Two Kenyans among the ten finalists for the annual Whitley Awards


(Posted 02nd April 2014)

The Whitley Fund for Nature yesterday announced the shortlist of eight finalists for the annual Whitley Awards. This prestigious international prize honours exceptional individuals working in grassroots nature conservation in the world’s developing countries, and who often face humanitarian, environmental and political challenges in the projects they undertake.

Selected from a field of 170 applicants from around the world, the eight wildlife conservationists shortlisted this year for the chance to win an award and a share in funding worth £280,000 are: Shivani Bhalla, Kenya; Monica Gonzalez, Ecuador; Luis Torres, Cuba; Fitry Pakiding, Indonesia; Tess Gatan-Balbas, Philippines; Melvin Gumal, Malaysia; Stoycho Stoychev, Bulgaria and Dr. Paula Kahumbu, Kenya.

The organizers have invited media representatives to attend a press briefing on Thursday 08th of May to learn more about the Whitley Awards and interview the finalists who will be in London for the annual Awards Ceremony.

The charity’s patron HRH The Princess Royal will announce the final results at a special evening ceremony, hosted by television presenter Kate Humble, on Thursday 08th of May at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

HRH The Princess Royal will also present an additional prize, the Whitley Gold Awardworth up to £50,000, to Jean Wiener, who has worked tirelessly over the last 25 years to protect the mangroves and coastal marine environment of his native Haiti from human exploitation and economic development, in what is regarded as one of the world’s poorest countries.

All the best for Kenya’s Shivani Bhalla and Dr. Paula Kahumbu as they compete against formidable nominees from such countries like Ecuador, Cuba, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Bulgaria who made it into the final from over 170 worldwide nominations / applications.

More information about the Whitley Nature Fund can be found via

One Response

  1. I think it would be more noble and appropriate if people living in the bush and doing real grassroots work would be recognised for a change. Look towards Samburu areas and you will find real, genuine grassroots conservationists, who talk to the people and communities every day of their lives and manage problem solving with human-wildlife conflicts and daily ground work under harsh and difficult circumstances. It’s about time these organisations issuing awards, open their eyes to reality. It’s easy to jetset or go on safari and talk to the local people for a couple of days. It is another matter living one’s daily life amongst the communities and tackling daily challenging problems.

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