Yesterday evening, Prince William handed out the Tusk Trust’s conservation awards at Claridge’s, London.
As patron of Tusk Trust, The Duke of Cambridge was tasked with handing out the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award at the black-tie event.
Edward Ndiritu took his medal from father-of-two Willaim, chosen for the award for his “outstanding commitment to helping combat the escalating threat from poachers, and for heading a security operation which covers more than two million Acres”; Mr Ndiritu is leader of the Anti-Poaching Units for the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust in northern Kenya.
Garth Owen Smith, meanwhile, won the Prince William Award For Conservation In Africa, named after the charity’s patron.
William gave a speech at the awards, explaining his passion for the cause:
People often ask me why I am so passionate about this cause,” he said. “There are many reasons, but one of the most obvious is because of the human impact. As the world’s population becomes more and more urbanized, an increasing number of people will grow up with little or no connection to the natural world.
“If people cannot see it, they will never learn to value it, or worse still will take little interest in looking after it. The planet and our natural resources is not something we can afford to squander.”
“There is much to be positive about, as our winners and finalists have highlighted this evening,” the Duke said. “I share an optimism with all of you that we can win this battle. And we will win this battle by working together and by having a collaborative approach across the whole spectrum.”
Prince William met with the finalists of the awards earlier in the day at Kensington Palace, before attending the awards ceremony. The two winners plus three finalists (Dr Emmanuel de Merode from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cosmas Mumba, from Zambia, and Dr. Mary Molokwu from Liberia) joined the Duke at the Palace and spoke with him about their work. The finalists were all in with a chance at winning the Prince William Award for Conservation.
William, 33, discussed the key role of involving young people in conservation and research with Mary Molokwu, on the shortlist for the award. Mary works in Liberia, and told William of her work in academic forestry and conservation programmes.
Tusk Trust, which has a 25-year history building sustainable conservation throughout the continent, established the awards three years ago to shine a spotlight on key projects and individuals.
The Duke said: “It sounds like you recited a mission statement from Tusk there, I’m very impressed.”