SA wins two awards at the 10th Rhino Conservation Awards for the protection of endangered species

DURBAN – South Africa won two awards at the 10th annual Rhino Conservation Awards.

The awards, which have taken place virtually, recognize the work of individuals and organizations across Africa who play a vital role in the protection of endangered species.

Sebenzile Rwexu, Great Fish River Nature Reserve, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, South Africa, received the award for best ranger.

The Game Rangers Association of Africa said Rwexu’s 36 years as a ranger has allowed him to hone excellent bush craft skills.

His natural leadership skills and qualities have been put to good use in mentoring young rangers, he said.

“As a senior ranger, Sebenzile leads head-to-head, maintains a high level of fitness and shows unwavering determination using his exceptional tracking skills to ensure he has been directly involved in all arrests. carried out in the reserve during the last 12 months.

“He continues to set an exceptional example for his peers and despite what the day may bring him, he keeps a smile and an unwavering commitment to getting the job done. He is a forest ranger and a leader who deserves to be recognized, ”said the association.

Lucrescencia Macuacua from Limpopo National Park, National Administration of Conservation Areas, Mozambique, was the first finalist in this category while Samuel Ndlovu from Kruger National Park was the second finalist.

The South African National Parks (SANParks) Environmental and Corporate Surveys (ECIs) received the award for best conservation advocate.

The association said SANParks ECI has made a significant impact by taking a proactive approach in the fight against wildlife poaching.

“They were directly or indirectly responsible for or involved in the arrests of 89 rhino poachers during the reporting period inside and outside South African National Parks. They continue to provide excellent support and work closely with the rangers on the front lines of conservation, ”he said.

In this category, Neville Agesa Mise of Diani Turtle Watch – Local Ocean Conservation in Kenya was the first finalist while the South African organization was the second finalist.

Other recipients include:

  • Best Game Warden – Bryce Clemence, Anti-Poaching Specialist, Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe
  • Best Conservation Team – Niassa Carnivore Project, Mozambique

The association said the awards were meant to recognize the exceptional work of these people and organizations across Africa, with the past 12 months becoming arguably the most difficult.

“Each finalist has made extraordinary contributions to the conservation of endangered species and each deserves to be recognized and recognized for the incredible work they do on the front lines of conservation. The Rhino Conservation Awards provide the platform to celebrate those engaged, selfless and courageous individuals and organizations who make a difference, ”he said.

Chris Galliers, president of the International Federation of Rangers and 2021 award judge, said that in light of global programs such as the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration and the current Covid-19 pandemic, the functions of the ranger are increasingly recognized as indispensable. .

“The Rhino Conservation Awards have given us the opportunity to be inspired by people and organizations who have performed their tasks in a committed and selfless manner, to protect our most valuable asset upon which all economies, livelihoods and livelihoods depend. our well-being, ”he said. noted.

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