It does not need repeating that 2020 has been a year entirely unlike any other. As communities and people across the globe experience an acutely difficult time, it is heartening to be able to recognise those who make the planet a better place. That is why the Nick Maughan Foundation is delighted to sponsor this year’s Tusk Wildlife Conservation Awards.

The need to protect the planet from the ravaging effects of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions is well understood. However, the continuing critical importance of effective wildlife conservation, at times, can feel like it is has slipped down the agenda. When animals become endangered the harm done to ecosystems is sometimes unrecoverable. Yet concerted action can make a difference.

Elephants are a perfect example of that. When the world saw that one of its most beautiful, intelligent and remarkable creatures were close to extinction, it acted. Bans and restrictions on the sale of ivory products in dozens of countries around the world stemmed the march towards potential extinction. But we have slipped in recent years, requiring a redoubling of efforts and refocusing of attention.

At the start of this decade, 100,000 elephants were lost in only two years, due primarily to the demand for ivory. This is a problem that always threatens to surge back into existence if we take our eye off the ball. That is why Tusk play such a crucial role, supporting communities in Africa plagued by poaching, as well as keeping our minds concentrated on what we could lose if we fail to protect critical wildlife.

It is therefore great to have the opportunity to recognise those at the forefront of this fight and show our gratitude for their persistent hard work. The awards take place virtually this year on Thursday 3rd December at 6pm (GMT) and are free to watch for anyone via either Facebook or www.tuskawards.com. Very best of luck to all the nominees.