Dr Paula Kahumbu for WildlifeDirect. © Amarula
The inaugural Esmond B. Martin Royal Geographical Society Prize will be presented this evening to Dr Paula Kahumbu at an event at the Society celebrating the life and work of renowned geographer and conservationist Esmond Bradley Martin, whose generous bequest created the Prize.
Dr Paula Kahumbu is a Kenyan biologist and ecologist, and an inspiring and committed advocate for international wildlife conservation in Africa. For over 35 years Paula has shown outstanding achievements in the application of innovative conservation practice, knowledge and education, with far reaching impact across Africa. Her vision is to change the narrative, so Africans become the primary storytellers about African wildlife and the future of community conservation.
Currently CEO of WildlifeDirect, a Nairobi-based environmental NGO, Paula is the producer and presenter of Wildlife Warriors, Africa’s first wildlife documentary series made by Africans, which seeks to transform the conservation literacy in Africa by shining a light on the continent’s front-line conservationists and their work.
On being awarded the Prize, Paula said: “Like many conservationists I admired Esmond deeply for his commitment to uncovering the details of the global ivory trade. Receiving this award is hugely humbling and I hope that I live up to his legacy.”
The Society’s President and Chair of the awarding panel, Nigel Clifford, said: “Esmond was a long-time supporter of the Society, and we are honoured to be able to continue his legacy by celebrating outstanding achievements in wildlife conservation by others following in his footsteps. Paula’s leadership, pioneering conservation work and inspiration as a role model for future conservation leaders in Africa make her an impressive recipient of the inaugural Prize.”
The Society’s Monday night lecture this evening will honour Esmond’s achievements in addition to presenting Paula with the inaugural Prize. The lecture, chaired by Gillian Burke and with panellists Dr Chris Thouless, Professor Bhaskar Vira and Dr Lucy Vigne, will explore Esmond’s conviction that data are essential to wildlife protection.
Society members can attend the lecture in person or watch online.