by Investec, will be announced at a ceremony in Cape Town in October.

Brighton Kumchedwa, who has dedicated his life to conservation in Malawi, Nachamada Geoffrey, who leads a team in Nigeria’s Yankari Game Reserve, and Serah Munguti, who has worked with communities in Kenya’s biodiverse Tana River Delta, were the three shortlisted for the Tusk Award.

Solomon Chidunuka and Lucky Ndlovu are the two Wildlife Ranger Award finalists, the first two people have been shortlisted. Chidunuka is based in northern Zambia, where North Luangwa National Park holds the country’s only population of black rhino, none of which have been lost under his watch.

Evidence of the ongoing war on poaching
Evidence of the ongoing war on poaching Credit: GETTY

Ndlovu works in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where he has been involved in the arrest of 66 poachers and recovery of 38 rifles.

Tusk CEO Charlie Mayhew praised the “extraordinary achievements of all this year’s entrants”.

This week Tusk also announced the launch of a Do More for Africa initiative in association with Avios offering three people the opportunity to take part in “extraordinary volunteer work” on the continent.

The competition asks entrants to upload a video or paragraph with images that expresses their interested in volunteering, to be in with a chance of winning the all-expenses paid placement on a Tusk-supported project.

Singer Katherine Jenkins will be one of the judges.

Katherine Jenkins will help judge the Do More for Africa competition
Katherine Jenkins will help judge the Do More for Africa competition Credit: 2017 Getty Images/Chris Jackson

“As a patron of Tusk, I continue to be inspired by the outstanding work that Tusk is involved with across Africa and I hope to inspire others through the Avios and Tusk ‘Do More for Africa’ competition,” she said.

“Volunteering shows passion, dedication as well as a strong sense of character and I would urge people to take up this incredible opportunity to put your hand up and do your part to help protect Africa’s unique heritage. Volunteering is one of the most valuable and important things you can do with your time and we should all feel a responsibility to protect the beauty of this planet in the best way we can.”

Visit avios.com/forafrica for more information.