Champion of the Earth Award 2015
For outstanding courage in fighting the illegal wildlife trade at community level
The Champions of the Earth award is the United Nations highest environmental honour recognizing visionary people and organisations all over the world that exemplify leadership and advocate action on sustainable development, climate change and a life of dignity for all.
The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a South African and majority-women ranger group, has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nation's top environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth award. With this award, in the Inspiration and Action category, UNEP is recognizing the rapid and impressive impact the Black Mamba unit has made in combatting poaching and the courage required to accomplish it. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "Community-led initiatives are crucial to combatting the illegal wildlife trade and the Black Mambas highlight the importance and effectiveness of local knowledge and commitment. Their many successes are a result of their impressive courage and determination to make a difference in their community. The Black Mambas are an inspiration not only locally, but across the world to all those working to eliminate the scourge of the illegal wildlife trade. While their work contributes most toward ecosystem preservation and halting biodiversity loss, Goal 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals, it also exemplifies the action-driven solutions needed to achieve all of the SDGs. With every rhino saved the Black Mambas demonstrate that action on a local level is critical to achieving global sustainability and equity.
Best Conservation Practitioner of the Year
This category includes any person who is working full-time in the conservation field and fighting rhino poaching through protected area management, intelligence gathering and strategic anti-poaching operation management.
A huge thank you goes out to Hi-Tec Sports who without, we would have been unable to send any representatives from the Black Mamba APU to the event on account of their nomination. Hi-Tec Sports generously covered all costs for the flights, accommodation and transport for two of our ladies to attend the event last night.
Nkateko and NoCry, our two Black Mamba Representatives were extremely excited as they left base yesterday morning as neither of them have ever travelled on an airplane before or had the pleasure to enjoy a luxury 3* Hotel for the night, not to mention the event itself and meeting all the local celebrities.
We are extremely proud of our ladies and would to thank everyone for your continued support. As you all know times have been very hard lately, but we will continue to fight back and move forward!!