Project Embrace Receives Award
The SANParks Honorary Rangers’ Project Embrace was recently awarded the second runner-up award in the category “Rhino Conservation Supporter Award” at the Rhino Conservation Awards.
The award was presented at a Gala Dinner held on 21 July 2019 at Montecasino in Johannesburg.
Project Embrace was initiated to assist with the emotional well-being of SANParks rangers and their families to counteract stress due to poaching and crime.
A ranger’s job is both physically and mentally demanding. Their daily battle with rhino poaching in our parks often leads to stress and trauma. There are other stressors as well – accidents, crime, fires, the experience of encountering injured or poached animals in the field, and many more.
According to Elize Smith, who heads up the project, Project Embrace aims to foster their wellness and resilience so that they are better able to cope with these challenges.
The winner in the category was Rhino 911 for their work supporting rhino conservation in the North West Province and first runner up was Nicholas Duncan from Save the African Rhino Foundation.
The aim of the awards is to recognise outstanding achievements in rhino conservation and to encourage further conservation effort.
Founded by Dr Larry Hansen and Ms Xiaoyang Yu in 2011, the Rhino Conservation Awards ceremony is presented annually in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa (GRAA). ZEISS and China New Enterprises Inc. sponsored the 2019 ceremony.
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco acts as the Patron of the Rhino Conservation Initiative and the Rhino Conservation Awards. He attended the Gala Dinner, together with other dignitaries.