Africa’s conservation community lost one of its leading lights when Diane Skinner passed away last year. Di’s focus was always on making a difference for wildlife. She never wasted time on self promotion, and didn’t gain fame. Not because she didn’t deserve it but simply because she never sought it. We can think of no better way to continue to spread her light and honour her legacy than to recognize other conservationists that are of the same mindset.
Last month, at the Business of Conservation Conference (BCC) in Kigali, we had the honour of announcing Norah Njiriani of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants as the winner of the inaugural Diane Skinner Award for Unsung Heroes in Conservation. Norah has dedicated her life to the elephants of Amboseli, quietly conducting her work without demands for attention or recognition. She has inspired dozens of Africa’s top elephant conservationists.
Norah’s wisdom has played a critically important role in managing elephants in a landscape where human elephant conflict is a major threat to both elephants and people. In the first week that she began to work, people were telling her she should quit because studying elephants was not a job for an African woman. She told them that all that was required was love for elephants and dedication to her job. She has shown these qualities every day for
There are many individuals across Africa who have dedicated their lives to making a difference, but don’t gain the recognition they deserve. They do this for what they love and not to promote themselves. This award seeks to recognise those individuals and give the world the opportunity to say thank you. This will be an annual event to honour Diane’s memory as she exemplified this type of conservationist. It is sponsored jointly by the Painted Wolf Foundation and the African Leadership University School of Wildlife Conservation.