Shout about these extraordinary people, and the tireless work they do to protect our most vulnerable animals.

Vincent Opyene

Finalist of the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa, 2018


From a young age Vincent knew that he wanted to make a difference and so he combined his passion for wildlife with his love for the law. Based on his experiences conducting field patrols in national parks for Uganda Wildlife Authority, as well as working as a state prosecutor, Vincent established the Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN), a partnership between civil society and government to improve how wildlife laws are enforced. As a result he has single-handedly changed how Uganda addresses wildlife crime.

Uganda is a major international transit hub for ivory, pangolins, and other illicit wildlife products from across the region. Thanks to NRCN and their government partnership, at least four significant wildlife traffickers are arrested each month. Vincent not only risks his life to combat wildlife trafficking and bring criminals to justice, but he has also changed policies and the practice of wildlife law enforcement affecting threatened species in his native Uganda and across East Africa.

His work is very significant and is a model on how civil society can work with government and other partners to tackle corruption and improve governance. Vincent and his team of prosecutors have been given authority to prosecute wildlife cases on behalf of the government. They have been very successful and Uganda now has a specific court dedicated to wildlife cases. This exemplifies the significance of Vincent and NRCN’s work in changing policy and practice in enforcing wildlife laws.

Vincent is an unsung hero who works behind the scenes to make real change happen in addressing wildlife crime.

Inspired by Vincent’s story? Read another extraordinary story. 

Image Credits: © Sarah Marshall

Vincent Opyene 2018 Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa finalists

The Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa

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.

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Many thanks to David Yarrow,
Tusk’s official photographer for use of his wonderful work.

Royal Patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge, KG KT

The Tusk Conservation Awards are an initiative of Tusk.

Tusk Trust – UK Registered Charity, No 803118

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