Birds

The nature guardian of the Seychelles wins the African Ranger Award 2020

Dailus Laurence, the Chief Warden of the Cousin Island Special Reserve The Nature Seychelles employee (BirdLife Partner) has won the prestigious African Ranger Award 2020, which is sponsored by the Alibaba Foundation and the Paradise Foundation. The prize includes a purse of $ 10,000.

Dailus, who is 29 years old and has been working on Cousin Island since he was 21, said: “I am surprised but also overjoyed about this amazing award. The award actually belongs to the entire Cousin Island Special Reserve team as everything we do here is a team effort. So I’ll share the prize money with the guards. I want my boss, Dr. Thank you Nirmal Shah for trusting me to promote me to Chief Warden two years ago and to take over from an expatriate. Eric, our coordinator, for supervision; and the Nature Seychelles management team including Liz our communications manager and of course Kerstin who manages our budget. ”

Dr. Shah says the Naturseychelles nominated Dailus as part of the organization’s “Building Back Better” program, which aims to stay one step ahead of the COVID-19 crisis: “The crisis has not only collapsed our recurring budget, the one from depends on our longtime ecotourism The program ended in April along with tourism in Seychelles in general, but resulted in a sharp drop in the morale of our reserve staff. Our international volunteer, research and conservation boot camp programs have all been canceled and this, along with the COVID-related restrictions, has resulted in the staff on Cousin Island becoming very isolated. “

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“We are delighted that Dailus has been selected. He is a young Seychellois with real conservation and management skills, who is at the forefront of protecting the environment and running a famous reserve every day. This is not an easy or easy task. That’s why he and his team deserve that this is a very prestigious award that such large companies are behind and it will definitely have a positive impact on a bleak year. “

Dailus with some members of the Cousin Island team © Nature Seychelles

The Cousin Island Special Reserve has been a nature reserve since 1968. It was bought by BirdLife International to save the Seychelles warbler, who was “the rarest bird in the world” at the time. Since then it has received many awards and accolades and is considered “one of the world’s great success stories in nature conservation”. It has been managed since 1998 by Nature Seychelles, a national environmental and sustainable development NGO that also operates regionally.

The African Ranger Award was launched by the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma as part of his Alibaba Foundation together with the Paradise Foundation. The Paradise Foundation is led by some of China’s best-known businessmen and philanthropists, including Jack Ma himself, co-founder of Alibaba Inc., the world’s largest retail and e-commerce company, and Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of Tencent’s Most Valuable Companies World with a market value of $ 500 billion. The aim of the African Ranger Award is to shed light on the role and work of park rangers in nature conservation and to help them financially.

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