Force Ngwira was once a direct contributor to the deforestation of Malawi – for 15 years he worked as a successful woodcarver making curios for tourists. As the number of woodcarvers grew, he realised that cutting down slow growing hardwood trees was unsustainable, and soon there would be no trees left for his children, so he formed The Wood Carvers’ Association. As the Director he oversaw the planting of 27,000 trees. Compared to the significant achievements he has initiated during his time with RIPPLE Africa this is a small number!
As the Country Director of RIPPLE Africa, Force has developed his passion for the environment and ability to work with people at all levels to achieve long-term sustainable change. Working with 150 full time staff and 4,000 volunteers he manages a series of environmental regeneration programmes focused on fish conservation, tree planting and fuel-efficient cookstove projects. Working village by village, in collaboration with communities, Force and his team have planted over eight million trees. Through the RIPPLE Africa Fish for Tomorrow project, they are helping communities to manage their fish resource sustainably along a 300km length of Lake Malawi.
Force has come full circle and is now a dedicated Malawian environmental activist. It has not been an easy, simple nor straightforward journey but Force’s dedication to overcome challenges and educate and empower local communities to be equally as committed to conserving their environment has made him quite literally a Force of Nature!
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Image Credits: © Sarah Marshall
This award is given to an individual who has been judged to be emerging as a leading conservationist in recognition of their outstanding contribution to, and considerable success, in their chosen field. The award is sponsored by Land Rover. The three finalists are present at the Awards Ceremony, with the winner being announced on the night, who will receive a beautiful trophy, as well as a grant of £20,000. The two runners up each receive a grant of £7,500.