AWI Honors Wildlife Champions

For the past two decades, it has been a tradition at CITES Conferences of the Parties for AWI to present the Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award to individuals, organizations, and agencies that have demonstrated excellence in the fight against wildlife crime. The award, presented at a reception hosted by the Species Survival Network, is named after the late chief of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement, who pioneered the use of covert investigations, sting operations, and forensic science to identify and prosecute wildlife criminals.

The 2016 Clark R. Bavin Law Enforcement Award recipients are as follows:

Sun Lei, Deputy Director, Beijing Forest Police, China, for his use of innovative technologies to enhance efforts to combat wildlife crime in China, and his success in dismantling wildlife criminal syndicates

Anti-smuggling Bureau of General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China, for its strategic efforts and collaboration with other agencies to fight wildlife crime in China

Sanjay Dutta, Range Officer, Belaboba Range, Jalpaiguri District, India, for his dedicated efforts to extinguish wildlife crime and illegal trade, including his work to successfully end timber trafficking in his district and combat rhino poaching

Ritesh Sarothiya, Assistant Conservator of Forests of Madhya Pradesh State Forest Service, India, for his involvement in investigating and solving illegal wildlife trade cases and for providing training to law enforcement officers to fight wildlife crime

Rony Malka, Head of CITES Management Authority and Director, Division of Law Enforcement, Israel Nature and Parks Authority, for numerous accomplishments during his 40-year career to protect wildlife and improve wildlife law enforcement efforts in Israel

Richard Bonham, Director of Operations, Big Life Foundation, Kenya, for his creation of a model community conservation program, protecting wildlife while generating wide public support for wildlife conservation

The Honorable Judi Wangalwa Wakhungu, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of Kenya, for driving wildlife law enforcement improvements within the Kenya Wildlife Service

Wildlife Crime Pillar of the Central Investigation Bureau, Nepal Police, for its exceptional work to combat organized wildlife trafficking within the trans-Himalayan region

Martin Sims, Head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, United Kingdom, for his leadership of one of world’s most outstanding police units dedicated to combating wildlife crime

Gibson Mandaza, Deputy Chief Magistrate of Zimbabwe, for his instrumental role in reforming wildlife prosecutions in Zimbabwe

Tragically, some pay the ultimate sacrifice to protect wildlife. The following individuals were recognized posthumously:

Emily Stephen Kisamo, Head of the Tanzania National Parks and the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, for his leadership in strengthening the ability of the Lusaka Agreement Task Force to combat wildlife crime—efforts that, it is strongly suspected, led to his murder in 2015

Mr. Dieudonné Agoyo Mbikoyo, Mr. Jean-Marie Abolo Kpionyeslinani, Lieutenant Moise Ekumu Mospada, Sergeant Kamale Musubao, Captain Anselme Muhindo Kimbesa, Colonel Jacques Lusengo Sukamate, Mr. André Migifuloyo Gada, Corporal Djuma Uweko Adalo, Mr. Rigobert Anigobe Bagale, Mr. Richard Sungudikpio Ndingba, and Mr. Dieudonné Tsago Matikuli, rangers from the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation and members of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who were killed attempting to stop the slaughter of elephants in Garamba National Park