Explorers

Explorers photographed at the 2013 Symposium.

Photograph by Mark Thiessen

Download the 2014 African Nomination Form (PDF)

The National Geographic Society is currently soliciting nominations for the 2014 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 2013 the award was given to Charles Tumwesigye (pictured)

for his untiring efforts to ensure that communities benefit from conservation efforts.

Tumwesigye carried out the Uganda Wildlife Protected Area System Plan; resolved parks-people conflict through revenue sharing plans and digging elephant trenches; developed an ecotourism program with the Batwa people that celebrates Batwa life and culture while generating revenue and serving as a model system; invented the award-winning Friend-A-Gorilla program; and initiated a mobile health clinic at the edges of Ugandan parks to unite healthcare and conservation.

In 2012 the award was given to Zacharie Tchoundjeu for his work conserving the Congo Basin’s biodiversity, 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 farmer livelihoods.

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, Paula 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.

The award was established in 2002 through a generous gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Mr. 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 Program.

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 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, 2014 to Dr. Catherine Workman, conservationtrust@ngs.org.

The award will be presented at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. in summer, 2014.

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