2nd Place, 'Akashinga - The Brave Ones' by Brent Stirton
Akashinga, meaning "the brave ones" in Zimbabwe's Shona dialect, is an all-female, community-driven conservation model. It empowers severely disadvantaged women to restore and manage a network of wilderness areas as an alternative to trophy hunting. In late 2017, the International Anti-Poaching Foundation created the Akashinga conservation rangers, using an all-female team to manage an entire nature reserve in Zimbabwe. These women come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, many the victims of rape, domestic abuse and exploitation. Through this program they have re-empowered themselves and through their many successes they have become an example to women all across Africa. The members of Akashinga have a community-driven, interpersonal focus, working with, rather than against, the local population for the long-term benefit of their own communities and nature.