Explorers

Picture of Zacharie Tchoundjeu

Photograph by Becky Hale

Download the 2013 African Nomination Form (PDF)

The National Geographic Society is currently soliciting nominations for the 2013 Buffett Award for Leadership in African Conservation. This award honors the unsung heroes of conservation by celebrating the recipient's past achievements and supporting ongoing work in conserving nature or culture in continental Africa. The award includes a $25,000 grant.

In 2012 the award was given to Zacharie Tchoundjeu (pictured) for his invaluable contributions toward the conservation of biodiversity in the Congo Basin, the development of sustainable agricultural techniques for small-scale farmers, and the training of a new generation of African scientists and environmentalists. As the regional director of the World Agroforestry Centre, based in Cameroon, he leads international teams in 21 West and Central African countries that are focused on agroforestry, forest conservation, and domestication of high-value indigenous fruit trees and medicinal plants, with the aim of enhancing the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.

In 2011 the award was given to Dr. Paula Kahumbu for her leadership at Wildlife Direct in using the power of the Internet to raise awareness and support for conservation projects and save wildlife. Devoting her life to protecting Kenya's wildlife, Kahumbu pioneered the use of conservation easements to protect land outside of protected areas; developed a monitoring system against illegal elephant killings; innovated the use of rope bridges to reduce colobus monkey mortality; and created a coalition fighting against the poisoning of lions and other iconic predators.

In 2010 the award was given to John Makombo for his diverse leadership roles in wildlife conservation, community development, and ecotourism in Uganda. In his career with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Makombo has been promoting and implementing sustainable harvests, watershed management, landscape-scale management practices, and community-based ecotourism in and around several national parks in Uganda and neighboring regions.

The award was established in 2002 through a generous gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Buffett is a farmer, businessman, conservationist, and photographer. He serves on the NGS Council of Advisors and in 2007 was named Ambassador Against Hunger by the UN World Food Programme.

Recipients of the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award are chosen from nominations submitted to National Geographic. After nominations are screened by advisors and other experts in conservation, a selection of names is forwarded to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for review. The final selection is made by the National Geographic Society.

To submit a nomination, please complete the accompanying nomination form, including a description of achievements that merit the award. Be sure to include details about the nominee's major conservation successes in the face of unique challenges. Please return the form no later than January 15, 2013, to Catherine Workman, conservationtrust@ngs.org.

The award will be presented at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., in summer 2013.

Thank you for participating in the nominating process and for contributing to the Society's efforts to recognize and celebrate leaders in African conservation.

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