Sir David Attenborough presented the Land Rover-supported Tusk Award for Conservation early in December as he joined royal patron the Duke of Cambridge to honour extraordinary commitment to African wildlife.
Tusk supporters including Bear Grylls, Deborah Meaden and Katherine Jenkins joined the Duke and special guest presenter Sir David Attenborough at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to shine a light on the incredible work of individual conservationists. The evening centred on three awards; the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa, the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa and the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award.
This year’s Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa, sponsored by Land Rover and presented by Sir David Attenborough, was awarded to Cathy Dreyer from South Africa, for her commitment to, and remarkable success in protecting black rhino, work vital to the survival of this iconic species. Cathy was handed a beautiful trophy designed by Tiffany’s, as well as a grant of £20,000 (R351 200) for her work.
“It is an incredible honour and privilege to be nominated and an even bigger privilege to have won the award. It is through working with organisations like Tusk and Land Rover that we are able to do our work and be inspired,” said Cathy
All three category finalists were present at the ceremony, with the two runners-up Dr Olivier Nsengimana and Rachel McRobb each receiving a grant of £7,500 (R131 700) for their conservation work in Africa.
“Land Rover is proud to sponsor the Tusk Conservation Award, now in its fourth year. The nominees’ determination and endeavour reflects the ethos that sits at the heart of the Land Rover brand; going Above and Beyond. It is truly inspiring to see how each individual has contributed to the conservation needs in their local community and I hope the awards continue to recognise their efforts, and enable them to build a sustainable future for the African continent and its wildlife,” said Mark Cameron, Land Rover Brand Experience Director.
A special lifetime achievement award, the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa, was awarded to John Kahekwe from the Democratic Republic of Congo for a life lived in pursuit of a future for the Grauer’s gorilla within the Congo’s war zones. John also received a trophy specially designed by Tiffany, as well as a £40,000 (R702 400) grant towards his work.
The third and final award, the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, offers international recognition to the men and women who face daily danger to protect Africa’s wildlife. It was awarded to Manuel Sacaia from the Kissama Foundation in Angola for his work protecting the giant sable antelope. Rangers often work for little reward, risking and regularly losing their lives to protect the world’s wildlife and its fragile ecosystems. In his 72 years, Manuel has faced soldiers, armed poachers, steel-jawed traps and even a hungry lion in his quest to protect the magnificent, endangered animal. Manuel will receive a £10,000 (R175 600) grant and a specially made bronze medal.
The partnership between Land Rover and Tusk began in 2001 with the support of the Lewa Marathon in Kenya. Since then Land Rover vehicles have been used to support the Trust’s work across Africa and four years ago became a proud sponsor of the Tusk Conservation Awards.
Land Rover is committed to conservation and operates a global CSR strategy to benefit millions of disadvantaged people across the world and the Tusk Awards do a fantastic job of recognising outstanding individuals who carry out these principles every day.