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Prince William Set to Honor Conservation Heroes at Glittering Historic Palace

People 10/6/2022 Simon Perry

Paul Grover - Pool/Getty Prince William © Provided by People Paul Grover - Pool/Getty Prince William

Prince William is heading to a historic royal palace for a milestone event amplifying his work for conservation in Africa.

The Prince of Wales' charity Tusk, which he has supported since he began his public life just after leaving university, will reward some of those who fight daily battles on behalf of wildlife and the environment in Africa at the Tusk Conservation Awards next month.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards, and they will be held at Hampton Court Palace, on the southwest tip of London, on Nov. 1. The historic spot, dating back to the early 16th century, is perhaps best known as a favorite royal residence of King Henry VIII.

The Prince, possibly with his wife Kate Middleton, is expected to attend the evening's ceremony. He is usually present for the prestigious awards.

This year, there will be three main prizes awarded: the annual Prince William Award for Conservation, the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award and the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa.

Tusk CEO Charlie Mayhew said in a statement, "The threat to Africa's wildlife and wider biodiversity remains real and urgent. With the devastating economic impact of COVID-19 still being felt across Africa, this year's finalists for the Tusk Award provide a beacon of hope as the continent's emerging leaders in conservation, working tirelessly on the front line to protect Africa's extraordinary natural heritage. We are excited to use the opportunity to bring together previous awards alumni with this year's finalists."

RELATED: Prince William Shares Tweet Praising the 'Dangerous Work' of African Rangers Following Tragedy

Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Prince William at the 2021 Tusk Conversation Awards © Provided by People Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Prince William at the 2021 Tusk Conversation Awards

Three wildlife warriors shortlisted for the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa are David Dabellen, Dismas Partalala Ole Meitaya and Miguel Goncalves.

Tusk calls Daballen, Samburu Operations Director at Save The Elephants (Kenya), "an ambassador and warrior for elephants." Over the past 20 years, he's been involved in more than 100 collaring operations and can identify 500 individuals. 

From his Samburu culture and his work alongside top international scientists, Daballen has a deep understanding of ecology and animal behavior. "We have to carry the mantle to the next generation," he says in a statement. "What really gives me hope is there are so many vibrant Kenyans interested in conservation coming up behind me. That is my driving force and my strength."

Sarah Marshall David Daballen © Provided by People Sarah Marshall David Daballen

Dismas Partalala Ole Meitaya is a program coordinator at Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), based in Yaeda & Lake Eyasi, Tanzania. A Maasai from the Loliondo district, he is said to be a "true grassroots conservationist — someone whose first priority is helping indigenous communities secure their rights over their lands and natural resources, define conservation from their cultural perspective and build a durable system of land and wildlife protection on that foundation."

The 48-year-old self-taught conservationist has been instrumental in securing land rights for the local Hadzabe community, with 100,500 hectares of land secured by law since 2011. He said, "When I discovered these communities needed help, I knew I had to be the one. If I do this, then I can die knowing I did something in this world."

Sarah Marshall Dismas Partalala © Provided by People Sarah Marshall Dismas Partalala

Miguel Goncalves is a Park Warden with Mozambique's National Administration for Conservation Areas. He became park warden based at Maputo National Park in 2008 and his "inspirational leadership" has transformed the park from what Tusk calls "a free-for-all hunting ground to a landscape able to support thriving populations of wildlife and recovering ecosystems, both in the ocean and on land."

He said, "I believe in the work that I do passionately. I can see the difference the team has made over the last 12 years and the impact we have had on the surrounding communities, who are our foremost partners in the landscape."

Sarah Marshall © Provided by People Sarah Marshall

Now in its 10th year, the prestigious Tusk Conservation Awards, in partnership with Ninety One, raise the profile of conservation leaders and their significant impact on wildlife and communities across Africa. The evening at Hampton Court Palace will be hosted by broadcaster and Tusk ambassador Kate Silverton.

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Earlier this week, William underlined his continuing commitment to the ongoing fight to halt the illegal poaching and trade in elephants, rhinos and other endangered species when he spoke movingly about the loss of a wildlife ranger Anton Mzimba this year. Speaking at the United for Wildlife global summit the prince highlighted that the illegal wildlife trade is worth up to $20 billion annually, and he wants to bring the "sinister" criminal operations "out of the shadows" so they can be combated.

The royal, 40, added that while the work of his coalition United for Wildlife is having a "demonstrable impact," they have much more to do.

PAUL GROVER/POOL/AFP via Getty Prince William © Provided by People PAUL GROVER/POOL/AFP via Getty Prince William

"While we do not have the luxury of time, clearly we do have a proven roadmap to success and the motivation to put it into action," he said. "I hope you all leave here today energized and motivated to intensify this work. Because there are still too many criminals who believe they can act with impunity, too many lives being destroyed and too many species on the brink of extinction due to this heinous crime."

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