Shout about these extraordinary people, and the tireless work they do to protect our most vulnerable animals.
Against a difficult logistical and cultural landscape in post-conflict Liberia, Mary has worked tirelessly to successfully establish, develop and sustain academic forestry and conservation programmes for a wide community of students, professionals and international bodies.
As a Nigerian female Mary’s choice of career has not always been understood among her peers and Mary is frequently the only female voice among a crowd of senior male professionals. Mary has used her unique ability to unite and prosper cooperation against this backdrop and frequently makes achievements in the world of conservation where others are known to have failed. She has demonstrated commitment and ingenuity in the capacity development and training of local Liberian conservationists, developing a small capacity building project far beyond its original geographical anchor of Sapo National Park, and indeed Liberia. Her work now has international stead and is frequently referred to as model project among conservation organisations.
Some of Mary’s achievements include: Forestry curriculums of Liberia’s main academic institutions now include 12 conservation modules; a centre for conservation training constructed in Sapo National Park for forestry students and professionals; over 70 forestry students, professionals and academics trained via 11 theoretical and practical field courses; an internship conservation training scheme established; recommencement of the Sapo National Park (SNP) long-term bio-monitoring programme implemented; and 8 Liberian conservation professionals included onto an international mentoring scheme.
An experienced conservation biologist from Nigeria, Mary has a seemingly unquenchable passion for conservation and capacity building in Africa. Her efforts and achievements in Liberia are remarkable and demonstrate her as a leading conservationist. And in her own words,Mary says that her wish is to ‘inspire and empower upcoming African conservationists.’
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This award is given to an individual who has been judged to be emerging as a leading conservationist and in recognition of their outstanding contribution to, and considerable success, in their chosen field. The award is sponsored by Land Rover and this year will be presented by Sir David Attenborough. The three finalist will be present at the Awards ceremony, when the winner will be announced and presented with a beautiful trophy created by Tiffany & Co as well as a grant for £20,000. The two runners up each receive a grant of £7,500.