Thai Van Nguyen founded Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, which rescued 1,540 pangolins from the illegal wildlife trade between 2014 and 2020, and he established Vietnam’s first anti-poaching unit, which has destroyed thousands of animal traps and illegal camps.
Bayarjargal Agvaantseren helped create the 1.8 million-acre Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve in the South Gobi Desert—a critical habitat for the vulnerable snow leopard—in April 2016, then succeeded in persuading the Mongolian government to cancel all mining licenses within the reserve.
Ana Colovic Lesoska led a seven-year campaign to cut off international funding for two large hydropower plants planned for inside Mavrovo National Park—North Macedonia’s oldest and largest national park—thereby protecting the habitat of the nearly-extinct Balkan lynx.
Putting his life on the line, Rodrigue Katembo went undercover to document and release information about bribery and corruption in the quest to drill for oil in Virunga National Park, resulting in public outrage that forced the company to withdraw from the project.
Tuy Sereivathana introduced innovative low-cost solutions to mitigate human-elephant conflict in Cambodia, empowering local communities to cooperatively participate in endangered Asian elephant conservation.
Raoul du Toit coordinated conservation initiatives that have helped develop and maintain the largest remaining black rhino populations in Zimbabwe.
Drawing international attention to the inhumane and environmentally catastrophic shark finning industry, Randall Arauz led the campaign to halt the practice in Costa Rica, making his country an international model for shark protection.
In an area where illegal wildlife poaching decimated the wild elephant population and left villagers living in extreme poverty, Hammer Simwinga created an innovative program that successfully restored wildlife and transformed the poverty-stricken area.
As chief botanist of the Okapi Faunal Reserve, Corneille Ewango stayed during the civil war to protect the reserve’s rare animals and plants and confronted military commanders to stop poaching.
A conservationist, Eugène Rutagarama risked his life to save 355 of the world’s last 650 mountain gorillas that were threatened by Rwanda’s war and massacres in the 1990s. He helped rebuild the national parks system and protect gorilla habitat.