Unsung Conservation Heroes

Not all superheroes wear capes… some wear khaki! And the aim of this gallery is to focus on some of those superheroes who are doing incredible work in the field of conservation but who don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

Whether out in the field, caring for orphaned animals, educating communities, conducting important research or recording the facts on film, all of these conservationists have one thing in common – a passion for protecting our environment and the wild beings that call it home.

Unfortunately we couldn’t name every unsung hero out there – as there are thousands of people on this fine continent who are working amazingly hard every day in the name of conservation – but we hope that this very small selection inspires you nonetheless and pays homage to a few selfless individuals who may have slipped under the radar.

Head to the last page of this gallery to learn more about Lori Robinson, who pulled out all the stops to put together this gallery and draw attention to some of these deserving faces.

How Maasai women in Kenya are helping to make your cosmetics

It’s a day-long drive from Kenya’s capital Nairobi to Twala in Laikipia County. The last 50 miles is along a dusty road, and then you arrive at the farm of the Twala Cultural Manyatta. It’s oasis-like, and the moment you enter the gate, the fresh smell of greenery strikes a contrast with the aridity you leave behind.

Even more striking for me are the two dozen Maasai women lined up in front of the mud wall of their compound, bedecked in brightly colored beaded jewelry. The second my car door opens, they break into song.

Healthy profit for Kenyan women selling aloe to UK cosmetics firm

NANYUKI, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women herders in Kenya’s semi-arid Laikipia County have broken with tradition to export the leaves of a desert plant to Europe, boosting their incomes.

Three hundred women in El Poloi have switched from the age-old occupation of goat-keeping to the new and far more lucrative activity of farming aloe, a plant with healing properties.

Along the way, they are transforming their economic status and creating educational opportunities for their daughters.

Drought-prone El Poloi lies to the northwest of snow-capped Mount Kenya in the Great Rift Valley. According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, the area receives less than 400 mm (16 inches) of rainfall annually.