Winners Announced for the 2019 African Ranger Awards
On July 31ST, 2019 The World Ranger Day, African Ranger Awards proudly announced 50 winners in recognition of their extraordinary contribution to the protection of Africa’s wildlife and conservation areas. Recipients are selected from 115 nominated rangers working in 17 countries across the African continent. This year’s awards mark the second annual African Ranger Awards, a 10-year Awards programme initiated by, the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma. These awards are also sponsored by the Alibaba Foundation & The Paradise Foundation, a Chinese non-profit environmental conservation organization also founded by Jack Ma and other Chinese entrepreneurs, artists and philanthropists to focus on preserving the planet through charitable actions, a scientific approach and efficient business management.
PURPOSE OF THE AFRICAN RANGER AWARDS?
These awards seek to illuminate the role of rangers in nature conservation and provide them with financial support in their effort to preserve our natural environment. An international panel of judges reviewed all the 115 entries based on their dedication, contribution, threats and challenges overcome, as well as leadership and inspiration. For instance;
Daoba Dieudonne Komerewa, an Award winner working in Garamba National Park in the Republic of Congo, was once involved in an accident during the course of his work and his arm was severed at the elbow.
“There were militarized forces and local pastoralists. All are armed, all are committed and each treat both human and wildlife with disdain. But I will never give in.” He said.
Africa serves as the last refuge to huge populations of wild animals and forests on earth, which has unfortunately been suffering from illegal poaching, trafficking and logging during the past decades. An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 front-line rangers in Africa are risking their lives fighting against armed criminals in order to protect the invaluable natural wildlife there, with over a thousand killed in the course of their duty during the past ten years. These rangers are often exposed to extreme conditions doing incredibly dangerous jobs, but the attention and support they receive are barely enough.
“I’m deeply moved and inspired by the rangers’ sacrifices,” said Mr Ma. “We hope more people will pay attention to rangers, pay attention to wildlife preservation, and pay attention to the preservation of our natural environment.”
About the Rangers
- 2019 African Ranger Awards honoured 50 rangers.
- They were from 17 African countries: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, the Republic of Benin, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
- The 2019 African Ranger Awards will be held on November 2019.
The 2019 African Ranger Awards Judges’ Panel:
- Irene Amoke | Executive Director – Kenya Wildlife Trust
- Matthew Brown | African Director – TNC
- Peter Fearnhead | CEO – African Parks
- Max Graham| CEO – Space for Giants
- Elizabeth Mrema | Director of Law Division – UNEP
- Mark Rose | CEO – Fauna & Flora International
- Rohit Singh| Zero Poaching Lead – WWF
- Fred Swaniker| Founder – African Leadership University