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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Attend the Tusk Conservation Awards


September 12, 2013 - London, United Kingdom

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the inaugural Tusk Conservation Awards at The Royal Society in London this evening. As Royal Patron of Tusk, the Duke presented the awards including the first Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa - a lifetime achievement award given to Clive Stockil from Zimbabwe. The awards, established in partnership with Investec Asset Management, recognise and highlight the work of dedicated conservationists across Africa.

In his keynote speech, the Duke highlighted: "There is so much good work going on which we can celebrate and get behind. I think sometimes, sat here, we can feel a little powerless to make a difference for species that we desperately care about. The focus that these Tusk Awards bring on a diverse group of brilliant conservationists provides a means of channelling our longing to help."

The gala evening, The Duke and Duchess's first joint engagement in London following the birth of Prince George in July, was also attended by the President and First Lady of Gabon, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rt Hon.Owen Paterson MP. Other key guests included Rolling Stone guitarist, Ronnie Wood, and TV adventurer Ben Fogle, Dire Straits guitarist, John Illsley, and naturalist and filmmaker, Simon King. The ceremony was hosted by Tusk patron, the broadcaster, Kate Silverton.

The Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa

The Prince William Award, sponsored by Investec Asset Management, was presented to Clive Stockil for his groundbreaking work as one of Africa's great conservation pioneers - a man who recognised four decades ago the critical need to engage local communities in conservation and deliver tangible benefits to ordinary people living alongside wildlife. In 1992, Stockil was also the driving force behind the creation of Africa's then largest private conservancy in the Save Valley, Zimbabwe, which is now home to one of the country's largest rhino populations.

The Tusk Award for Conservation

The Duke also presented the Tusk Award for Conservation to Kenyan, Tom Lalampaa, for his outstanding work brokering peace through conservation amongst feuding tribal groups in northern Kenya. Lalampaa has been key to creating a conservation area of 3 million acres under the Northern Rangelands Trust, benefiting over 150,000 people. The NRT is recognized as the leading model for community conservation in Kenya - and increasingly across Africa - with a proven impact on peace, livelihoods and conservation. The Tusk Award was sponsored by Land Rover.

Highly Commended prize

Dr Alasdair Harris received a Highly Commended prize from The Duke for his work with communities along the Madagascar coast, as founder and research director of Blue Ventures Conservation. Harris's initiatives protect marine biodiversity and safeguard traditional coastal livelihoods, creating a thriving new marine conservation movement in the region.

The other short listed candidates were: Kerri Wolter, Vulture Protection (VulPro), South Africa; Edwin Kinyanjui, Mount Kenya Trust, Kenya; and Josia Razafindramanana, Crowned Sifaka Conservation Project, Madagascar. After the ceremony, each of these nominees received a certificate, signed by The Duke of Cambridge, in recognition of their outstanding work in Africa.

The award winners will receive substantial grants of GBP 30,000 and GBP 15,000 respectively, and in addition to signalling recognition of their work, it is intended that the awards will contribute to and help to develop their projects.

The specially commissioned trophies were designed and produced by Tiffany & Co., as one of the event co-sponsors in conjunction with British Airways, the Mantis Group and Dom Perignon.

Charlie Mayhew, Tusk's co-founder and CEO, said: "When we first discussed the idea of the Awards with the Duke, he was immediately enthusiastic about the project and gave it his full support. We are thrilled that both he and the Duchess have been able to attend the inaugural event tonight. The quality and calibre of the short-list for the Awards was exceptional, and a testament to the immense contribution they have all made in their respective roles in African conservation over many years. We are immensely grateful to Investec Asset Management and our co-sponsors for making this evening possible, and hope this first set of Awards will capture people's imagination to support the future challenges of conservation across this magnificent continent."

Award Partner, Investec Asset Management's CEO, Hendrik du Toit, added, "Given our substantial business interests in Africa and our commitment to the continent and its people we identify with Tusk's mission. It is a privilege to be associated with Tusk, which has been working for over two decades towards building a sustainable future for Africa's natural heritage."

Notes to Editors

Tusk Trust

Since its formation in 1990 Tusk has raised over GBP 18m for a wide range of projects across Africa, which not only work to protect wildlife, particularly endangered species, but also help to alleviate poverty through sustainable development and education amongst rural communities who live alongside wildlife.

Africa's elephant population stood at 1.3milion in 1979 and crashed to 600,000 in 1989. Today the population is estimated to be as low as 400,000. The black rhino population in Africa stands at approximately 4,800 with the white rhino numbers totalling circa 20,000.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge became Royal Patron of Tusk in December 2005 since when he has been an active supporter of the Charity's work. In 2010 the Prince undertook a joint overseas tour with his brother Prince Harry to see for himself some of the Tusk sponsored projects in Botswana. In 2012 and earlier this year, The Duke has spoken out against the illegal wildlife trade in his role of Royal Patron.

Tusk USA Overview

In July 2011, in response to increased donor interest and support, Tusk formally launched its United States' presence with a US Patron's Circle event in Los Angeles, attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during their official visit to the United States., In 2012, Tusk opened its first overseas office in New York, firmly establishing its commitment to its American donors. In October 2013, Tusk will be participating at the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo in San Francisco as well as at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York, and will host its second annual Friends of Tusk Dinner on November 7th.

Save Valley Conservancy : http://savevalleyconservancy.org

Northern Rangelands Trust : http://www.nrt-kenya.org

Blue Ventures Conservation : http://www.blueventures.org

Contacts:
Tusk Trust
David Simonson
+44 7831 347222

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