Ambassador: Joseph Mwakima , Kenya
Working for Wildlife Works, Joseph uses novel ways to educate people in his local rural community in Kenya about environmental conservation and climate change. He lives in the Tsavo Conservation area of Kenya, a dryland forest of nearly 500,000 acres and home to over 20 species of bats, 300 species of birds and 50 species of large mammals, including IUCN Red List species such as Grevy’s Zebra, Cheetah, Lion, African Wild Dog as well as over 2,000 African elephants.
The local community of 116,000 people suffer from food insecurity worsened by climate change. The crops which survive extreme droughts are often destroyed or eaten by wildlife. Joseph teaches the villagers to protect their forest rather than fell trees for rewood or kill animals for food or because their crops were eaten.
Joseph knew that many people in the community are illiterate and so he uses lm viewings, informal open-air meetings, organises plays and workshops in local schools, and football tournaments for over 400 young people every four months. All include discussions about conservation, the jobs created through conservation work, and the creation of sustainable businesses.
Since 2012, over 50,000 people have been educated, 15,000 trained to work in an environmentally sustainable way and 1,000 households have switched to clean energy.