Tanzanian conservationist Gerald Bigurube was awarded this year’s German Africa Award.
Mr Bigurube, who is the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) Tanzania Country Director, was presented with the prize, alongside Malagasy activist-cum-environmentalist, Clovis Razafimalala in Berlin, German.
This is the first time the award is honouring individuals contributing to nature conservation, which demonstrates its impact on development.
A renowned ecologist, Mr Bigurube has fervently spent over 44 years passionately dedicated to working in conserving Tanzania’s biodiversity.
The country’s biodiversity is quite diverse and unique, and is among its most prestigious heritages, with outstanding attributes and includes big names like the Serengeti National Park — known for its great migrations, and is a resource that cannot be found elsewhere in the world. “Mr Bigurube is a bridge builder and the face of successful wildlife and nature conservation in Tanzania,” said Dr Volker Faigle, who was the head of the jury that selected the awardees.
The conservationist also received accolades from Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, a former German minister of Finance, who is now president of the German parliament.
He explained how interlinked migration, economic development and the loss of natural resources are.
“We are all about to learn what globalisation means. The connections between economic development and migration makes this more than clear. The desire for prosperity is common to all human beings, making it an anthropological constant. And environmental protection is a global task as the world is on fire and time is running out,” he said.
For his part, Mr Bigurube said the youth have a significant part to play in protecting Africa’s wildlife and wild places and need to be given a platform to bring their youthful zeal into the conservation arena.
This year’s ceremony took place in the Allianz-Forum in Berlin on November 27. The German Africa Award presented to recipients with international recognition.