Environmentalists from Argentina and Burundi Win 2018 National Geographic/Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation: Award Honors Conservationists Pablo Garcia Borboroglu and Leonidas Nzigiyimpa

Pablo Garcia Borboroglu, founder and director of the Global Penguin Society, an organization that worked with the government of Argentina to secure the protection of 3.1 million hectares of penguin habitat in Patagonia, is the 2018 winner of the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in Latin American Conservation. Leonidas Nzigiyimpa, chief warden in charge of the protected areas in the southern region of Burundi, who works with the surrounding community to safeguard the scores of species that call the area home, is this year’s recipient of the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in African Conservation.

Borboroglu and Nzigiyimpa received their $25,000 awards at the 2018 National Geographic Awards at GWU Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 14. The awards ceremony was part of the week-long National Geographic Explorers Festival, a celebration of exploration bringing together the most fascinating and innovative scientists, conservationists, explorers and storytellers to share — with one another, and with the world — how their discoveries and ideas are creating change for the better.

Established through a gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in 2002 to celebrate and recognize unsung conservation heroes working in the field, the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation is given each year to two outstanding conservationists, one in Latin America and one in Africa. The award acknowledges the winners’ remarkable work and lifetime contributions that further the understanding and practice of conservation in their countries.


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