Since 2012 the annual Rhino Conservation Awards have served to recognise the remarkable individuals and organisations that protect Africa’s rhino population.
Nominations have now opened for the Rhino Conservation Awards 2015. Nominations are invited from all African rhino range states, in categories including; Best Field Ranger, Best Conservation Practitioner, Best Political and Judicial Support, Best Science Research and Technology, and Best Awareness, Education or Funding. The additional Special Youths category honours youngsters that have taken action against poaching.
The Awards have been held annually since 2012 and serve to recognise those incredible individuals and organisations that have made an effort to protect Africa’s rhino population. Every action, no matter how small or large, contributes to the overall conservation of these majestic animals.
The sponsors, Carl Zeiss Sports Optics GmbH of the ZEISS Group and Ms Xiaoyang Yu, Founder Partner of China New Enterprise Investment (CNEI), are looking forward to receiving nominations from across Africa. Dr Larry Hansen, founder of the Awards, opened the nominations by stating that; “We want to celebrate the individuals and organisations that are assisting us in highlighting the plight of the rhino, increasing the capture and prosecution of poachers, reducing the demand for rhino horn and protecting a species from extinction.”
The Awards ceremony will take place on the 27th of July and will be held in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa and the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa (GRAA) – a non-profit organisation with a membership of over 1 500 across Africa, many of whom are rangers active in anti-poaching activities.
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco serves as the Patron of the Rhino Conservation Initiative and the Rhino Conservation Awards, being committed to the protection of species dangerously close to extinction, through the support of his Foundation to various preservation projects. HSH Prince Albert will be attending the 2015 Awards ceremony and will deliver the keynote address.
Nominations can be made by and/or on behalf of any person or organisation that has played a part in rhino conservation, on any scale. Once nominations are closed on the 1st of June 2015, an executive committee will review all nominations and draw up a short-list for the winners to be chosen from. A panel of adjudicators will then identify the winners and runners up in each category.
“Nature conservation is a global issue and it is about the protection of species and their local habitats. Nature conservation is run and organised by dedicated, dynamic people,” says Dr Winfried Scherle, Chief Executive Officer of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. It is essential that these conservation heroes are recognised for their efforts, their sacrifices and their dedication to protecting the rhino.
It must be ensured that the true heroes in the fight against rhino poaching are nominated and subsequently honoured for their contribution to Africa’s war on rhino poaching. The debt owed to these dedicated and brave conservationists and their families can never be repaid.