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Nomba Ganame

The WILD Foundation and International Conservation Fund of Canada are thrilled to announce that our very own Nomba Ganamé, field manager of the Mali Elephant Project, has been honored with a Conservation Hero Award from the Disney Conservation Fund! The award recognizes local citizens for their commitment to reversing the decline of wildlife and engaging communities in conservation. Recipients from around the world were nominated by nonprofit environmental organizations, and each honoree and his or her nominating organization will share a $1,500 award from the fund.

Nomba works in Mali to protect elephants with the understanding that the threats to elephants are the same as the threats to the livelihoods of local people. Nomba brought diverse groups of people together to learn about their perceptions and attitudes towards elephants, and overcame traditional ethnic rivalries to achieve the common goal of elephant conservation through wise resource management that protects and restores habitats and benefits local people. Nomba continued with this work to protect elephants and assist local villagers even when the area was threatened by multiple political and armed conflicts. His deep relationships with local communities are helping to build social cohesion despite ongoing insecurity, while reducing poaching and protecting the elephants – providing a model for other regions of Mali and West Africa in community engagement for conservation.

Upon receiving the award, Nomba said, “I am enormously honoured to receive this award, as it recognises the efforts of the local people. To know that their achievements have been recognised by the world will be a source of great encouragement during these times of intense danger for the elephants.”

Nomba Ganame in community meeting

Nomba Ganame (bottom left) in a community meeting for the Mali Elephant Project

The Disney Conservation Fund focuses on reversing the decline of wildlife and increasing the time kids spend in nature. Since 2004, Disney has honored more than 100 Conservation Heroes from around the world for their extraordinary conservation efforts.

For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature and a complete list of 2016 Conservation Hero Award recipients, visit

The Mali Elephant Project is a joint initiative of the WILD Foundation and International Conservation Fund of Canada. This program has been assisted for many years by supportive donors and partners – organizations and individuals – whom we deeply appreciate. Learn about our collaborators here.

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