Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) chairman Richard Leakey has been recognised for his efforts in wildlife conservation. The Perfect World Foundation announced that he will be awarded at the gala dinner “The Elephant Ball” in Gothenburg, Sweden on September 15, 2016.
“We are happy and to announce that the award, The Conservationist of the year 2016, will be awarded to Richard Leakey, at the gala dinner,” said the Foundation on their site.
“Leakey is probably the person on this planet who has done most for the African elephants, when he in the 1980´s turned the fast extinction to a growth within the elephant population,” they added.
Leakey was appointed the head of wildlife conservation in Kenya by former President Daniel Arap Moi in 1989. In 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta once again appointed him to chair the KWS board.
Leakey wrote a book in 2001 titled, Wildlife Wars: My Fight to Save Africa’s Natural Treasures. The book elaborated his experiences at the helm of what had been the Wildlife Conservation and Management Department (WMCD) before the name was changed.
Leakey founded WildlifeDirect in 2005 to support African efforts to protect wildlife heritage as an important global heritage and lessening of poaching activities.
He also led Kenya’s successful campaign for a worldwide ban on trade in ivory in the 1980s which diminished demand for ivory, caused prices to collapse and largely helped reduce poaching.
His story has inspired the Hollywood star, Angelina Jolie, who will next year produce a film called “Africa”, with actor Brad Pitt starring as Richard Leakey.