His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Patron of the Awards, congratulated the winners for their exemplary efforts and was presented with the Grand Patron Award by Dr Michael Kaschke, Carl Zeiss President and Chief Executive Officer of the international optics group.
The annual Rhino Conservation Awards, which were founded by Dr Larry Hansen, are held in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa and the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa. Co-founder of the Awards, Ms Xiaoyang Yu, Founder Partner of China New Enterprise Investment (CNEI), co-sponsored the Awards with Zeiss Optics group.
The winner in the Best Field Ranger category is Patrick Mwita who works in the Serengeti in Tanzania. King Mswati III of Swaziland received the award for Best Political and Judicial Support. He has played a pivotal role in the protection of wildlife and, especially, the rhino. Swaziland’s anti-poaching success rate is incredible in the current climate with only three rhinos lost since 1992, and none in the last 12 months. The strong support and backing of the Game Amendment Act and Swaziland’s rangers by His Majesty is what strengthens anti-poaching and rhino conservation in Swaziland.