Israeli activist wins top award from World Wildlife Fund
Ofir Drori to receive this year’s award for his work on bringing law enforcement for wildlife to Cameroon.
By Zafrir Rinat | Oct.22, 2012 | Haaretz.com
Israeli activist Ofir Drori will be awarded the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal later Monday, receiving the price directly from Prince Philip at a ceremony at the Buckingham Palace in London.
The WWF has been awarding environmental activists with the prize since 1970; the award is considered one of the most important in the field.
The WWF described the 36-year-old activist as a “tireless anti-corruption whistleblower and law enforcement activist working on the frontlines of endangered wildlife protection in West and Central Africa”, particularly in Cameroon.
Drori began his work in Cameroon 10 years ago and founded the Last Great Ape Organization, the continent’s first non-governmental wildlife law enforcement body.
Within just seven months, LAGA succeeded in bringing Cameroon its first prosecution for crimes against wild life, creating a model now spreading across Africa.
“I am delighted to accept the WWF Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal – a great honor that will truly support our work to fight wildlife crime in West and Central Africa and beyond,” said Drori. “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.”
“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.”