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Great boost for rhino conservation as HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco becomes Patron of the Rhino Conservation Awards and Barclays Africa joins as sponsor.

The annual Rhino Conservation Awards, which have been recognising exceptional individuals and organisations for their efforts in protecting Africa’s rhino population since 2012, have cemented their importance in the rhino conservation field by acquiring two new key supporters. 

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, who is committed to the protection of species dangerously close to extinction through the support of his Foundation to various preservation projects, has accepted to be Patron of the Rhino Conservation Initiative and the Rhino Conservation Awards.

In addition, Barclays Africa Group Ltd, Africa’s pre-eminent financial services provider, has joined as co-sponsor of the Awards. Barclays Africa has majority stakes in banks in the African Rhino Range states and, in line with its commitment as a major financial services provider to the African continent, is proud to support this initiative. Barclays Africa joins the existing sponsor, Ms Xiaoyang Yu, Founder Partner of China New Enterprise Investment (CNEI), a China focused growth capital fund, and one of the originators of the Awards.

Founder of the Awards, Dr Larry Hansen, expressed his delight in the recognition gained for the Awards through HSH Prince Albert’s patronage and Barclays’ involvement, and he hopes that the added international publicity will lead to an increase in the capture and prosecution of poachers and a resultant reduction in the demand for rhino horn. 

The Awards are held in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa and the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa (GRAA) - a non-profit organisation with a membership of over 1500 across Africa, many of whom are rangers active in anti-poaching activities. The GRAA is dedicated to the protection, conservation and restoration of Africa’s biodiversity and wilderness for the benefit of present and future generations.

The Rhino Conservation Awards 2014 will once again aim to create awareness of rhino conservation issues and to recognise a wide range of exceptional individuals and organisations for their efforts in the rhino conservation field across different categories. Nominations are invited from African Rhino Range States in five categories, namely; Best Field Ranger, Best Conservation Practitioner, Best Political & Judicial Support, Best Science Research & Technology and Best Awareness, Education or Funding.

The Awards will be presented at a gala dinner ceremony to be held at Montecasino Ballroom on Thursday the 31st of July, coinciding with the celebration of World Ranger Day as proclaimed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Awards will be attended by members of the Department of Environmental Affairs, the South African National Parks Board, media, sponsors and organisations and individuals involved in rhino conservation.

Nominations for the Awards have opened and the nomination form can be sourced from www.gameranger.org. The nomination process is an open one; anyone can enter a nomination for any candidate that they feel is worthy of an Award. Nominators simply need to complete the nomination form and send it back to the address reflected on the form. An executive committee will review all nominations and identify a shortlist. A panel of adjudicators will then identify the winners in each category.

The recognition of the people that are putting their lives and resources on the line for rhino conservation is essential to ensure that they remain motivated to preserve this iconic species.
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