By Luckmore Safuli
ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZIMPARKS) wildlife officer Amos Gwema has scooped the prestigious 2020 Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award in honour of his exceptional contribution to conservation in Africa.
Zimbabwe’s efforts in protecting and safeguarding the treasured wildlife resources have not gone unnoticed.
Despite the resource constraints largely due to restrictions on the trade of wildlife products, the country has continued to demonstrate leadership in conservation as evidenced by the awarding of a prestigious Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa to a local wildlife hero.
The awards, which were live-streamed this Thursday evening saw Zimbabwe’s Amos Gwema being honoured for contributing to the reduction of poaching at one of Africa’s largest game reserve, Hwange National Park.
“I am so delighted to have received this prestigious award which to me is a recognition of not what l have stood for as an individual but it’s a reflection of Zimbabwe’s collective effort in conserving our treasured wildlife resources,” he said.
Australia-based Save African Rhino Foundation President, Nicholas Duncan, who was among those who gathered to witness the ceremony, said the award is a clear testimony of Zimbabwe’s unparalleled dedication to wildlife conservation.
“It was history breaking for Zimbabwe. It got so much kudos for the department of national parks, for one of their own man in Western Zimbabwe to come out with the Tusk award for African Ranger of the Year Award for the whole of Africa,” he said.
To cap off the evening, there was a moving performance by Tusk Ambassador Jack Savoretti to accompany the roll of honour, paying tribute to all the rangers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
After presenting the award to the Zimbabwean, hopes are high that one day the Duke of Cambridge will visit Zimbabwe to appreciate the country’s conservation programmes.
The Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa is meant to celebrate the achievements of extraordinary people whose work protecting Africa’s irreplaceable natural heritage might otherwise go unnoticed.