Prince William honors two Ugandan Wildlife conservationists

Prince William, who is also Duke of Cambridge, handed Obwona the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award for his dedication as a ranger protecting the wildlife of Murchison Falls National Park.

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Prince William, who is also Duke of Cambridge, handed Obwona the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award for his dedication as a ranger protecting the wildlife of Murchison Falls National Park.

Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton in group picture with the awardees. Courtesy pictures Two Ugandans have been honored in London in recognition to the country’s wildlife conservation efforts. 

Julius Obwona, a game ranger at Murchison Falls National Park, and Vicent Opyene, the Executive Director Natural Resources Conservation Network (NRCN), received the awards on Friday.

Prince William, who is also Duke of Cambridge, handed Obwona the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award for his dedication as a ranger protecting the wildlife of Murchison Falls National Park.

Opyene, on the other hand, was honored with Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa for singlehandedly changing how Uganda addresses illegal wildlife trade. 

According to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)’s twitter account, Opyene took extra ordinary courage, risking his life on a daily basis to combat wildlife trafficking and bringing criminals to justice.  

The Ugandans were honored alongside Dr. Pete Morkel, a South African conservationist, who has been working with UWA. 

According to tuskawards.com, the tusk conservation awards give a chance to ordinary men and women whose work might go unnoticed outside their fields.

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Who are the awardees? 

Obwona

He joined the then Uganda National Parks in 1995 as a ranger, rising through the ranks to become Assistant Warden and then Warden in Charge of Law Enforcement. Much of his operational experience was gained when the Lord’s Resistance Army were very active in the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. Obwona worked with the Ugandan army to counter and remove the rebel group. He now supervises over 300 staff. Since 2014 he has trained over 600 rangers, now widely deployed throughout Murchison.

Opyene

He is founder and CEO of NRCN, a network of professionals who are using their training to ensure timely investigation, prosecution and reporting of wildlife crime in Uganda in order to reduce on incidences of wildlife poaching and promote conservation of wildlife.

The network helps in the building of law enforcement networks among the members of the legal, media and the investigation fraternity in Uganda.

NRCN works with Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Police and other non-governmental organisations in their wildlife conservation initiatives.