Nairobi, Nov 17 – This year’s Tusk Conservation Awards that recognize the efforts of leading conservationists in Africa will take place virtually on December 3. The 2020 event will be broadcast at and on Tusk’s social media channels via Facebook Live and Instagram Live.

The awards were launched by Prince William in 2013 to the celebrate the work of the most committed conservationists in Africa.

Tusk has announced a significant increase in the value of the awards thanks to the generous commitment of £1,000,000 ($1.4 million) over five years from The Nick Maughan Foundation. The funding will more than double the conservation grants given to the winners and finalists dedicated to safeguarding Africa’s wildlife and habitat.

The coronavirus pandemic has this year made the work of the extraordinary men and women living on the frontline of African conservation especially difficult.  Drastic cuts in salaries and resources due to the devastating economic impact of Covid-19 threatened to undo years of conservation work across the continent.

Announcing the shortlist for the 2020 Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa, Charlie Mayhew, CEO of Tusk said, “We are immensely grateful to Ninety One for their continued partnership and thrilled to announce the invaluable additional support from The Nick Maughan Foundation. As the future of the natural world is brought into even sharper focus, it is fantastic that the recipients of our awards can continue their vital work thanks to this much-needed boost to grant funding. I am very pleased today to reveal the three exceptional finalists for this year’s Tusk Award.”

The shortlist for the prestigious Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa in partnership with Land Rover are:

  • George Owoyesigire (Uganda), Uganda Wildlife Authority – Deputy Director Community Conservation. George has improved relations between local communities and wildlife by promoting benefit sharing; investment in wildlife enterprises, addressing human-wildlife conflict issues and promoting conservation education. He also implemented the bee-keeping project, an initiative that uses bees as a deterrent against elephant crop raiding.
  • Ian Stevenson (Zambia), Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ). Ian is the project manager at CLZ, combatting issues such as poaching, human wildlife conflict and illegal activity. He made CLZ the multi-faceted and holistic organisation it is today, paving the way in law enforcement, environmental education and community engagement.
  • John Kamanga (Kenya), South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) – Executive Director. John has dedicated his career to developing a vision for the co-existence of pastoralists and wildlife. In Kenya, where 68% of wildlife resides on community land, supporting the ability of people and wildlife to co-exist is imperative.

The winner of the award will be announced at the virtual ceremony. The event will also broadcast the presentation of the annual Prince William Award for Conservation, sponsored by headline partner Ninety One and the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, sponsored by The Nick Maughan Foundation.

Hendrik du Toit, CEO of Ninety One, said: “The awards not only acknowledge the contribution made by exceptional individuals towards conservation in Africa, but also aim to raise global awareness of the significant and immediate challenges faced by the natural world. COVID-19 has only added to the urgency of conservation efforts. We congratulate this year’s finalists and are hugely proud to partner with the Tusk Trust creating a live virtual event that can be accessed in all corners of the world.”

Nick Maughan, founder, said, “The Nick Maughan Foundation is delighted to support the Tusk Conservation Awards. The Foundation is committed to advancing best-in-class conservation initiatives – safeguarding the biodiversity of our precious environment is needed now more than ever. The NMF congratulates the excellent shortlisted finalists and looks forward to the awards ceremony next month.”

The three winners will each receive a trophy specially crafted by Patrick Mavros. Additional support for the 2020 Tusk Conservation Awards has been received from ISPS Handa, Mantis Group, Fortemus Films and Maia Films, EJF Philanthropies and Shelton Fleming.