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Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association

April 24, 2021

9:15 am PDT

Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association's (RWCA) primary focus is the endangered grey crowned crane, which is threatened across its range by habitat loss and poaching. Founded and run by Rwandans who come from and understand local communities, RWCA follows a multi-disciplinary approach to create sustainable solutions to critical conservation issues. The project uses a holistic approach, targeting the problem from many different angles to combat the illegal trade in grey crowned cranes in Rwanda and maintain healthy wild populations. Activities include raising awareness of the legal and conservation status of cranes, identifying and registering cranes kept in captivity, rehabilitating and reintroducing captive cranes, increasing law enforcement, habitat restoration and protection of key crane areas, and working with local communities to reduce poaching and improve livelihoods.


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Dr. Olivier Nsengimana

Founder and Executive Director

In 2014, Dr. Olivier Nsengimana designed a unique conservation project to abolish the illegal trade of endangered grey crowned cranes in Rwanda and won the Rolex Award for Enterprise. He established Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association in 2015 to build upon his work with grey crowned cranes and expand research and conservation efforts to other species in Rwanda and the East African region. Olivier has received the 2017 National Geographic Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation in Africa, the 2018 Whitley Award, the 2019 Future For Nature Award, and most recently, the 2020 Virginia McKenna Award for Compassionate Conservation. Olivier is a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine and has a Master of Veterinary Science, Conservation Medicine from the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Photography credit: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Programme