Shout about these extraordinary people, and the tireless work they do to protect our most vulnerable animals.
Rachel McRobb formed Conservation South Luangwa the area’s largest non-profit anti-poaching and community conservation organisation ten years ago: “I am one of those lucky people in life who finds fulfilment just being in wild places surrounded by wildlife,” says Rachel McRobb. “The possibility of losing this in Zambia is enough for me to fight the daily battles involved in running a wildlife conservation programme in Africa and managing an anti-poaching unit.”
Rachel McRobb was born in Zambia’s Copperbelt region and quickly fostered a love for Zambia’s wildlife and wild places. Spurred on by witnessing the horrors of poaching and habitat loss and with virtually no experience, training or support, Rachel has worked tirelessly to build a strong Zambian team and make CSL a key conservation organization.
As a woman in an overwhelmingly male-dominated sector, she achieved this from virtually nothing, in an extremely challenging political, environmental, and logistical environment, whilst combating severe conservation threats. Considered a visionary, her strength is working with local community leaders, tour operators and donors.
As Rachel herself says “My inspiration comes from the people doing the endless tough field work, the scouts on the ground fighting the poaching battle, the conservationists educating the children, the scientists working to gather the data to change policy, these are the people who are recognised the least and yet contribute the most.” She pays tribute to her “amazing team … who have stood by me and lay down their lives daily for this job and when I am down about it all, they pick me up and we carry on together.”
Rachel has said of her work: “I can’t bear to be here and not do anything about it and so we all get up every day and do our best to stop it.”
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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.