23 July 2009
LEGENDARY conservationist, Johann Albrecht Bruckner (aka Albi), who is the founder of the internationally recognised Namib-Rand Nature Reserve, was awarded the 2009 Cheetah Conservationist of the Year Award by the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF).
Bruckner was presented with the award at the 11th CCF annual gala dinner held in Windhoek on Saturday evening under the theme 'Roaming Wild'.
It was aimed at highlighting long-term efforts to ensure the survival of the wild cheetah.
NamibRand is globally applauded as a model for conservation and contributes immensely to biodiversity conservation of the pro-Namib region and throughout the country.
Adolf Okamaru, a farmer from the Queen Sophia resettlement farm in the Otjiwarongo area, who practices predator-friendly livestock and game management, took the 2009 Farmer of the Year Award.
Okamaru's farming demonstrates that predator conservation is not contrary to the needs of humans, and that we can live together.
The 2009 Conservation Education Award was presented to Roeber Gunther Roeber for his years at CCF as a teacher and mentor to over 15 000 communal, resettled and emerging farmers and farm workers who participated in the CCF Future Farmers of Africa training courses.
Speaking at the event on behalf of President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Environment Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the inter-relationship of cheetah and conservation is an important balance of the country's ecosystem and how the two are linked to the economy through eco-tourism.
She said the various awards received by CCF over the past year were in recognition of its dedication to restore habitat through its BushBlok initiative.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is a Namibian non-profit trust dedicated to the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystems.
Since 1990, the organisation has developed education and conservation programmes based on its cheetah research studies, published scientific research papers and presented educational programmes to over 250 000 outreach school pupils and over 1 500 farmers.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org