Renowned Kenyan wildlife conservationist Paula Kahumbu bagged two awards at the 2022 Jackson Wild Film Festival for Wildlife Warriors TV series held in Vienna, Austria.
Kahumbu was feted with a Legacy Award in conservation and was recognised for an episode in which she highlighted the planting of coral forests to save marine life.
She thanked her company, Wildlife Direct, and other organizations for that enabled her to lead the conversation on wildlife preservation.
"It was a huge night for me - two wins at the Jackson Wild Film Festival. Thank you to our heroes for supporting this incredible journey. So proud to have won the global voices category for our episode on planting coral forests," Kahumbu celebrated.
Kenyan filmmaker Jahawi Bertolli was awarded for the production of the episode, with his coverage of the marine life underwater making headlines. Bertolli also received a special jury recognition for his conservation efforts.
The Jackson Wild awards acknowledge people who are pushing the boundaries of storytelling to create authentic engagement about the wild that achieves global impact.
The Wildlife Direct Chief Executive made a plea to President William Ruto to support the new trend of sensitization on wildlife sustenation.
"Kenyans received three awards at the festival. We ask the government to support filmmaking through the provision of training, equipment, access to parks, TV channels and delivery through schools," Kahumbu moved.
Notably, the conservationist is not new to receiving awards. In May 2021, she won the Whitley Gold Award for the second time, for her TV show, Wildlife Warriors.
The award saw her secure Ksh15.05 million in funding to boost the show that was hailed as ground-breaking as it shines a light on the work of African conservation heroes.
Whitley For Nature Foundation noted that through Wildlife Direct, Kahumbu launched the Hands Off Our Elephants campaign, with the support of the First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, which contributed to a national consensus on taking decisive action against ivory poaching.
Through the funding, Kahumbu is expected to set up an environmental justice desk that will empower citizens and organisations to respond to threats to wildlife at a local and national level and broker win-win solutions to human-wildlife conflict.