With a BSc in Environment, Economics and Ecology, Sarah has long been fascinated with the challenge of balancing human needs and environmental protection.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) congratulates its partner Ol Pejeta Conservancy on winning the title of Private Conservancy of the Year in the 6th Eco-Warrior Awards ceremony, run by civil society organisation Ecotourism Kenya.
The Eco-Warrior Awards celebrate best practices and recognise efforts, innovations and exceptional achievements in enhancing responsible tourism and sustainability in Kenya, with a particular emphasis on initiatives that engage with (and benefit) local communities.
Ol Pejeta's Angela Omune receives the trophy from Ecotourism Kenya's Phoebe Munyoro. Credit: Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy’s entry was based on its wildlife-livestock integration approach, which maximises the productivity of the land while allowing the conservancy to support community projects from profits earned, which in turn helps Ol Pejeta to address the issue of human-wildlife conflict and ensure that local communities find conservation meaningful.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Ecotourism Kenya CEO Kahindi Lekalhaile said: “Ol Pejeta clearly demonstrates elements of responsible, respectful and sustainable tourism and is the obvious choice for the Private Conservancy of the Year award.”
“We are greatly honoured to receive this award, which recognises our efforts in sustaining wildlife populations while contributing to the general welfare of the surrounding communities,” said Richard Vigne, CEO at Ol Pejeta. “We continue to innovate and evolve, adapting to the changing tourism landscape, so that we can remain at the forefront of industry growth and success.”
This is Ol Pejeta’s second award of the year, and comes barely a month after receiving a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award.
As East Africa’s largest black rhinoceros sanctuary, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a key site for the conservation of this Critically Endangered species and is also home to the last four known breeding northern white rhinos, which were translocated to the conservancy in 2009.
Black rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Credit: Juan Pablo Moreiras/FFI.
FFI is providing financial and technical support to Ol Pejeta in this valuable work, and is currently helping to build a new security and operations base within the conservancy, with the support of Australia Zoo and Matsarol Foundation.
FFI is also part of the East African Community Rhino Management Group, which exchanges expertise and rhinos between the East African range states.