Tom Lalampaa's 2013 Acceptance Speech

Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Secretary of State, Lords Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you. I feel incredibly humbled to have been chosen for this award. It is an honour and a privilege.

This experience has strengthened my commitment to the people and wildlife of Kenya and is something I will carry with me.

I have been extremely inspired by the work of my fellow finalists and I applaud their commitments and achievements.

Poaching of elephant and rhino top the list of wildlife crimes in Kenya. To date this year we have lost over 200 elephant and 37 rhino.

In order to reverse these trends there is an urgent need for tougher penalties, more capacity for law enforcement and increased benefits to local communities hosting wildlife on their land. We look forward to a future where when one sees an elephant they see not an animal to be exploited but rather the benefits that it can bring, such as education for their children, clean water for their families, and peace in their community.

In Northern Kenya the support of local communities is paramount to ensuring the future of the regions wildlife. It is this foundation that allows The Northern Rangelands Trust to develop resilient community conservancies, transforming peoples lives, securing peace and conserving wildlife. NRT provides opportunities to these communities for the benefit of both people and wildlife.

I would like to recognise and thank the Westgate community who not only paid for my education but more importantly accepted and integrated wildlife into their land.

My parents and family including my wife Grace who accompanied me to the awards this evening. This is her first time travelling outside of Kenya and she has been overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness.

To Ian Craig, Matt Rice and Mike Harrison who are my mentors, thank you.

In Kiswahili we have a saying:
Amani haipatikani bila thamani.
Peace is costly, but it is worth the expense.

I hope this awards will inspire a new generation of future Conservation leaders in Africa and across the world.

Asante sana.
Tom Lalampaa

“Today, perhaps more than ever before, Africa’s natural heritage – this incredible, sustainable resource for our and future generations – is gravely threatened.

This is why Tusk’s PACE programme is so vital, educating local people to create a sustainable life balance with the wonders of Africa’s nature.  Already, it has made a real difference.  Going into the future, it represents one of the most powerful tools to strengthen communities, combat poaching and save what is irreplaceable.”

HRH The Duke of Cambridge
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