Calling all conservationists: win £15,000

Calling all conservationists: Enter the Virginia McKenna Award for Compassionate Conservation 2019 to win £15,000

International wildlife charity Born Free is delighted to announce that applications for the Virginia McKenna Award for Compassionate Conservation (VMA) 2019 are now being accepted.

Named in honour of Virginia McKenna OBE - the actress and campaigner who co-founded Born Free in 1984, along with her late husband Bill Travers and her eldest son Will Travers - the VMA is designed to support outstanding individual conservationists, researchers and practitioners who put the welfare of individual animals at the heart of their effective conservation actions.

The winner of the award will receive a grant worth up to £15,000 to help implement their Compassionate Conservation agenda, as well as support from Born Free to help raise their professional profile world-wide.

Virginia McKenna OBE stated: “I hope this award will recognise, inspire and support outstanding individual conservationists, researchers and practitioners who place a very high priority on animal welfare while undertaking field conservation of species under threat, conservation policy or environmental education.”

2019 is the seventh year that the award will recognise individuals across the globe, with previous winners including:

· Jackson Mbeke, Director of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) for his work with critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas
· Shivani Bhalla, of the Ewaso Lions Project, for her work on human/lion conflict
· Professor Anna Nekaris, of Oxford Brookes University and the Little Fireface Project, for her work on slow loris conservation and welfare
· The Mad Dog Initiative, a project which aims to deliver conservation benefits to endangered species by humanely controlling domestic and feral dogs in and around Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
· Neotropical Primate Conservation in Peru, which tackles illegal wildlife trade by partnering with wildlife authorities, police, public prosecutors and grassroots organisations

Those wishing to enter the awards should submit a short application explaining their background and demonstrating the relevance of their work to both animal welfare and conservation, as well as providing a concise proposal of the work the Virginia McKenna Award grant will enable them to implement.

To submit an application or to find out more about the Virginia McKenna Award for Compassionate Conservation visit www.bornfree.org.uk/vma.

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