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Two Linacrites on the Top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders List

Wednesday 24th March 2021

Two Linacre alumni, Charles Emogor (2018) and Nelson Mhlanga (2017) are on the Top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders List 2021. This first-ever top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders List initiative was a result of a collaboration between Africa Alliance of the YMCA, World Scouts Movement, African Wildlife Foundation and WWF. Youth networks and conservation organizations were invited to nominate young African leaders under the age of 35 who have been actively involved over the last three years in impactful conservation work at community, national, or international levels in Africa. Both of them are in the wildlife category which covers all work related to wildlife research and monitoring, wildlife habitat protection, wildlife species conservation and repopulation, and human-wildlife interactions. 

Pangolino 

Charles Emogor works with over 125 hunters around Cross River National Park and has persuaded them to stop pangolin hunting and become pangolin guardians. He is leading the first pangolin-focused work in Nigeria and is raising awareness of pangolins in the country through interviews on local and national radio with a collective audience of over 20 million people. He founded ‘Pangolino’ which has almost 1,000 followers on social media, an initiative aimed at raising awareness of pangolins through arts and science communication. Charles is an active member of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Under the International Antipoaching Foundation, an all-female ranger’s unit based in Zimbabwe, Nelson Mhlanga has been responsible for outreach and development which resulted in the extension and growth of the program. He is an advocate for the inclusion of women in conservation through livelihoods enhancement opportunities and creation of roles for women in conservation. This led to the employment of 100 women as rangers under this project. His work has been instrumental in levelling the field of conservation and equality in Zimbabwe, and he continues to push this agenda in his role with IFAW across Africa, India, China and Australia.

More about the list

This first-ever top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders List initiative was a result of a collaboration between Africa Alliance of the YMCA, World Scouts Movement, African Wildlife Foundation and WWF. Youth networks and conservation organizations were invited to nominate young African leaders under the age of 35 who have been actively involved over the last three years in impactful conservation work at community, national, or international levels in Africa. 

In addition to being recognised in the first-ever publication of its kind, the Top 100 young African conservation leaders will be the beneficiaries of a bespoke one-year leadership development program that will mentor and train a cadre of youth professionals to contribute to Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The goal is to equip the young leaders with systems thinking and practical skills that will enable them to move from intention to action and scale-up their initiatives whilst at the same time recognising and amplifying the efforts of 100 exceptional African youth conservationists under the age of 35.

The list unveils the new generation of conservation leaders that will shape Africa’s political, economic, and social landscapes in the upcoming years, becoming the leading light for the sustainable development of the continent. By elevating their profiles, the consortium will enable the top 100 young leaders to share their experiences in conservation with new audiences and rally more African youth to take up active roles for protecting nature.