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Prince William announces Tusk Award finalists

In an exclusive for British newspaper The Telegraph the Duke of Cambridge spoke about his time in Kenya on behalf of Tusk in March of this year and congratulated this year’s three Tusk Conservation Award finalists.

In a piece for the newspaper he said:

‘My recent visit to Kenya highlighted what, sadly, I already knew – that some of Africa’s most iconic animals are perilously close to extinction, with their existence threatened daily by the illegal wildlife trade.

‘It was a privilege to see Edward Ndiritu, the head of anti-poaching for Lewa and the Northern Rangelands Trust, and his amazing team, all of whom have shown extraordinary commitment to their work. Without people like Edward – who I presented with last year’s inaugural Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award – and countless other unsung heroes courageously battling the war against poaching, we would be living in a world without elephants or rhinos. That is not just an emotional statement, it is the stark reality of the situation and one that would have devastating consequences felt most acutely by the communities that live alongside the animals…If current poaching rates continue, diminishing opportunities for tourists, the impact on the future development and prosperity of large parts of this continent will be incredibly damaging.

‘That is why I am so proud to congratulate the three Tusk Award finalists for their tireless commitment to preserving Africa’s important natural heritage.’

The Tusk Conservation Awards were established in 2013 and are open to nominations from across Africa. The award categories include the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa and the Tusk Award for Conservation.

The Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award is presented to a ranger who has done tireless work and demonstrated a valuable dedication to protecting Africa’s endangered wildlife.

The Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa is a lifetime achievement award which recognises an individual’s outstanding contribution to conservation in Africa.

The Tusk Award for Conservation is awarded to a recognised emerging leader in African conservation whose ‘work has already demonstrated exceptional commitment to wildlife conservation and has made a significant impact’.

This year’s nominees are Cathy Dreyer, Rachel McRobb and Olivier Nsengimana.

Cathy Dreyer has been nominated for her tireless work to protect South Africa’s rhino population and her integral role in many successful wildlife projects in Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and Tanzania. Rachel McRobb has been nominated for her conservation work in Zambia’s South Luangwa Valley and her role in forming the South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS), the area’s largest non-profit anti-poaching and community conservation organisation. Olivier Nsengimana, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, has been nominated for his efforts to save the grey crowned cranes of Rwanda and his veterinary work with mountain gorillas.

Formed in 1990, Tusk has raised £30 million over the past 26 years to aid projects across Africa. The Duke of Cambridge became royal patron of Tusk in 2005.

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