Wildlife crime whistleblower gets WWF medal


This video from Kenya says about itself:

Live Operation on Poached Elephant in Galana Ranch, May 2011

Live commentary of Dr Paula Kahumbu on Kenya Wildlife Services veterinarians on site at an ultra delicate surgical operation on a shot elephant in Galana Ranch.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife crime whistleblower wins top WWF honour

Champion wildlife crime opponent awarded top WWF honours

October 2012. Ofir Drori, a tireless anti-corruption whistleblower and law enforcement activist working on the frontlines of endangered wildlife protection in West and Central Africa, has been awarded the 2012 WWF Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal.

Congratulations to Mr Drori and his much-needed fight against wildlife crime!

However, it is a problem that this medal is called after the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, Prince Consort of Queen Elizabeth II of England. Prince Philip is a vocal fox hunting supporter. As the medal is for work in Africa, Prince Philip’s racist remarks are hardly appropriate.

The WWF in Spain decided to strip the elephant-shooting King of Spain of his honorary chairmanship. How about Britain?

I am not the only person with this kind of objections to the medal’s name, as we will see.

Israeli educator, photojournalist and activist Drori, 36, arrived in Cameroon a decade ago where he founded the Last Great Ape Organization (LAGA), the first wildlife law enforcement non-governmental organization in Africa. Within seven months, LAGA had brought about Cameroon’s first wildlife crime prosecution, providing a model that is now being replicated in West and Central Africa. Drori is also founder-director of the Central Africa Wildlife Law Enforcement Network.

“I am delighted to accept the WWF Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal – a great honour that will truly support our work to fight wildlife crime in West and Central Africa and beyond,” Ofir Drori said. “I hope this award also inspires a shift to a more activist approach and bolsters the fight against corruption in our quest to save wildlife – while there are still magnificent elephants and other animals left to save.”

Promoting wildlife law enforcement by combating corruption at all levels, LAGA enabled a shift in Cameroon’s judicial system resulting in arrests and prosecution of major wildlife criminals. The LAGA anti-corruption success story has been replicated in West and Central Africa in activities that go beyond nature conservation to the defence of human rights.

Wildlife poaching and organized criminal trade

Wildlife poaching and organized criminal trade in wildlife have escalated dramatically in recent years and are now the greatest threats to many of WWF’s flagship species. Ofir Drori’s efforts have resulted in hundreds of arrests and prosecutions across West and Central Africa, and helped propagate a zero tolerance approach to illegal wildlife trafficking in Cameroon.

“It is thanks to people like Ofir Drori that we still have a hope of keeping vulnerable elephant and other wildlife populations thriving – and keeping a spotlight on the poaching crisis that threatens them. I applaud his bold and impactful work,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International. “WWF urges world governments to crack down on wildlife poaching and illegal trade as a matter of urgency.”

WWF is taking action to combat wildlife crime and works with countries where poaching occurs, where illegal trade transits and in consumer countries to stop wildlife crime – by strengthening law enforcement, combating corruption, getting illegal wildlife trade recognised as a serious crime, and reducing demand for endangered species products.

The Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal was first given in 1970 and is awarded annually by WWF for outstanding service to the environment. Ofir Drori joins a long line of conservation leaders to receive the award – including the 2011 winner, Dr Ashok Khosla, one of the world’s foremost sustainable development experts. Mr. Drori receives his award today in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London.

A comment on this on the Wildlife Extra site says:

what a great shame that philip d.o.e. [Duke of Edinburgh] and his family of hunt supporters will never measure up to this young man with his genuine concern for wildlife protection

Posted by: dee donworth | 06 Nov 2012 13:08:55

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8 thoughts on “Wildlife crime whistleblower gets WWF medal

  1. The ‘human’ (I use the term loosely) condition, to exploit for personal gain no matter what the cost! Animal exploitation and cruelty especially disgust me. Regards SN

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