Garth Owen-Smith honoured with lifetime achievement award

Britain’s Prince William, like his brother Harry and other royals, takes a keen interest in conservation. His father, the Duke of Edinburgh, was President of the WWF from 1981 to 1996. William is the patron of Tusk, an organisation supporting conservation projects throughout Africa. At a gala charity dinner at sumptuous Claridge’s Hotel in London, Prince William honoured three conservationists for their work in Africa and referred to them as the true unsung heroes of conservation in Africa. Among the awardees, Garth Owen-Smith was presented with a lifetime achievement award for his successful community driven initiatives in Namibia. Mr Owen-Smith is known as the “Father of conservation” in Namibia. The conservation model he pioneered together with Namibian chiefs and headmen empowered rural communities to benefit from and conserve their natural resources, this model has shown to be a success in Namibia and in other parts of Africa. Owen-Smith and his partner Dr Margaret Jacobsohn became founding directors of IRDNC, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation, one of NACSO’s key members. Upon receiving the award, Mr Owen-Smith acknowledged the efforts of communities in changing the face of conservation in Namibia.

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