|When:||Tuesday, , 18:30|
|Where:||Claridge's, London W1|
The Duke of Cambridge attended the 2014 Tusk Conservation Awards at Claridge’s in London this evening. As patron of Tusk, Prince William presented awards to two leading conservationists for their outstanding work in Africa.
The prestigious Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa, sponsored by Investec Asset Management, was given to Richard Bonham in recognition of his lifetime contribution to wildlife and the Maasai community in Kenya. (Read Richard Bonham's acceptance speech here).
The Tusk Award for emerging leaders in conservation – an award sponsored by Land Rover – was presented to Herizo Andrianandrasana, from Madagascar.
Closing the ceremony, the Duke said, "The work of this year's finalists serves to illustrate some of our greatest conservation challenges: dramatic loss of lion; poaching of elephant and rhino; deforestation; and the critical need for community involvement.”
He also took the opportunity to announce a new award for 2015, “which will recognize the extraordinary bravery and commitment of Wildlife Rangers. These are the men and women at the frontline of the battle – and it is a battle – to save some of the world's most iconic species.”
Continuing a theme that he has voiced in the past, he stressed, “These people cannot face the bullets and the threats alone. It is up to governments and intra-national bodies to unite behind them, and to play a meaningful part in ensuring that their efforts on the ground are fruitful.” (See HRH Duke of Cambridge's full speech here).
The gala evening was attended by a host of high profile guests including Charley Boorman, Rory Bremner, David Gower, Katherine Jenkins and Andrew Levitas, Deborah Meaden, Camilla Kerslake, and Simon King. The awards ceremony was hosted by the broadcaster, Kate Silverton, who is herself a Patron of the Charity.
This year's Tusk Conservation Awards are, for me, an opportunity to recognise and to highlight some of the remarkable – and courageous – conservation work being undertaken across Africa.