Buffett Awardees


Photo: Ali Kaka, Michel Masozera and Howard Buffett
Ali Kaka (Kenya) and Michel Masozera (Rwanda) with Howard G. Buffett after accepting their National Geographic/ Buffett Awards in 2004

Photograph by Becky Hale


Lorivi Moses Ole Moirana

African Wildlife Foundation

Arusha, Tanzania

Lorivi Ole Moirana, a member of the Maasai tribe, has dedicated his career to conservation. As chief warden of Tanzania National Parks, Ole Moirana is credited with turning the Kilimanjaro National Park into a showpiece of wilderness management and conservation. His achievements include helping to stanch deforestation on Mount Kilimanjaro and reducing elephant poaching in Ruaha National Park. He has worked closely with Friends of Ruaha Society, World Wildlife Fund, and the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

Annette Elisabeth Lanjouw

African Wildlife Foundation

Nairobi, Kenya

Annette Lanjouw is internationally recognized as a leading authority on the mountain gorilla. She has been instrumental in focusing attention on the gorilla’s plight and in raising funds to ensure its survival. The focus of Lanjouw’s work is conservation of the mountain gorilla’s forest habitat. Since 1995, Lanjouw has been director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program, working in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. The program is funded by a consortium of three conservation organizations: African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna and Flora International, and World Wide Fund for Nature.


Aida Safira & Augusto Assane Omar

WWF Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique

Spurred by their profound interest in the Muani people, concern for dwindling natural resources, and deep religious devotion, Aida Safira and Augusto Assane Omar work courageously toward the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources of Mozambique. Their mediation in conflicts between fishermen and conservationists has led to the creation and founding of Quirimbas National Park, one of the very few parks in the world to be created at the request of local communities.


Ali Kaka

East African Wild Life Society

Nairobi, Kenya

In his 24 years with the Kenya Wildlife Service, Ali Kaka rose through the ranks from assistant warden to assistant director and was instrumental in the creation of the Capture and Translocation Unit, the Marine Parks Unit, and the Tourism Department within KWS, all of which have been highly effective in conserving Kenyan biodiversity. Since 2001, Kaka has been the executive director of the East African Wild Life Society, the region’s oldest conservation organization, and is at the forefront of community-based conservation initiatives.

Michel Masozera

Wildlife Conservation Society

Kigali, Rwanda

Michel Masozera has worked tirelessly to document and protect Rwanda’s rich biodiversity, developing a national model for conservation in the face of daunting socioeconomic challenges and civil war. Masozera led the first biological survey and integrated conservation program of the Nyungwe Forest Reserve. His expertise, dedication, and lobbying efforts for over a decade have led to the declaration of the Nyungwe Forest as Rwanda’s third national park. He has since brought the Nyungwe conservation model to other threatened forests in Rwanda.


Nyawira Muthiga

East African Wild Life Society

Bamburi, Kenyatta Beach, Kenya

As an integral part of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Program of WCS, Nyawira Muthiga has been reconciling the needs of local communities with Kenya’s marine wildlife conservation priorities. Muthiga has developed a highly effective set of marine protected area management plans, community ecotourism initiatives, and an extensive training program for marine protected area staff and community representatives. Her efforts have inspired many African students to study marine science and pursue careers focused on the conservation of Africa’s outstanding marine ecosystems.

Marcedonio Cortave

Associación de Comunidades Forestales de Petén

San Benito, Petén, Guatemala

Marcedonio Cortave has made outstanding contributions to natural resource conservation and economic development in Guatemala. He has worked tirelessly to unite community-based conservation initiatives through sustainable forestry management techniques in the Maya Biosphere Reserve and helped create the world’s first major model of community-managed forest concessions. Cortave has shared this model with other communities, governments, and the forest industry, illustrating how to achieve economic and conservation goals simultaneously.

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