Three Rwandan park rangers are among 50 park rangers who named recipients of the 2019 African Rangers Awards. By APA News

The  three Rwandan awardees are Leonidas Mpumuje, Head Rhino Monitor of  Akagera National Park, Anthony Nzuki, Ranger Post Leader of Akagera  National Park and Jean Nepomuscene Musekura, a ranger in Volcanoes  National Park, according to an official statement seen by APA on Thursday.

The African Ranger Awards program recognizes park rangers for their extraordinary contribution to the protection of Africa’s wildlife and conservation areas.

The award was initiated by  Jack Ma, the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group through the Paradise  Foundation, an environmental conservation organization that he founded two years ago.

An international panel of judges reviewed 115 nominees from 17 African countries.

The award criteria included the  nominee’s dedication, contribution, threats and challenges overcome, as well as leadership and inspiration.

Commenting on the winners, Jack Ma said: “I am deeply moved and inspired by the rangers’  sacrifices. We hope more people will pay attention to rangers, wildlife preservation, and the preservation of our natural environment.”

In  her comments, the RDB Chief Tourism Officer, Belise Kariza, noted: “Without the hard work and dedication that our rangers show, the  positive progress that Rwanda has shown both in conversation and  sustainable tourism would be impossible. They are at the forefront of  conservation and that is why we appreciate the Paradise Foundation for  recognizing African rangers and their important role”.

The  African Ranger Award seeks to raise awareness in the world about the  need to conserve Africa’s wildlife, emphasizing the critical role that front-line rangers play in conservation.

The 2019 African Ranger Awards will take place in Accra, Ghana on 15th November.

By sharing those real-life stories, this award aims to help stem the current decline in populations of Africa’s wildlife, it said.