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Run-up to rhino awards put the selfless work of rangers and wardens in the spotlight

Run-up to rhino awards put the selfless work of rangers and wardens in the spotlight

Poaching draws much negative publicity but the people who dedicate their lives to conservation seldom receive any recognition. In this regard, the Rhino Conservation Awards spotlight the outstanding dedication of the rangers and wardens across Africa whose only mission is to save a rhino every day.

In anticipation of the awards on 21 July 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Chief Executive of the Game Rangers Association of Africa, Andrew Campbell, said “Black Rhino numbers have doubled and White Rhino numbers have almost tripled since the early 1990s. The Great Elephant Census conducted in 2016 showed populations are growing in countries like Botswana, Uganda and Malawi while they remain stable in South Africa and Kenya. We must acknowledge these successes and learn from them, without ignoring the escalating threats many of these species now face.”

This success is not possible without the conservation efforts undertaken by various organisations and individuals. These success stories serve as motivation for others that their work and efforts are not in vain. “The media tends to focus on the number of carcasses poached, but everyday many species are protected thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of dedicated conservationists and game rangers who deserve recognition,” Campbell said

The Rhino Conservation Awards recognise the organisations and individuals who commit their lives to protect and safeguard endangered species. Since being founded by Dr Larry Hansen and Miss Xiaoyang Yu in 2011, the awards have been hosted annually in collaboration with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and the Game Rangers Association. The 2019 awards are sponsored by ZEISS and China New Enterprises Inc.

The finalists will be joined at the event by various dignitaries under the patronage of His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco, and by representatives of the NGOs working for rhino conservation.

Work done over the last 12 months, starting July 2018, will be adjudicated in the categories, Best Field Ranger, Best Conservation Practitioner, Best Political, Investigative and Judicial Support, Best Rhino Conservation Supporter and Special Award for Endangered Species Conservation.

Nominations have officially closed for the 2019 awards and the winners will be announced at the event.

Track the run-up to the awards at


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys