Prince William has urged people to take care of the "natural world" during "turbulent times".
The Prince of Wales appeared as the annual Tusk Conservation Awards at London's Hampton Court Palace on Tuesday (01.11.22) to honour unsung conservation heroes dedicated to protecting Africa's natural heritage.
Speaking during the event, he said: "We are living through turbulent times and it is all too easy to lose sight of how critical it is that we look after our natural world.
"But we must remain focused on investing in nature and the environment, protecting it for future generations.
"We must not pass on the baton to our children and grandchildren, apologising for our lack of collective action.”
With the ceremony celebrating its 10th year, William - the charity's royal patron - also reflected on Sir David Attenborough's words at the event five years ago.
He added: "As Sir David Attenborough reminded us at this ceremony five years ago, Africa’s wildlife is truly special.
"What the awards alumni, their dedicated teams and local communities are protecting is ‘one of the great natural treasures of the world’.
“And yet, we also know that it is just a fragment of what there once was.
“That is why it is vital that we do everything in our power to halt the frightening decline in species that our planet has witnessed over the last 50 years.”
The ceremony was hosted by broadcaster and author Kate Silverton, with four leaders honoured on the night, including two recipients of the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa.
NatureUganda executive director Achilles Brunnel Byaruhanga and Ian Craig - who was raised in Kenya and is now Chief of Conservation at Northern Rangelands Trust - accepted the lifetime achievement award.
Meanwhile, the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa - which recognises an individual judged to be an emerging leader in conservation - went to Miguel Gonçalves from Mozambique, who serves as Park Warden, National administration for Conservation Areas.
And the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award - which goes to the men and women working in the field protecting wildlife in Africa
on a daily basis - was presented to Neddy Mulimo, from Zambia, who serves as Senior Ranger Support Manager for Specialist Anti-Poaching Units (SAPU), Game Rangers International.
Hendrik du Toit, founder and CEO of event sponsor Ninety One, said: “Congratulations to each of the winners. Their unwavering commitment to conservation plays a vital role in preserving Africa’s endangered environments and species.
"It has been our privilege to partner with the Tusk Conservation Awards for the past 10 years, and by honouring the efforts of these incredible men and women we hope to encourage more people to get involved in conservation.”