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Media Release: Kudu Awards crown conservationists

Date: 2013-11-02

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The South African National Parks (SANParks) supported by First National Bank (FNB) recognised deserving conservationists at their 9th annual Kudu Awards ceremony held at CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria this evening (1 November 2013).

According to Dr David Mabunda SANParks CEO, “The Kudu Awards (and Chief Executive Awards) is an important initiative that recognises external stakeholders for their contribution and internal stakeholders (for) efforts in making South African National Parks the custodian of choice for the national parks system. SANParks also plays a significant role in the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage, thus protecting South Africa’s most valuable national assets.”

He said through these awards people are being honoured for their meaningful contributions to the protection of the environment through various means which reflects society’s admirable social responsibility. “This gives meaning to the vision of ‘SANParks Connecting to Society’.”†

Danny Zandamela, CEO FNB Public Sector Banking, added that the Kudu Awards were fundamental to the practice of recognising, acknowledging and praising the people who have, over the years, created and maintained a conducive and enabling environment for nature conservation projects to be managed effectively. He further expressed that the individuals that have been recognised are at the forefront of inspiring, educating and mobilising their peers through their commitment to environmental issues.

As part of the awards programme SANParks also recognised long standing employees who have played a significant role in the national parks operations by bestowing a lifetime contribution Award. This award (Chief Executive Officer’s Awards) was granted to Alex Brooks from Table Mountain National Park (TMNP). Dr Mabunda said, “Alex has given 48 years of service to SANParks and he is totally dedicated to his park. He has been instrumental in not just the upgrades of the tourism facilities but the maintenance of these sites to ensure that the 800 000 visitors we receive at Cape Point every year have the best possible experience in our facilities.”†

Winners of the 2013 Kudu Awards in the respective categories are:

Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Business Partner of the Year):†

Tigers Eye Kruger National Park, Addo & Tsitsikamma Retail, were recognised for their outstanding performance and exceeding targets in the 2012/2013 financial year.

Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Profit Making Organisation):

Nampak won the Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award for their investment in developing patent baboon-proof dustbins that separate recyclable and non-recyclable waste in the Kruger National Park.

The Vineyard Hotel won the award for their effort and commitment to nature conservation by volunteering to clear alien species in an 8.5 ha plot in Silvermine, Table Mountain National Park.

Corporate Contribution (Non-Profit Making Organisation):

In this sub-category, Crew Outramps, were awarded for their work in conservation and saving of rare and endangered wild flowers in the Southern Cape in support of South African National Biodiversity Institute programmes.†

Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation (Best Journalist):

This year’s Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation, Best Journalist of the Year went to Sheree Bega from Saturday Star. She consistently exhibits genuine integrity and interest in environmental and conservation issues in the media covering a variety of topics.†

Dianne Tipping-Wood from Wild Magazine received a Merit Award in this category in recognition of her contribution in covering diverse stories relating to nature conservation and tourism in a balanced and educational manner. †

Promise Moripa from Bushbuckridge FM also received a Merit Award in this category for consistently providing in-depth reporting on rhino poaching issues and creating awareness in the local communities about the impact of rhino poaching to conservation and tourism.

Community Contribution to Conservation (Individual):

The recipient of this award, Lennox Mathebula, was recognised for his dedication and passion to nature conservation and his involvement in fund raising activities that are aimed at benefiting communities.†

Community Contribution to Conservation (Group):

In the group sub-category, Friends of Vlakkernberg and Friends of Silvermine Tuesday Clearing group who won for their efforts in mitigating effects of alien species within the Table Mountain National Park.†

Mothopong Organic Farming Community Project received a merit award for their contribution to the community of Lebowakgomo by supplying the poor with food through an organic farming community project.†

Community Contribution to Conservation (Region):

This is the SANParks Honorary Rangers (a volunteer organisation working in national parks) Awards. This year’s winner is the Virtual Honorary Rangers for their efforts in nature conservation issues and contribution to SANParks through fundraising and support of Environmental Education programmes. †

Community Contribution to Conservation (Project of the Year):

The second winner in the Honorary Rangers Awards is the SANParks Honorary Rangers Conservation Services National Project and the UNITRANS / Unite Against Poaching fundraising project, in support of SANParks anti-poaching operations.

Environmental Capacity Award:

Londidha Primary School received the Environmental Capacity award for actively bringing environmental education, especially conservation into the classroom.†

Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Individual)

Alyssa Carter received the merit award for this year’s Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Individual). This was in recognition of her entrepreneurial spirit and acknowledging that the fight against rhino poaching requires funding.†

The Awards evening also saw SANParks staff members being rewarded through the Chief Executive Awards. A total of 16 Chief Executive Awards were given out this year.†

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170†

Enquiries:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks Acting Head of Communications
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999
Email: rey.thakhuli@sanparks.org

Patty Seetharam
Senior Communications Manager FNB,
Tel: 087 312 4639
Email: pseetharam@fnb.co.za

Gabrielle “Gabby” Venter
SANParks Manager: Media and Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 012 426 5065; Cell: 083 8259435
Email: gabrielle.venter@sanparks.org ††

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