Ekwoge Enang Abwe, a conservationist working in Cameroon and the manager of San Diego Zoo Global's Central Africa program, has just been awarded the prestigious Whitley award. The Whitley award is an international competition that is often called "The Green Oscars" because it celebrates the extraordinary achievements of some of the world's leading conservationists working in developing countries. Abwe was selected for the award due to his efforts to learn about and preserve Cameroon's Ebo Forest and its wildlife inhabitants.
HRH The Princess Royal, the charity's patron, says: "The secret of the Whitley Fund for Nature is that they find exceptional grassroots conservation leaders. Whitley Award winners hail from all over the world and come from a range of backgrounds, but they all have in common a fierce commitment and determination to make a real difference to local people and wildlife in their home countries. Every winner has a close connection with their community, as well as experience and an understanding of the issues, which often relate to human-wildlife conflict, but they also know how to make an impact through practical solutions, engaging people and initiating change at government level. That's a rare skill. Let's face it, there are 'experts' out there who don't always have that skill, but the Whitley Award winners do."
Receiving the Whitley award can be a life-changing experience and not simply because the funding can transform what can be practically achieved on the ground. Finding themselves and their work recognized on an international stage can be a game changer; the award opens doors, gives a voice that is listened to and brings both status and influence to the recipient in public and political arenas.
"I am delighted and humbled to have received the 2013 Whitley award donated by Fondation Segr, which comes at a very exciting point of broad stakeholder involvement in our project in Cameroon," said Abwe. "This award will he
|Contact: Christina Simmons|
Zoological Society of San Diego